Much Ado About Publishing

Ahh a new month.  But not just any month!  It’s almost time for Nevermor to be released to the world! I am sooooo excited for this. I’m making my dreams come true and I have a greater sense of confidence and pride in myself. I probably would never have done it except without the support of you all and a nudge from a good friend.

All of you are AWESOME and don’t forget it!!!

It occurs to me – now that I’ve had time to step back and think about it – that I said I’d add some info about the self-publishing process, and yet I haven’t done it. So now that I have a bit of time before the release date, I’m going to do that.

Problem is, I don’t really know where to start… I’ve been doing/looking into so many things lately (plus reading Nevermor over and over again) that I don’t know if I can put it all in order.  I’ll start with saying that so far, the whole process has been very rewarding for me. It’s been an enormous learning experience and I’ve enjoyed being involved in it, and also have liked being in control over what is happening with the book instead of handing it over to some publisher who’d pay me and then butcher the content.

Well, let’s talk a little about what I know about so far: eBook publishing.

I decided that Nevermor will start on Kindle and eventually go to Smashwords as well. Why these choices? Well, Kindle is pretty much the largest seller for ebooks, and on top of that, the process of setting up your document to be ready is SO EASY! The formatting rules are simple, and you don’t have to convert to some fancy EPUB file or something like that. All you have to do is set it up by a few simple rules and you’re ready to go! Of course you have to provide payment information and things like that, but Kindle is different from Nook or Apple in that it let’s you go completely on your own without going through a lot of fuss with setting up to use the service as a publisher. It’s easy, and BAM you’re published. However, because of this, readers may look for indie books and avoid them. I’m afraid of that, but I guess we’ll see.

Smashwords is another good choice. While I don’t feel that Smashwords itself is the best place for book sales, the best thing about it is that you just add an ISBN number (paid by yourself or gotten through Smashwords – the Smashwords ISBN is free, but Smashwords will be listed as your publisher, and I don’t think you can use the ISBN anywhere else. To buy your own is about 100 bucks) and Smashwords will distribute your book to other retailers like Nook and the iStore.

The setup for the document on Smashwords is slightly more complicated, but still it’s not like messing with an EPUB file. Pretty much Smashwords runs your document through a program they call ‘the meat grinder’ (kinda scary really) and spits it out in other formats. I am not sure how the book will look at this point…and some writers are concerned about that, myself included, but it has a good coverage area, and by using Kindle and Smashwords together, I’ll be covering the major ebook bases.

Another great thing: by using these services, you still retain all rights to your books and you can send them anywhere else you like! However, I have heard that it is a pain to get your books withdrawn after you go on Smashwords, because they do not like to go through the trouble of withdrawing from all of their channels once distributed.

Once the book is out there, actually selling it is a different story. I’m not going to get into that right now since I can’t claim to have any authority in that area – yet.

As I’m touching things up with Nevermor and getting ready for the e-release, I’m also looking into different options for bringing the book into print, and that’s a slightly different ballgame.

Here are a few tips and good things about eBooks as opposed to print:

  • For an ebook, you can charge less and yet make more money per sale. Depending on how long your book is, it may cost an outrageous amount to print the book, and readers may not want to pay that price.
  • Ebooks are easier to set up, with no fuss or wait.
  • If you find errors, you can go in and upload a new document easily. In print, if you’ve missed something, it’s there forever.
  • But print books sure are nice…and if your story is good enough, people may want a copy on their shelf. Some people think that print books are going out, but I don’t believe it.  SOME of us like to have print copies of their faves.

I hope this was helpful! I’m sure I’ll be reading and editing up until the very moment of release. I could probably edit for eternity. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve already changed a few things back to the way they were before my last editing round… But it’s alllll part of the process. It’s a artist’s curse to never be completely happy with anything, even if other people think it’s fine. *sigh*

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