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Friday, 21 November 2008

DIY book takes off

Ed Yong, ABSW member, freelance writer and information officer at Cancer Research UK, has done his own thing in publishing a book based on his blog Not Exactly Rocket Science.

Ed says that Not Exactly Rocket Science - the BOOK!!!! "covers a wide range of biological areas – Mexican-waving bees, snow-making bacteria, viruses of viruses, the psychology of voting, the neuroscience of jazz, binge-drinking shrews, the evolution of language, super-sharks, climate-changing beetles and more".

Ed decided to publish the book himself, using Lulu, which was, he says, "ridiculously easy". He is also honest about his reasons: "I'd written all these pieces for my blog and it felt like a straightforward thing to do to compile them into a printed version that would hopefully reach a wider audience of "people wot don't read blogs". Some extra returns for minimal extra effort."

Ed says that Lulu appealed because it "doesn't charge upfront fees so there's no financial risk". He warns that "have to do all the bits yourself (design cover, write blurb, typeset, proofread, compile index, etc.etc.)". Then you just upload the thing.

"The faffy stuff," as Ed puts it, "took longer than I expected but the writing had all been done already. And it was fun."

"Not Exactly Rocket Science" costs a mere £9.99 from Lulu. At least one ABSW member welcomed the book as a chance to ease their shopping for Christmas presents.

Now we just have to see if anyone is willing to review self-published books. Then again, self publishing does mean that the author has to stump up the cost of review copies.