How best to share building instructions for my creations?

Every once in a while I get a request to share building instructions for my models. I am willing to do so, but haven’t quite figured out the best way. I was wondering if people might want to comment and make some suggestions?

Some possibilities for formats are are:

  • LDraw files
  • PDF of instructions generated using LDraw and LDpub
  • Printed instructions in black & white or color

The ugly side of the equation comes when I contemplate compensation.  Do I sell them or just give them away?  I think it depends on how much work I have to put into them.  I won’t go through the trouble of creating printed instructions for free, but I might be willing to share the LDraw files for free (Creative Commons licensed).  The question is, how much would people be willing to pay, and is that enough to justify the work it would take me to prepare nice looking instructions?

5 Comments on How best to share building instructions for my creations?

  1. Hi, Bill. This is an interesting question to me, too.

    In the past, I’ve posted quite a few instructions on Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/anoved/tags/lpub/) as images saved from LPub PDF pages. The current version of LPub can save directly to images. As an experiment, I have also had an LPub instruction PDF printed with Lulu (see http://www.flickr.com/photos/anoved/sets/72157615162512108/ and http://lulu.com/).

    I think the market for finished instructions is much bigger than for raw LDraw files. If I were selling instruction files or booklets, I might provide the LDraw files as a freebies. I’ve posted quite a few on Brickshelf, too, although I have used Brickshelf in a while.

    I’ll be curious to see what you decide!
    Jim

  2. As far as cost, I would offer the LDraw and pdf files for free and work on monetizing the blog. The free content will attract traffic, and the traffic is where you’ll be able to make your money from your effort. Perhaps you could also offer printed instructions for a price, or even publish an entire book of instructions. But it’s the free content that will drive your site. Just my two cents

  3. Hi. My son is trying to build a nutcracker and he is having difficulty with the opening mouth mechanism. Any step-by-step instructions out there somewhere that anyone knows of? No luck so far on any search engines. Thank you.