Tag Archives: publishing

A Writer’s Struggle

I often read articles about writing as a business: how to get sales, how to market, is it worth it? Some of these articles say the same thing, and though I would hope against the truth, much of what I find is the same.

No. Published or otherwise, a writer may not be able to support herself just by writing books. If you’re making money as a writer, it’s not because you’re writing fiction. You’re writing non-fiction How To books and freelance articles for blogs, dealing with subjects that don’t matter to you at all.

I’ll be honest: Lately, I’ve been thinking about giving up. In fact, I’ve been at that place many times in my life. It’s always just a phase, but the truth remains: I’m not able to support myself as a writer, and I may never be.

Writing has been a struggle for a while now. I’d say it has been for the past 2 years since I started my current job. It’s not always a question of what I should write – I do have a few ideas put back – but it’s finding the time and focus when there is so much else going on. At some point you realize that you’re an adult with an adult life, and no matter how you slice it, a part of having an adult life is always going to be bills.

The honest truth is that what you do with your life all comes down to money – the stress of needing money from somewhere and not making enough to pay those dreaded bills. And this applies to doing anything you love. Sometimes you just can’t manage to get paid for it.

In the midst of these thoughts, I was out one night after work, thinking that I just couldn’t do it anymore. I wondered if all my effort was worth it, and if I gave up writing, could I move forward? What else was out there? I looked at my phone and saw that someone had tagged me on Twitter. I checked it out and there was a link that led me to Instagram. There, I saw a picture of the books in my Nevermor trilogy. A book blogger was doing a post challenge, and when asked which author she would like to meet, she chose me.

I actually started tearing up. It just meant so much to me to see my books like that, in print and in someone’s possession. To have someone say that they love my work certainly makes me feel that I don’t regret what I’ve done and am doing.

It really does seem that every time I start feeling down, something like this comes along to lift me back up. What I am doing is not at all for naught, though it has been difficult to find time for it.

Things are harder now. My day job requires so much attention that I can’t even think about anything else, develop plots or ideas. I have approximately one serious writer friend, and now we have both become so wrapped up in having day jobs that we barely talk, let alone write together. Lately and for a while, the only thing my brain can think about is making money. How can I make money with my books, and do people really do that? From what I’ve read, even most published writers struggle.

The truth is, I don’t need too much to live right now. That may mean a downgrade from the life I’m currently living, but I believe I could do it. I think I could be perfectly happy without a job, but how to get there? What is enough for happiness?

I have 10 books for sale right now – 10 beautiful books – and a few more that I wrote in my twenties and haven’t released yet. I honestly want nothing more than to be able to support myself with writing.

The night after the Instagram pic, I dreamed an entire plot, and I was so excited about it! It felt so good to know that there was still something there, almost like a sign, that my own mind was telling me ‘we’ve still got it’.

I’ve started thinking: maybe writing can still be accomplished if I try to make time in my life for everything. A schedule. Everything has a time and place. Because of how inspiration strikes, this may not be completely possible, but there must be some way to organize this instead of me wasting so much time moping because I’m unhappy and worrying that the spark is gone. That happens when you overthink everything.

I’m happy to say that I’m writing again, and it feels good. Does it erase all the stresses that life in modern society brings? No. But maybe with more effort and learning, I can finally get to a place where everything balances out. I’m looking forward to finding that.


Project Nevermor Kickstarter Info – Prizes

Some of you may not have seen this yet, but I posted it on the Project Nevermor site yesterday and also made a video of it, but just in case, I wanted to post this info here as well.

This post details the process of donating on Kickstarter (totally simple) and what rewards you will be able to get for donation amounts.  Check it out and go donate!  (I really really need more backers!)


(The video pretty much explains everything that it says below….except the last part.)

I’m going to explain a bit about how Kickstarter works.  Basically, you pledge a certain amount to a project and the amount is collected from you at the end of the campaign.  All you need in order to donate is an Amazon account, which most people already have.  The amount pledged determines the rewards you can earn.  At any time, you can alter the amount of your pledge, but no money will be collected until the end.  You can only donate once, which will make you an official backer of the project, but you can raise the amount of your pledge at any time.  As a backer, you’ll get all updates I post concerning the project.

Keep two things in mind: if I don’t reach my goal, no money will be collected, no prizes will be given, and basically all be very sad. But, if I reach and hopefully surpass my goal, you will all have access to something special at the end of the campaign. I’m keeping not a secret for now.

 Also, please don’t pledge money that you don’t have! Even if the goal is reached, if Amazon can’t collect the funds when the time comes, the project is thrown out and I get nothing. So don’t offer up more than you have JUST to fill the bar.

 Okay! Now, on to what you really want to know about: the rewards!

 If you looked at the Kickstarter page, you probably notice that the minimum pledge for Project Nevermor is $1. Also, the tier levels will transfer down, so if you pledge a higher amount, you also get the prizes below that.

 Let’s start at the lowest tier.

 I regret that I couldn’t offer a prize for a donation under $9, however, that doesn’t mean that a dollar is not important. Those dollars are SO important, in fact, that if every one of my Wattpad fans donated just ONE DOLLAR, I will have almost reach my goal.  So, they add up.  Just remember that every dollar gets us closer to the goal, AND also closer to the secret reward that will come at the end if the goal is reached.

 For a pledge of $10, you will get an e-book copy of Forsaken Dreamscape through Smashwords.  For those who know, this is the second book in the Nevermor trilogy, which I plan to release early next year. This prize will be sent as soon as the book is published, and will keep you from having to buy it later. I like Smashwords because there are many different formats that you can download for different devices such as Kindle, Nook, and you can even read it on your PC.

 For a pledge of $15, you get the prize I just mentioned, plus, you get an e-book copy of Nevermor through Smashwords.  Since Nevermor has already been released, I will be sending these out immediately after the campaign is over.  So you can be reading Nevermor while you are waiting for Forsaken Dreamscape to be released.

 For a pledge of $20, you get the two e-books and a set of 5 x 7 postcards featuring Nevermor art by artist Omri Koresh, including the never-before-seen Forsaken Dreamscape cover. This is what one of them looks like. Currently, there are two of these postcards, but another might be added before the end of the campaign.  Right now, these are limited, and this campaign is your only way of getting your hands on these.

For the next tier, a pledge of $25, you get all the items I just mentioned, of course, plus the postcards will be SIGNED. They will be hand signed by me, not preprinted. You also get a two-sided Nevermor bookmark featuring the art from the first and second book covers. (hold up) . This is the front, I’m not showing you the back.

For a pledge of $30, you will get all that, plus the PRINT version of Nevermor in paperback.

Like the last tier, for a pledge of $35 , I will SIGN the print copy of Nevermor.

Moving on, for a pledge of $45 or more, in addition to all that I just mentioned, you will get the print version of Forsaken Dreamscape, which of course will not be released until next year. However, you will get the ebook version when it is released, and can be reading while the print version is being shipped.

 As has been the pattern, a pledge of $50 gets your copy of Forsaken Dreamscape SIGNED.

The reward for a donation of $60 will get you all that I just mentioned, plus an e-book copy of Forsaken Dreamscape Deluxe Edition. I don’t know how many of you know my plans for this, but this exclusive e-book version will include the Forsaken Dreamscape, Nevermor version, AND the old Forsaken Dreamscape, PETER PAN version. This is an edited version of the fanfiction story, but only so far as correcting errors.  The contents will be the same, and the characters will be those created by J.M. Barrie instead of how I renamed them.  Even though I’m doing this as a sort of bonus, I still don’t regret changing it to Nevermor.  I still think it’s better in its new form, but I know many fans are still attached to the old version.  I don’t intend for it to be published on its own, but it’s going to be included in this Deluxe Edition of Forsaken Dreamscape. The release date for this is unknown as of yet, but it is planned for some time next year, and you will receive it in ebook form when it is.

 For pledge of $80, you will get everything, plus a hardback version of Nevermor, and it will be signed. The hardback does not exist yet. This was one of the things I was hoping to do with the funds that are raised through this kick starter program. But this pledge will still get you the paperback version as well.

 Now for the big prize.  For a pledge of $100, you get the Nevermor mother lode. You get everything I mentioned; anything I can possibly put my name on will be signed; you also get Forsaken Dreamscape as a hardcover, AND you will get a special dedication in Forsaken Dreamscape for being a Kickstarter donor!  I haven’t decided exactly how I’m going to do the dedication yet, but what I’m thinking right now is that you will be mentioned, by name, at the beginning of the book where it will say ‘this book is dedicated to…’. This would be a great gift for yourself, or if you know someone who is a Forsaken Dreamscape fan, you can have their name put in the dedication instead! This list will appear in all versions of the book, and of course will be there for you when you get your print copies.

 At this point, some of you might be thinking ‘some of these prizes don’t do me any good. I’ve already gotten the e-book and the print book of Nevermor.’ Well, you can simply pass them on to someone else, , or I will give you the opportunity to opt out of any of the prizes that you don’t wish to receive. OR if you simply want to help out the project, but don’t want anything in return, you can opt out of prizes completely.

 Remember that you don’t have to have the money right this minute in order to pledge. It won’t be collected until later.

Rewards will be delivered in one package, so if your package includes copies of Forsaken Dreamscape, your rewards will not be delivered until it is released, to save on postage. The postage is covered unless otherwise noted. The ebooks, however will be sent to you as soon as possible while you wait.

 I think that about does it. If you have any questions, feel free to ask and I’ll try to answer as best I can.

 I hope you all will share and help spread the word about Project Nevermor!


To my international fans: One of my biggest issues during the publishing process is that I have a lot of international fans, and I’ve struggled with the thought that not all of them will have access to my books.  Some of the prizes have been made available to you. I plan to send the ebooks to anyone I possibly can, and the signed postcards will also be available to you with an additional shipping cost, but the heavier books are a little iffy, and I’m not sure about shipping. I feel a little weird about setting a standard shipping price, because it just doesn’t cost the same to ship to every country.

I’m still trying to look into this, so maybe I can some up with something soon. I’ll have to add additional shipping costs to the amount of the donations, but first I need to figure out exactly how much that will have to be.

So much to do!

Project Nevermor is now LIVE on Kickstarter!

kickstarter logoToday is the day!  I have so much to do! First, of course, I had to change up the blog a bit to update this change!

I hope you all are excited to help me out as I press through the next 29 days of this project!

I could tell you more, but I want you to check it out for yourself. Here’s the link:http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/20196376/project-nevermor

Head on over, watch the video and check out the rewards!

(in the future, you can simply click the widget on the sidebar to visit the project)

I’ll be updating soon through this blog and also hope to have exclusive posts through the actual Kickstarter site, which you’ll only be able to get if you’re a backer of the project (minimum $1 pledge). I also have a couple of explanatory videos that I’ll be channeling in from Youtube which talk about all the prizes and such, so all that should keep you entertained for a bit.

Sorry this post is so short! I’ll be back with more info soon!


Kickstarter Proposal

Okay! I’ve finally gotten a bit of new info on this Kickstarter project I want to get going. It’s not ready yet, but I have at least gotten some ideas together for what I’d like to do with it.


I haven’t completely figured out what I want to set my goal at, but I’m not going to aim too high. Right now, I’m considering somewhere around $2500. I can always raise more than my goal, which will allow me to do more with marketing the books, but if I don’t reach my goal, I won’t get anything.

This is the most important note: if I don’t reach my goal, then I will not receive any money at all. No one is required to pay, but also no gifts will be given. The whole thing will be thrown out.

So keep that in mind.

This amount will allow me to publicize at least one of the books, purchase Kirkus Indie Reviews for Nevermor and Forsaken Dreamscape, help out with the cost of cover art, allow me to start having my books printed by Lightning Source, and allow me to  start a marketing campaign for Nevermor.

Any extra money I can get will be used for further marketing/artwork/reviews for the Nevermor series/booktrailers, and possibly a website, but I do not intend to use the money for any of my other books aside from this series, and I will not use the money for personal uses.

The minimum donation amount will be $1. The largest, I think, will be $100.

The Proposal:

In my last post, I mentioned something about writing a new Nevermor book to help push this project along. I was considering writing this book anyway, and I thought this might be the perfect way to get myself going on it.

In addition to the gifts that you will be able to earn, you will also be getting chapters of an all new book posted on Wattpad for free! Basically, gaining units in Kickstarter will get new chapters posted.

I haven’t decided how I want the writing to go yet. I don’t know if I want to write in advance and post as the donations come in, or if I want to let the donations drive me to write. I’ll have to think about it a bit.

This new Nevermor book is currently going under the name A Sea of Dreams and Nightmares, and is going to detail the events directly before the Nevermor trilogy begins.

In this book, I’m going to be focusing on a period of time that is only vaguely referred to in Nevermor. Rifter and the boys are going to take the spotlight, and though Wren is not in this book, it’s still going to be awesome. (I just can’t get enough of them young, and I wanted to write another book in this vein before moving on to Forsaken Dreamscape which, as most know, changes things.)

In summary, this book is going to deal with some of these unanswered questions from Nevermor: What happened to the last boy, Cyprus, and why does Nix have so much of a grudge against Rifter for Wren’s sake? What happened the last time Rifter met up with the Scourge? What was life like for the boys before Wren came into their lives? And just exactly how evil is the Scourge?

It’s going to be an edge-of-your-seat, cutthroat action/adventure, with your favorite set of brutal, fun-loving boys… And I promise that there will be a bit of romance on the sideline, even if it doesn’t involve Rifter and Wren.

I don’t intend for this book to contain any serious spoilers for Nevermor. Like I said, this is a companion piece, so the things you learn in this book will be minor compared to what Nevermor offered. Still, it should fill in several blanks and just simply be an entertaining story.

So! Get excited! It should be in the works soon!


Now on to what you’ve all be waiting for! A cool thing about Kickstarter is that you’re getting something in return for the money you give. Gifts and prizes will be offered for certain dollar donations, and below is my current proposal for that. (It may change.)

By the way, the prizes roll over, so if you donate a higher dollar amount, you will also get the gifts in the tier below.


Less than $10: You are aiding in bringing chapters of A Sea of Dreams and Nightmares to Wattpad for you and others to read for free!

$10: Smashwords copy of A Sea of Dreams and Nightmares (after the campaign is over and the book is complete)

$15: above and Smashwords copy of Nevermor (will receive within 24 hours)

$25 above and a set of postcards featuring Nevermor cover/character art

$30: above and print version of Nevermor (to be mailed at end of campaign)

$35 above and signed print version of Nevermor (replaces print version in the above, so it is not 2 copies)

$40: above and Nevermor cover art poster

$45: above and SIGNED Nevermor cover art poster

$50: above and never-before-seen Forsaken Dreamscape cover art poster

$60: all of the above plus print version of A Sea of Dreams and Nightmares, signed

$100: Nevermor mother load: all above and print version of A Sea of Dreams and Nightmares, and an advanced print copy of Forsaken Dreamscape, all signed


That concludes what I have set up currently. I don’t know when this will actually happen – maybe June or July if I can swing it, but I have a few more things to figure out first.

Be sure to let me know if you have any thoughts! I’m interested to hear from you!

Evaluation of CreateSpace book/second proof coming

Some of you are probably curious about self-publishing, and maybe you can’t decide which route to go, or if you are wanting to get a book printed, who has the best service? Here is my review of my book, NEVERMOR, which I had printed through CreateSpace. This is how I feel about the service and the product.

The Setup: As with all of these self-publishing things, it’s good to be a bit computer savvy. I don’t know all there is to know about computers, but I can feel my way around. You can pay someone through CreateSpace to set up the files for you – starting at $200+. And that doesn’t mean editing. It means setting the files up properly for print! I decided to do it myself, and with my moderate level of understanding, I found it pretty easy. It’s a matter of setting up your Word document like they describe (they even provide size templates), and then uploading the file into an “interior previewer” program which will show you your formatting mistakes. My most common were gutter errors. Some fonts are not supported, and the program will chastise you for that as well, but it will replace fonts it doesn’t recognize with something else. If you want your own fonts to stick, you have to convert to PDF yourself. I chose not to go through the trouble and simply replace some of my fonts.

The main annoyance: I got a lot of gutter errors and wasn’t sure why. I didn’t figure this out until just now, but the file converts to PDF for you, and even if you use THEIR template, the file does not convert directly over. For example, your page 1 may not have the same amount of words on it as it does in the interior viewer, and by the time you get to the end, there are more pages than you thought. This caused gutter errors for me, but once I figured it out, I was able to fix it.

So, ease of setup: Easy-Medium.

The Cover: Overall, I only had two issues with the way the book turned out (minor ones) and both have to do with the outside, so let’s start with that.

I’m not going to go into how IDSC08625 set up the cover file myself, but THAT caused me some trouble and was the most annoying thing about the whole process, I feel. The cover, spine and back have to be one image, and it has to be centered and in PDF format for it to work, or else you can use a cover from CreateSpace or have them make you one…for another hefty price that starts at 250 for a basic one and goes all the way to $1000 for an original illustration. I hired an artist from outside to illustrate a cover for me, and paid wayyy less. As you can see, it’s freaking awesome.

Anyway, moving on to the actual product.

Resolution: The resolution of the cover image was slightly less than I hoped it would be. It’s not much less, but I’m pretty sure it’s not quite as crisp as the original image. Still, it looks good anyway, so I’m not seething over it. I’m happy. Also, I think the coloring is just slightly different – and felt that the back cover was a bit darker than what I sent (I’ll be revising some of this so maybe I won’t have this issue again with the second proof.

DSC08639The Spine: My main problem has to do with the spine of the book. I provided my own cover based on a template that CreateSpace generated, which was based on the number of pages in my book. I followed that template down to the pixel, and yet when I got the book, the spine is not aligned properly. See? You can’t tell from the front because the spine is so similar, but on the back, you can see where it bleeds over. I’m going to try to fix this, but it is not done by following their template.

But on a plus side for the binding, there is a crDSC08640ease down the front and back, near the spine. When I first saw it, I was like “ewwww I don’t like that” but after I actually opened up the book to read it, I decided that it was pretty cool. If you’re like me (I don’t know how many people are) but I treat my paperbacks like they’re babies, and am against creasing them in any way! Especially the spine! I don’t even like fingerprints on them, but that’s my issue. Anyway, these creases on the front keep the spine from being creased. Will the cover wear in those creases on the front? Yes, I think so. With a lot of bending (complete bending) I think these creases will probably turn white and mar the front of the book. Judge this as you will.

Some people believe that books are no good unless they have been sullied, written in or otherwise “loved” but I just can’t bring myself to hurt a book. When I finish reading, more than likely the book still looks like it came from the store. So, I do like these creases, but that’s my opinion.

The Inside: The inside looks great and I didn’t have a problem with anything about how it was printed.

Paper: The paper is nice quality, and thick. The printing is good quality and it looks exactly as I formatted it (could be for better or worse, depending on the type of editor you are). The only thing was that I chose WHITE PAPER instead of cream, and I am going to change it. It looks fine, but in some light (like natural sunlight) the light reflects off the white page so much that it is blinding. So, cream colored paper it is. I think it will be easier on the eyes.DSC08641

Speed: The printing was really fast. I expected it to take several days, but actually the book was received and printed and shipped the same day! I had it in my mailbox by the end of the week. Very fast!

Quality: The overall quality of the book is really good for a paperback, and I’m very pleased.The binding is solid, the pages are nice and thick, the printing looks great and as a whole it looks very professional.

Overall, I think this paperback looks better/is better quality than most of the ones I have on my shelf, produced by the big-money publishers. I give it a thumbs-up!


In other news, I finished reading my proof of Nevermor, corrected a few things and changed some of the layout. Now it’s time to order the second proof and see how it looks – which will probably require me to read it AGAIN, but that’s okay. I want this done right. With any luck, it will be perfect this time, and then the book will be made available to you! EXCITED! Finally I am reaching the end of my journey with this book!

So now, what is next? As most of you know, I have MANY books that need publishing, and not just Forsaken Dreamscape! I’m going to use this blog to mostly talk about the Nevermor series, but just to let you know, you’re probably going to be seeing another book from me before the end of the year. 🙂 At least one more! :O

How Much Does it Cost to Self-Publish? Answered! (sort of)

As I’ve been working on my book, NEVERMOR, and getting it ready for self-publishing, I’ve been looking into many different publishing/marketing ideas. I’m sure that there are many things that I haven’t discovered,  but there is one thing that all of us who are going out on our own are concerned about:

How much does it cost?

This is the question that everyone wants to know the answer to. Unfortunately, the answer isn’t so simple. I say it depends on the person and what you hope to accomplish. It might cost you nothing, or else you might potentially spend thousands!!!

Let me tell you about how it could, theoretically, cost you nothing to publish an ebook – or even a print book: Find a service that only takes a cut of your royalty, but you don’t have to pay them up front. Like Amazon’s Kindle and CreateSpace – or Lulu.com. With these simple programs, pretty much all you have to do is write the book, throw a cover on it and set your price. You might get lucky and a few people will buy it, but if you don’t take other measures, you risk your book slipping into obscurity.

There are also free ways to promote, like Facebook (to people you already know) or Twitter (for people who follow you) but how can you make a real impact for your book? Can you really do that for free? There are ways, I’m sure, but even some of the “cheaper” ways to promote yourself still cost something.

Here are a few things I’ve spent money on so far, or considered for the future (perhaps not a lot of money, but it adds up):

wattpadCover Image: My current image was made using stock photos. I wanted it to look original, so I combined several images into one.  I don’t have an enormous understanding of computer art programs, but I at least like to think that I have an artistic eye. Perhaps you have neither, or you have both better than I do. Excellent. Making your own cover is a great way to knock out a lot of the cost. To have an artist or service make one for you could cost….well, anywhere from a couple hundred to a thousand depending on the service or what the artist charges! Choose your route carefully, because your book cover is going to HEAVILY influence sales. Maybe that’s something that you’re willing to spend a chunk on.  I know I’m not the only one who has judged a book by its cover before. Yes, we’re all guilty. HOWEVER, most stock images cannot be used for Print-on-demand services of something you are selling, but are okay for an eBook. Be sure to read the fine print.

Book Trailer: I made mine myself from stock images which I had to purchase, but they are fairly inexpensive. You can get 5 from Shutterstock for $50. I tried to make the trailer with as few images as possible and yet still give it a large impact. I used a few images I had already purchased (like the ones from my book cover), bought more, and dedicated my own time to putting it together, but I’m sure that was about $100 or so in images right there. You can hire someone to make a trailer for you if you aren’t computer savvy, or just don’t know what to do, but most of these services that I’ve seen are upwards of $300.

Here is the final product, in case you’re interested to see how it turned out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=jbGhOEWuFjE

ISBN: With Kindle, you don’t need an ISBN. For CreateSpace and Smashwords distribution, you do. Some of these services will provide you one for FREE when you use their service, but this company will be listed as the publisher of the book. So far, I am not sure what effect that has on anything. You still retain rights to your book, but will it cause problems later? If, for instance, a larger publisher wants to pick up your book?  No idea, but a fresh  ISBN will be around $100.

Business Cards: I’ve had a few cards printed so that I could easily distribute an advertisement whenever I saw an opportunity. I got mine through Vistaprint, and it was a fairly inexpensive service. It was around $17 for 250 cards, in color, front and back. Not a bad price, but yet I wonder if that expense will pay off – other than it just being so cool.

Copyrighting: Technically, your book is protected by copyright as soon as you write it, (at least in the US) but if you want to make it completely official, then you should register it with the library of congress. Currently, the fees for this standard action are around $65.

Facebook Ad: I’m not going to pretend to understand the elusive Facebook Ad. You can set it up for however much you want to spend, and Facebook will decide what your money will get you. It’s very vague, in my opinion, but I’ll find out shortly, because I put $100 on one that’s scheduled to run along the same time as the NEVERMOR release, so I’ll see what that gets me, if anything.

Other costs? Well, there is the possibility of further cost. You can pay for editing (which I’ve chosen to do myself), marketing packages (which vary depending on who you get them from) and then there is actually getting the book printed if you don’t go through a print-on-demand service, a chunk which could be quite expensive up front.

In the end, it can get pretty darn expensive. Is it all going to be worth it? Will I at least get back what I’ve spent? I guess time will tell. Still, I’ve resolved that it’s worth it to try – to put myself out there and see where it takes me. I’m lucky that I’m not a complete unknown.  I at least have a small fan-base to help me get a jump start.

I do want to be successful, but I think, more than anything, I just want to have my book in my hands and know that it’s out there in the world. Seems like a lot of effort and money just to do that, but it’s been a learning experience that I’ve enjoyed, and if nothing else, a fun hobby.

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*