Anne Frasier (a.k.a. Theresa Weir) is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of thirty books. Her memoir, The Orchard, was an Oprah Magazine Fall Pick, Number Two on the October Indie Next List, a B+ featured title in Entertainment Weekly, a One Book One Community Read, Target Book Club Pick, and Books-A-Million Book Club Pick.

Monday, October 5, 2009


I've decided to publish Pale Immortal through Belfry Press. I'm antsy and tired of waiting to hear back from possible publisher (although in all fairness, they haven't had it that long). I doubt I'll break even after cost of formatting and scanning, but it will be a good test run. What I've learned is that scanned books, even after they're corrected in Word, are a nightmare to format. That's because they retain the original format, combined with Word format. So you can't just plug them into something like Smashwords. The text has to be converted to HTML and hand coded. And each format cost a minimum of $100, which, when you consider the formatter's time, is a remarkable deal.

Here is a breakdown of cost:

scanning: $100 - $250 (if you scan it yourself, it will take 8 - 12 hours, maybe more)
edit time: two weeks bare minimum
formatting: average of $100 for each format (I decided to start with one format -- MOBI and go from there)
cover design: $50 (I designed my own)


  1. Hi :)
    Thank you for sharing.
    I've read a lot of things about self publishing vs publisher publishing. I hope you continue to share your experiences with it.
    All the best,

  2. thanks, RK. I'll never really grasp it until I dive in!


  3. Why does it have to be scanned? Don't you have it in electronic format already? I would think that it just needs to be html coded from there.

  4. jason, no, i don't have it in electronic format. major pubs still edit hard copy, all done on original ms, pen and pencil, thru snail mail. so by the time the material goes through eight months or a year of line editing, author edit, copy edit, author edit, proof, author proof, it may have changed quite a bit from the original. nothing is done electronically. yes, i could have pulled out my original Word file, but it would have required line editing, copy editing, and proofing.

  5. i should add that somewhere in this process, major pubs do produce efiles of updates and revisions, but author never sees those files. it's always hard copy.

  6. I guess it's whichever is faster. Taking your word file and going line-by-line to make changes in the final book, or scanning and going through all the scanning-related clean up. A pain either way. Criminy.

  7. jason, you are so right. and either way -- such a tedious task. then you start thinking, is this a wise use of my time? it's especially questionable when it's something that's already been published. and you don't have the drive to see it in print since it's already happened.


  8. If the final print version is like 90% your word version or more, then I have to think that sticking with word would be faster. Cleaning OCR scanning can be a total crap fest.


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