My apologies. I had things planned, and then things got interesting. This time I want to talk about some of the mechanics in a different way.
Everyone has probably heard about Amanda Hocking. Amanda couldn’t sell her novels to the New York publishers, so she published them herself on Amazon. She now has a mainstream publishing contract, and she has made a fair bit of money.
This doesn’t mean that everyone who publishes on Amazon is going to make a lot of money. It does give you another option. You to, can do what Amanda did.
I’ve already done it. The first two books in my Copyright Wars series are available for sale on Amazon and Smashwords. I talked to Steve Kane, the President of Warner Music Canada on a Facebook Group, and I gathered that he was less than happy about this. He has good reason, I wasn’t kind to the Big Four record labels.
The important point is that it isn’t that hard. If you are capable of setting up a Facebook account, you are capable of setting up an Amazon or Smashwords vendor account (you really need both). If you can put your family vacation pictures on Facebook, you can put your book on both sites.
Both also make getting an ISBN easy. For Americans this is a big problem. For Canadians it’s a lot simpler. I’m a registered Canadian Publisher, and get my ISBNs free.
While the process didn’t seem hard to me, it might to others. If you want to go forward to publish something yourself, and don’t feel confident, feel free to contact me. Leave a comment here, and we can talk about it.
If you really don’t want to touch the mechanical side, I am going to put together a package where I do the work for you. I don’t have a clue about prices. If there’s anyone who would like someone to do the work for them, and is willing to suggest how much they are willing to pay, we can talk about the details.
Remember that getting your book ready for sale and uploaded is only part of it. You are going to have to do some sort of promotion. To learn about that I recommend reading Kristen Lamb’s blog.
You also have to have written something that people want to read. It is a good idea to get someone who knows what they are doing to edit your book. I’d recommend reading Editing for the Incompetent, which has some good suggestions. To the list I’d add the following:
- When editing turn View Invisibles, and work with all the formatting marks visible. It helps you spot things that otherwise you would miss.
- Change font, and change font size. It makes everything look different, and helps you see things.
- Never work on the original. If you are using Mac OS X Lion, you’ll notice that “Save As” is missing from Pages now. Open Finder, and use it to copy the file.
- Work organized. Every project (fiction or non-fiction) has its own folder. Each folder has a folder labeled Backups inside it, which has old notes, old copies of the files, etc. You never know when something that looked useless five months ago might become important!
I do some editing as well, but on that I’m backed up until at least March 2012. I have fifty books to republish for the Poet Laureate of Temiskaming District, all which need editing, laid out for Ebook format (which is different than lay out for dead tree books – all the work done to publish them in dead tree format was actually a hindrance).
This is fun…
Tuesday September 20, 2011