Prep and publish a high school graduation book


Why would you do that? Didn’t you already graduate from high school?

But if you were the mother, aunt, or grandparent of a lad or lass about to graduate from high school at the end of this school year or next, would publishing a gift graduation book for them interest you? Or would a friend in that situation be interested? Well, my book by that title tells you how write and publish just that book, an invaluable memento, to give to them at the graduation party so they would have a classy record of that experience forever! (Incidentally, publishing that book would be almost free.)

That’s one reason I wrote How to Create an Unforgettable Gift: A High School Graduation Book a few months ago. If that was all there was to it, I’d simply urge you to buy a copy or tell your friends, and I’d give you a link to the ordering page (like this), and that would be that.

But there’s a lot more because that was only part of the reason I wrote the “high school graduation book.” And how it symbolizes any other book you’ve always wanted to write and get published but never knew how or didn’t want to pay the sizeable printing costs, or didn’t want to learn the publishing means just to be properly in print.

How to Create an Unforgettable Gift: A High School Graduation Book is also a how-to, step-by-step process primer that, at the same time, tells how you can take part in what is almost a miracle in the publishing world.

That’s because a couple of years back a new business model popped up that shows

* how anybody literate and fairly sensible can create a book,
* they can get it published in minutes (ebook) or a couple of weeks (bound edition),
* it will be free (for an ebook) or almost (figure $25) for a bound book,
* the publisher that prints it will also market it (as can you), and
* the author will receive a royalty for every copy sold.

These new producers are called ancillary or open publishers. They include CreateSpace (Amazon), Pubit! (Barnes and Noble), Smashwords (that also sells to iPad), Kindle, Lulu, Blurb, and Scribd. All are P.O.D. publishers of a sort. They will publish all kinds of books: high school graduation, fiction, children’s, cookbooks, poetry, detective, romances, non-fiction, science, travel, wedding, and a dozen more categories.

When I first heard about this flip-flop in the publishing process, I frankly didn’t believe it. I’ve self-published about 35 books since 1981, and none were fast or free! But here were legitimate houses that would accept my ready-to-go final drafts (and covers) and turn out good-looking printed books, without charging me a sou. Then they’d sell them, and pay me. Duh. I hardly had to know anything about publishing. Just write a good book, get it well proofed, and I could publish with one of them, several, or all of them simultaneously. (Most of them would even provide a free ISBN!)

I tried it. I published several books through all of the houses (except Blurb, since they mostly produce art books and the only art I know is Art Jones). The only problem I had with any of them was understanding their techie terminology when I submitted the interior text. So I deciphered those submission steps into easy how-to talk for all of the publishers (except Pubit! which appeared after I was in print, but I do explain in the “high school graduation book”). Then I added a second half of the book, first, about how to write the actual book itself. That book is called How to Get Your Book Published Free in Minutes and Marketed Worldwide in Days.

The book just mentioned shows how to use the new publishing process for any book you write. But I needed an example of a specific book to complete the method, so you could see what you had to do to produce a book for open or ancillary publication, and how you took it from inception through submission and production. So that’s where How to Create an Unforgettable Gift: A High School Graduation Book fits in.

I was watching some kids practicing their graduation ceremony at a local high school and the thought occurred to me, wouldn’t it be a truly unforgettable lifetime gift if the parents or kin of those kids could capture their last year and the graduation in a nice looking, personalized book that they could get published quickly and inexpensively to give as their graduation gift? Duh again. I had just published the very book that explained the open or ancillary publishing miracle. Why not do another book that applies that book’s steps to the very specific task of creating a high school graduation book? And let that second book be a model for almost any other kind of book any person could follow to get their own words and ideas in print—everywhere, with their by-line, and even a few thank-you bucks back in their pocket?

So that’s the purpose of this blog, to tell you what’s available digitally for $4.95 or $10 at the links above or at And if you can’t afford that, send me your name and email address and I’ll send you an ebook version of either or both books free. (That is, if you’ll later mail me a free copy of the book that you produce and publish, autographed, when it appears. To Gordon Burgett, P.O. Box 845, Novato, CA 94948.)

Best wishes,

Gordon Burgett

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