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The Publisher's Notebook Ltd

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April 8, 2014

The move to self-publish

As a Jamaican writer I am faced with a dilemma, subscribe to the idea of “Buying Jamaican” or seeking the services of overseas suppliers.  I recently finished a book.  When I check with printers locally on the cost of printing 500 copies, I got back quotations in the 250K range.  I thought, “this is ridiculous!”  I would love more than anything to give the work to a local printer, however the cost of doing so is prohibitive.

I recognize that the high cost of electricity is a major contributor to this unfavorable situation.  It needs to be addressed now if the printing business and any other manufacturing business in this country is to survive.  Right now the conversion to solar is almost as prohibitive, but if the government would step in and give concessions on duty for energy saving devices especially solar devices, manufacturers would be in a better position to retool and and reconfigure their electrical grid to solar.  We are NOT SHORT OF SUN in this country.

In Germany, where they do not have nearly the amount of sunshine that we experience, they have set a new record of electricity generation via solar power of  24 GigaWatts up to June of 2013 (  What is it that is stopping the government from pushing this thrust?.  Jamaica experiences an average of 3002 hours of sunlight annually (, which is approximately 8.2 hours per day.  Germany experiences and average of 1600 – 1800 hours of sunlight annually.  If they can produce 24 GW of power with half of what we experience, what say we?

I am not claiming to be an expert on solar technology, but to my layman’s mind I can clearly see how an infrastructure for manufacturing based on solar energy and other renewable energy sources cannot help but be beneficial to the economy of our country on a whole.

Any publisher / printing company who wishes to have a print on demand business in this country is doomed.  They either have to charge prohibitive prices or go out of business.  In this age of internet access, one only has to be committed to spend time in research to find other more cost effective options.  It is a pity though, because I would rather spend the money here and support my country.  Unfortunately, it would not make good business sense.

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