Bead Business: Self Publishing Your Secrets

So do you have a book inside you? Glass beadmaker and photographer, Val Cox did. Shown above working in her studio, Val has just self-published a luscious book entitled, Frit Secrets: A Flameworker’s Guide to Using Reactive Glass Frits.” Not only is Val the author but she’s the photographer for her book – the photos of beads are to die for!

Believing that ABS readers may have a book just waiting to get out, I asked Val if she would share her experience in self-publishing. She graciously accepted. This is what Val had to say:

“The great thing about self-publishing is the total control. Control over the content, the number of pages, the photos, the final price and the time frame for completing it. I took nearly four years to research, write and photograph my “Frit Secrets” book. I suggest you don’t take quite that long-it will make your family crazy.

One of scary parts of self-publishing is the need to pay the printing and binding costs yourself–up front. That’s when it’s smart to go with one of the many print-on-demand publishers, such as Blurb.com or Lulu.com where you can order only as many book as you need-and as few as a single copy.

I like Blurb because they provide a restrictive template design to work within, which becomes your best friend by the time you get to page 11. Trust me. Then within about a week of uploading your file, you receive in a mail, a beautifully bound book, or two or two hundred, to share with your friends and family. Maybe even sell a few.”

Thanks for sharing with us, Val. All pictures are courtesy of Val Cox and if you’re a glass beadmaker, you can read my review of her book on The Lampwork Diva Blog.

Written by Cindy Gimbrone, glass beadmaker, jewelry designer and newly energized frit lover.

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13 Comment

  1. Meekiyu
    January 8, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    Wow that’s awesome… I love how she made a book detailing her own experiences and techniques and I never knew there were sites to get books made and printed. excellent article and very inspiring!

    btw you’ve been tagged!

  2. Cindy
    January 8, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    I can speak highly of Blurb as well…my husband wrote a children’s book for our kids and the kids did the illustrations…for Christmas. Great quality!

  3. Bead-Mused
    January 8, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    What a great post! Thank you so much, Cindy!


  4. Caren
    January 8, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    I did a Blurb book a couple years ago. It is one of my proud accomplishments. It takes about 3X longer to finish than you imagine, though, because you need to go over and over it again to make changes and corrections. And someone else needs to look at it for possible mistakes or lack of clarity.

    Worth every minute, though.


  5. Cindy Gimbrone
    January 8, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    Val is a super-fab beadmaker and now this! She’s a peach for sharing her insights.

    Now everyone who has wanted to write a book – you’ve got a publisher 😉


  6. Cindy Lietz, Polymer Clay Tutor
    January 9, 2009 at 1:38 am

    The book looks amazing! Can Val’s next book be secrets on how she takes such beautiful bead pictures and how on earth she keeps her studio so clean?! 🙂

  7. rosebud101
    January 9, 2009 at 3:24 am

    And Val’s Frit Book is AWESOME!

  8. Erin
    January 9, 2009 at 3:47 am

    Wow! Great post! Thanks for the info!

  9. Melissa J. Lee
    January 9, 2009 at 5:39 am

    Great post – thank you!

  10. Val Cox
    January 9, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    wow, thank you Cindy, what fun!

    For me, the start and final parts of writing and publishing a book are really enjoyable. The trick for me is to not get bogged down in the middle!

    The next book I’ve started on is about photographing glass. Hopefully this one won’t take me quite so long to finish.

    Thank you Cindy for the lovely article and thank you all for the kind comments! Val

  11. Sabrina Koebel
    January 9, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    Wonderful Article!!! Thanks for sharing it…And Thanks Val for sharing your secrets!!! 🙂

  12. Villa Design
    January 9, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    Congrats Val! It’s a fantastic book and I can’t wait for your one about photographing glass!

  13. Deb
    January 9, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    What a fabulous article & wonderful interview!
    The syncronicity of this is funny – I was telling a friend how hopeless I am with frit the other night & she told me she has this book & that I have to get it, it's brilliant!

    It's almost as if everything is pointing me in that direction to spend my wee Christmas stash on.

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