Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Need information/suggestions about printing 100 copies of 75 page paperback book

I am exploring possibility of printing 100 copies of a, say, 50 page document, but as a, say, 75 page paperback book in India.

1) How much will it cost? That's the key question for me.

Some more details and thoughts about it. Note that I have never published any regular (paper) book so far in my life (different from many, many software-technical and other documents that I have authored for private and public use).

2) The document that I am considering will be an updated version of this October 2013 document, iami1.wordpress.com Blog – Consolidated Doc. of Own Content (and wiki content), https://iami1.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/iami1-own-content-consolidated-201310241.pdf, which is 34 pages long. I will update it with later content and also modify it somewhat. So I expect it to grow to an around 50 page A4/Letter size document. I will also be changing the title to an appropriate one.

3) The convenience of reading and carrying the typical paperback book is something that attracts me. That is why I am considering the typical paperback book type print possibility (as against A4/Letter size document with spiral binding or stapled). So a 50 page A4/Letter size document may become a, say, 75 page paperback book.

4) I don't want to make any profit from the book. However, if the book does capture some interest and if the costs of the book get recovered, it may permit me to consider printing more copies of the book later on. I will remove all wikipedia extracts from the book (except a few short ones permitted under Indian copyright law - Fair use) as if the book is not free, wikipedia copyright rules will not permit sharing of its content.

5) I would like to provide free reuse permission of my content of the book (as against content which is clearly shown as contributed by others (with permission to share publicly)) to anybody who is interested to do so. I would like to promote interested persons to print copies and sell it (my content of the book), even if it is at a reasonable profit for them (with zero money coming to me).

6) I may go in for an (Indian authorities provided) ISBN number if it is not too expensive. I think this is the website where I need to explore the matter further: http://isbn.gov.in/.

7) I don't think I will need to apply for a copyright. As my blog will show/prove that content of the book was authored by me, I don't think I need to have a copyright myself to protect its content from copyright claims on it by others.

I would be glad to know thoughts and views on the above from people who are knowledgeable about this topic.

I got some very useful information from one source with some valuable experience in this matter. This person also was not looking to make money from the book he got printed & sold but wanted to use sales money to cover costs for future reprints.

He said that he used a Hyderabad based publisher to print a 60 page book. Perhaps a year or two ago, he got the first print done. He had to pay around Rs. 22,000 for 1,000 copies of the book which were delivered to him (in two big cartons). The publisher was not involved in distributing or selling this book.

My friend preferred to use the word of mouth method for sales of the book, and so did not get into any big promotion. He charged Rs. 30/- for the book. The sales revenue helped him plough back the money for a couple of reprints over the past year or two.

He told me that the price per book seemed reasonable only for 1,000 copies. If he had asked for 500 copies instead of 1,000, the price would have been somewhere around Rs. 18,000 instead of Rs. 22,000! He said that they use offset printing for such books. That involves preparing "plates" which take a lot of effort. After the "plates" are ready, printing itself is not that expensive. That is why the 1,000 copies order was giving a far better price per copy than the 500 copies order.

He said the prices may have gone up now at the Hyderabad publisher & printer.

I was also informed that a Puttaparthi small print shop offers similar facility to publish & print using some Bangalore offset printer. The quality delivered is good, I was told. But the price is higher. I was told that a 1,000 copies order of a 60 page paperback book by the Puttaparthi small print facility would cost around Rs. 32,000!

In both the above cases (Puttaparthi & Hyderabad shops/facilities), they can/do act as publishers with their names appearing as the publisher, as per the information that was provided to me.

Here is an interesting but nearly 5 year old article, which is about publishing regular books and selling them for profit/living rather than my particular need of simply having a cheap paperback printer printing my no-frills text book without me having any profit-earning motive. But the article does have some useful info. My self-publishing journey, http://www.thehindu.com/books/my-selfpublishing-journey/article3727190.ece, August 2012.

The author, Rasana Atreya, writes that she turned down a publishing contract from one of India's largest publishing houses because she wanted to have the rights to her ebook, which the publisher was not agreeable to. She was inspired by Amanda Hocking and Joe Konrath, two authors who seem to be well known to have taken the self-publishing route.

The author wanted complete control over her book - pricing, cover design, marketing etc. The article covers how she went about it for her ebook using private one-time cost services and Amazon, and seems to frankly mention her fears and challenges.

The author warns about companies that call themselves as self-publishers but actually become the "publisher of record", and that there are some horror stories of manuscripts being stolen and fudged sales data with some of these self-publishers.

But perhaps the author has been too critical about "self-publishers". I think that so long as they clearly state their offers to publish and print a customer's books, and then do it as per the offer, they are acting ethically. Of course, manuscripts being stolen would be a terrible thing but then one should not blame all "self-publishers" of doing such stuff unless one is sure. BTW these "self-publishers" are also looked down upon by regular publishers, as vanity publishers who allow people to publish their books for a price paid by the author! I think that is being unfair. So long as it is clear that the author paid for publishing and printing his/her books, I think it is fair and ethical. Otherwise the author is locked into the preferences that big publishers have for books/manuscripts and the printing & distribution lock-ins that big publishers will impose! Why should an author who has the ability to pay to publish his/her book not do so but be at the mercy of big publishing companies' preferences and lock-ins?

I got some info. from browsing the net for Indian self-publishing companies.

1) Power Publisher is quite a well known self-publisher in India. Here is their package/offer chart: http://www.power-publishers.com/choose-your-scheme/. The cheapest package is around Rs. 15,000. The issue here for me is that Power Publisher seems to be the guys who will be printing the books when they feel appropriate and sell through their channels. The author gets 2 complimentary copies! This does NOT seem to be what I am looking for. And then it seems to me that control over the book's printing and distribution rights will be, at least to some significant extent, with Power Publishers. That's a BIG PROBLEM for me. Two sentences from its legal terms and conditions page, http://www.power-publishers.com/legal-policies/terms-a-conditions/, are given below:

"I, the author of the book, or my nominated family member will be the copyright holder of the book." - That's good. So Power Publishers does not get the copyright.

"The book cannot be printed and distributed by two different companies in the same language and the same country at the same time." - This is the PROBLEM for me. One has to withdraw the book from Power Publishers before some other person prints & distributes it. In all probability, my book will not have big sales - it will appeal only to a niche audience and will not be having any real promotion, except some word of mouth stuff and social media announcements. But I want the FREEDOM to allow any person to print my book and even sell it for a reasonable profit (with ZERO money coming to me).

2) EDUCREATION publishing came up in Google Search results as an Ad. if I recall correctly. It offers a Rs. 4,999 package to publish "Plain Text Books"! An "AMC" is listed at Rs. 1000/- yearly. So lets make the total figure, Rs. 6,000 for a year. Well, I want to print a plain text book! No frills, no pics, just text. And the price is attractive! But...

The legal agreement, https://www.educreation.in/data/legal-agreement.pdf, seems to be more author friendly than the previous publisher mentioned above. But it states on page 2, "Author is furthermore not allowed to reprint or digitally distribute the formatted/ designed book or a part of it, in the form, such it indicates to be as printed or distributed by Educreation or else otherwise to use the cover page prepared by Educreation for any other purpose except what conducts as to genuine promotion of book." The English language here seems mixed up and that's a concern as it is a legal agreement! But the key point is that the legal agreement will interfere with the FREEDOM I want for me and others to be able to print the book, unless I ensure that ZERO input is provided by them on the book and that they acknowledge in writing that that gives me the freedom to allow others to print and distribute the book. This seems to be a problem area.

The legal agreement has a scarier sentence, at least for a low-profile reclusive guy like me, "Author also grants Educreation a complete freedom to use his/ her name, photograph, statements, reference, etc. on any place/ location/ platform on the aspect of book promotion as and what deem fit for the purpose at its sole discretion."

So this does not seem suitable for me.

But I must mention its "Digital Print on Demand" page, https://www.educreation.in/self-publishing-in-india/book-print-on-demand.html. It says, "With us the production cost of your 100 pages A5 Variant (5"x8") book will be Rs. 43 only (Taxes extra)". And follows that up by saying that authors can make order(s) of set of 30 copies at production cost! So if one rounds the quoted production cost to Rs. 50 then one can get a set of 30 copies at Rs. 1500/- (plus shipping and taxes)! That is so attractive to read from my needs perspective. But then one wonders what the reality is. It almost seems to be too good to be true. And anyway, the legal agreement thing puts me off.

Terry Reis Kennedy wrote (slightly edited) over email (and was OK with sharing) in response to initial part of this post sent to her over email:
Ravi, this is a very good idea.  OMKAR in Bangalore does very high quality production and very affordable prices.  I suggest you call and talk with Mr. Babu.  www.omkaroffset.com

When I got my ISBNs they were free.  But they are ridiculously difficult people to communicate with.  I finally realized how UNIMPORTANT  ISBNs are  and gave up using them as has become the fashion these days..

Hope this helps.

They want you to have camera ready discs...but you need to be there when they do the book. They use pagination set up systems that will cut words just to fit the page! I always sat there in the composition rooms and read every single page myself to guarantee perfection of the product for my many clients.

After making books with various Bangalore printers and at the top Hyderabad printers I stuck with Omkar.  They are easy going, flexible, and understand the work they are doing.  Their binding is wonderful too.  Your choice of paper is very  important for the long-life of the books.
---end Terry response---

Ravi: I thanked Terry "a ton for the info." BTW Terry is an accomplished writer with superb English (way better than mine), and is very articulate. She offers services to those who would like to publish successful books. From her website, http://terryreiskennedy.wixsite.com/redcloverproductions: "My writing has drawn me to every state in the United States of America, including First Nation Territories, Puerto Rico, Nova Scotia, Canada, Mexico, Poland, Fiji, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, the Virgin Islands, the Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand Sri Lanka and India where I have a home. I have read from my anthologized essays, fiction, and poetry on radio, on television, and at places as diverse as prisons, public squares, cafes, Harvard University, Boston City Hall, and at Native American Indian Reservations.

I love working with people who want to get their book or film projects out to audiences whether they are still in the idea stage or are finished but need some design, layout, editing, publishing, and marketing assistance.

I am a non-smoking, non-drinking, vegetarian and I support my lifestyle through my own work as a wordsmith and I know that I can turn your dream of publishing a successful book or documentary come true."

Ravi: Going by Terry's suggestion I browsed the website of Omkar Offset Printers, Bangalore, http://www.omkaroffset.com/, and found it to be a printing only facility. No publishing stuff. Its samples go from calendars to annual reports to brochures and books. I think this is what suits my needs but I don't know about the cost. I need to look for a low cost and reasonable quality (top quality will be expensive; I am willing to settle for reasonable no-frills quality) offset printer and NOT a "self-publisher".

Perhaps I should call Omkar people up (Contact page provides the info.) and simply ask them how much printing 100 copies of a 75 page (no pics, no colour, no frills, only text) paperback book will cost.

Ramana's realized state life was not some featureless blank nor escapism; Realized soul has nothing to escape from!

An extract from the book, A SADHU’S REMINISCENCES OF RAMANA MAHARSHI, By SADHU ARUNACHALA (Major A. W. Chadwick), ebook available here:
http://www.jainlibrary.org/elib_master/jlib/007501_book_english_41/Sadhus_Reminiscences_of_Raman_Maharshi_007606_std.pdf, is given below. It is from Page 15 of the ebook. Note that in the extract, He refers to Ramana Maharishi.

--- start extract ---
Bhagavan’s realization was not some featureless blank. Appearance continued for him but he knew it as appearance and was no longer deceived into thinking it was Reality. And here, I presume, lay his complete indifference to the world. It was all a dream anyhow, so why do anything about it? Just sit somewhere and enjoy the Self. What did teaching others and helping the world signify? There were no others. Besides if he was to live in the world, as appeared to be his Karma, then, before he could do so, he had to co-ordinate this realization with the world in which he did not really believe. And this must take time. This explains his apparent escapism. Though to talk about escapism with reference to a Realized Soul is a contradiction in terms for there is no longer anything from which to escape.
--- end extract ---

[I thank the author - Sadhu Arunachala (Major Chadwick) - & publishers of above mentioned book, A SADHU’S REMINISCENCES OF RAMANA MAHARSHI, and jainlibrary.org, and have presumed that they (and their heirs) will not have any objections to me sharing the above short extract from their book on this post which is freely viewable by all, and does not have any financial profit motive whatsoever.]

Monday, March 27, 2017

Guru can only guide, the seeker has to seek self-realization; no one could give self-realization to another - Ramana Maharishi

An extract from the book, A SADHU’S REMINISCENCES OF RAMANA MAHARSHI, By SADHU ARUNACHALA (Major A. W. Chadwick), ebook available here:
http://www.jainlibrary.org/elib_master/jlib/007501_book_english_41/Sadhus_Reminiscences_of_Raman_Maharshi_007606_std.pdf, is given below. It is from Page 13 of the ebook. Note that in the extract, He refers to Ramana Maharishi.

--- start extract ---
He never preached or laid down the law, but always concentrated on turning the seeker back on himself and pointing out to him that it was entirely up to him, the Guru could only indicate and guide, for no one could give Self-realization to another.
--- end extract ---

[I thank the author - Sadhu Arunachala (Major Chadwick) - & publishers of above mentioned book, A SADHU’S REMINISCENCES OF RAMANA MAHARSHI, and jainlibrary.org, and have presumed that they (and their heirs) will not have any objections to me sharing the above short extract from their book on this post which is freely viewable by all, and does not have any financial profit motive whatsoever.]

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Ramana Maharishi had no special abhorrence of sex (viewed from lives of Ramana devotees' perspective) - Major Chadwick

An extract from the book, A SADHU’S REMINISCENCES OF RAMANA MAHARSHI, By SADHU ARUNACHALA (Major A. W. Chadwick), ebook available here:
http://www.jainlibrary.org/elib_master/jlib/007501_book_english_41/Sadhus_Reminiscences_of_Raman_Maharshi_007606_std.pdf, is given below. It is from Page 65 of the ebook. Note that in the extract, He refers to Ramana Maharishi.

--- start paragraph extract ---
As regards Satsanga, since we obviously take on the colour of the company we keep, the ideal is to live with a Realized Sage; but if that is not possible, then we should choose our company in the best way we can, avoiding undesirable company. He never taught morals, and had no special abhorrence of sex. He once said in answer to a troubled disciple in my hearing, “It is better to do it than to be always thinking about it.” This reminds one of the Gita, “Thoughts are acts in fancy.” Always thinking of it is repeatedly doing it. He naturally expected Sadhus to lead a decent life and set an example to others. In any case we should practise moderation in all things, even in those that we consider good, and, strange though it may seem, a moderation in our Sadhana also is recommended. Overdoing of austerities and prolonged and unnaturally forced meditation may eventually lead to madness, unless we do such under proper guidance.
--- end paragraph extract ---

[I thank the author - Sadhu Arunachala (Major Chadwick) - & publishers of above mentioned book, A SADHU’S REMINISCENCES OF RAMANA MAHARSHI, and have presumed that they (and their heirs) will not have any objections to me sharing the above short extract from their book on this post which is freely viewable by all, and does not have any financial profit motive whatsoever.]

Signed Change.org petition to PM Modi to stop Madhusudan Naidu SCAM using Sai Baba's name

Last modified on 28-Mar-2017

I signed the following petition around half an hour ago or so (Now it is around 9:00 AM on 26-Mar-2017):
Petitioning Goverment of India Primer Minister Narendra Modi, PM Narendra Modi please Stop Madhusudan Naidu SCAM in Muddenahalli using Sai Baba's name, https://www.change.org/p/p-m-narendra-modi-narendra-modi-stop-madhusudan-naidu-scam-and-fraud-in-muddenahalli-using-sai-baba-s-name

I also made the following comment on the petition:

I support a key part of this petition to Hon'ble PM of India, Shri Narendra Modi, captured in these words of it, "After release from the police these individuals spoke the untruth and started their activities that the medium is speaking through Mr. Madhusudhan Naidu. You may be fully aware that Sathya Sai Baba in many of His discourses clearly denied that He would use any medium or subtle form to talk to His devotees on His behalf."

My view is that Madhusudan Naidu is misguiding thousands of Sathya Sai devotees worldwide using the FALSE CLAIM that he is a so called communicator of Sathya Sai who sees and interacts with an invisible-to-others so called subtle body of Sathya Sai. I request PM Modi to investigate this FALSE CLAIM of Madhusudan Naidu and help to stop Madhusudan Naidu from making this FALSE CLAIM.

As of now (around 11 AM, 28-Mar-2017), the petition has got 932 supporters. Supporters are from India and other countries of the world. Note that the petitioner herself, Mafalda Casas Cordero, seems to be from the USA (state of Alabama as AL is shown next to her name in the petition).

Given below are comment exchanges from Facebook post,
https://www.facebook.com/ravi.s.iyer.7/posts/1882631195286782, associated with this post.

In repsonse to a comment from a UK resident and UK citizen, "How many people need to sign it for the prime minister to turn his head", I (Ravi) responded (slightly edited):

--Name-snipped--, As far as I know, Indian govt. does not have a system like UK where I believe citizens can collectively petition the govt. using an online petition, and the UK govt. is obliged to respond if the petition crosses some threshold of signatures (of UK citizens, I presume) supporting it. But any Indian citizen can write to the PM through a web interface. I tried that in Sept. 2016 with a request to PM to not support Madhusudan Naidu's claim, but it got rejected at the bureaucrat level itself.

Note that this is a change.org petition and not an Indian govt. website petition. Further note that the petition seems to have originated in Alabama state, USA (Sai Mafalda is listed as AL). So the Indian govt. would NOT BE OBLIGED to read and respond to the petition.

However, if the petition is delivered through some contact in the PMO (apparently somebody in the PMO has offered help in this regard), and the petition has, say a thousand signatures from all over the world, I think then the PMO would view it seriously and may look into the matter. Perhaps they will discuss it with the petitioner. And if they are convinced that it is a serious and valid petition they may escalate it to the PM himself. That's how I think it may work. But I could be wrong.

In response to comment, "Legislation system in India is taken from UK isn't it", I (Ravi) responded:

Not really. The constitution of India was drafted in late 40s & early 50s if I recall correctly. Surely British system would have had a lot of influence due to India being under British rule proper since the mid 1850s (British Raj) till 1947. But the constitution seems to have a lot of differences too. Big point is that UK has a monarch as head whereas in India it is a president nominated/elected by members of Parliament for a term.

And then after 1947, India and UK would have different laws being enacted (and repealed) in their respective parliaments. So while there surely are many similarities between UK and Indian systems of government, it is certainly not the same.

--Name-snipped-- wrote:
Indian Constitution came into effect on 26th January,1950. It has adopted many positive features from many Constitutions around the world, especially the British Constitution.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Magnetically attractive and benign power of Sathya Sai displayed so well in pic

The magnetically attractive and benign power of Shiva-Shakti Swarupa, Kali Yuga Avatar, Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba is displayed so well in the pic below. Something would overpower one's being and brain and one would want to rush towards the physical form Sathya Sai! The rush would be just instinctual!

Above pic: Swami in an airplane with Indian air hostesses
Pic courtesy: Brother Clive Raj Valydon, associated Facebook post of his:

To open pic in higher resolution right-click on pic and open pic in separate tab/window.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Recent Interview of Shri Anand Krishna, founder, Anand Ashram, Indonesia on false claim of subtle body by Muddenahalli group

I was sent a Twitter message a few days ago, "@RaviSaiIyer Jai Sai Ram, pls watch n if u like do pls share with all #SathyaSaiDevotees https://www.youtube.com/shared?ci=RujkuIfPNRA … @YouTube",

I watched the video specified and found it to be very interesting as Shri Anand Krishna, founder of Anand Ashram, Indonesia, a devotee of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, and a former Sathya Sai organization member, frankly gives his views on the false claim of so called subtle body and medium (so called communicator) of Muddenahalli group to the interviewer, Ms. Maya Safira. Given below is the video link and associated info.

In the Name of Sri Sathya Sai Baba: Subtle Body Phenomenon (with Indonesian Subtitles/CC), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3FMZJetXE4, 12 min. 16 secs, published March 2nd 2017

I recommend interested readers to watch the video and, if they feel like, to share it with others. Jai Sairam!

Thanks to Shri Anand Sharma for sharing this video with me. Jai Sairam!