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Posts Tagged ‘Self-printed’

I wanted to pass on this link for an ebook sales report just in case some of you missed it:

http://news.yahoo.com/e-books-sales-soar-2011-063045986.html

I think this is extremely positive for self-publishers who have trouble selling their print books. Even though the type of publisher is not specified, I’m assuming they surveyed the big publishers. I would love to see a study if self-publishers’ ebook sales are up as well. Any ebooks sales help out self-publishers though, since it shows that the public is drifting from shopping in the big chain bookstores and searching online where self-publishers like me stand a chance.

The future of publishing will still be a mix of traditionally published and self-published novels, and print books right now still dominate, but it’s good to see that ebook sales are steadily increasing. If you are a self-publisher or debating self-publishing, this increase will only work in your favor. This is especially promising if you are a young adult novelist.

Well, off to the beach 🙂

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From one of my FAVORITE movies ever (Dumb and Dumber):

Lloyd: What do you think the chances are of a guy like you and a girl like me ending up together?

Mary: Well, that’s pretty difficult to say.

Lloyd: Hit me with it! I’ve come a long way to see you, Mary. The least you can do is level with me. What are my chances?

Mary: Not good.

Lloyd: You mean not good like 1 out of a 100?

Marry: I’d say more like 1 out of a million.

Lloyd: So you’re telling me there’s a chance. YEEah!

So this pretty much sums up how I feel about self-publishing. In the vast sea of  books, my book is like throwing a pebble into that sea. I should be worried about how I’ll get my book seen among so many, yet, I feel just like Lloyd right now.

YEEah!

Why? Because I’m optimistic.

  • I’ve reached all my pre-launch goals.
  • I had a great launch day where I made some sales that weren’t actually friends or family (love you whoever you are!).
  • My early reviewers left fantastic reviews (thank you all so much!).
  • My crit partner, Bethany Yeager, wrote this truly amazing blog review (you have my undying gratitude).
  • I sent out like fifty ebooks to reviewers and already ten have promised me reviews within a few months.
  • Plus, I’ve got some promotional tools up my sleeve that I’ll use in the next few months.

So, I’m trying to think of sales like a swine flu…you infect one person who goes spreading it around to others and you have an outbreak. I’m happy to take this one reader at a time. I’m going to continue with Lloyd’s optimism for now, because I think it’s much better than looking back and saying,

“I could’ve been a contender.”

(PS remember to join the $20 Amazon gift card giveaway if you haven’t already!)

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Oh, it’s the time I dread most of all. Book reviewers! I feel like I’m turning my term paper in and most of my grade depends upon it. There is something so scary about sending your baby off to someone who is going to look your it over and point out all the flaws to the public. Hopefully, you chose carefully enough that you pick the right match for your book but anything can happen after you hit the send button.

I’ve found that most reviewers have three-month backlists, so the sooner you send them your book the better. The process is very similar to agent querying: you need to check each reviewers guidelines and follow it to the tee. They all want different formats, but I found that the Smashwords coupon was the most accepted form and the easiest. Another great reason to upload on Smashwords. It took me most of the day, reading the kindle boards for suggested reviewers, finding good matches, and submitting to them.

Here is a list I’ve gathered of indie book reviewers:
Motherlode

Readers Favorite

SF Book Reviews (Submisions closed until 2012)

The Tattered Scroll

The Fantasy Book Critic

The Self-Publishing Review (Costs $40, but you’re allowed to decide to publish review)

POD People

The New Podler Review of Books  (Submisions closed until 2012)

The Compulsive Reader

The Indie Spotlight

Rambles.net

Books on the Knob

Candy’s Raves

Fyrefly’s Book Blog

Good Book Alert

Adarna SF

Doubleshot Reviews

To Publish or Not to Publish

Daily Ebook Reviews

…and for an amazing list of book reviewers that I have yet to attack here.

A few say they won’t review the book if it’s less than three stars–these I like. The ones that can be brutal and will point out all the problems, are the ones I’m worried about. But negative press is better than no press at all, right? Oh, I hope so.

Do you know of any other book reviewers (large or small) that are willing to review a fantasy indie book? Let us know.

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First of all, I had a great response for book reviewers. Thank you all so much. There’s still one more ebook to giveaway so pm me if you’re still interested!

I thought it might be a good time to show a run down of what it cost me to get this book published if anyone was curious.

Expenses so far:

Music donation for book trailer= $20

Photos for my book trailer= $60

Ebook cover= $150

Full print cover= $30

Chapter vignette graphic= $15

Ebook formatting files= $150

Smashwords formatting file= $50

Print formatting file= $100

Extra formatting since I added the bibliography after the fact= $75

ISBN #’s = $250 (for ten and I used two for the ebook and print) = $50

Bar code for print version= $25

Editing = $375

Copyediting = $175

Website (per year for domain)= $25

Grand Total= $1,300

Obviously, you could do this for less money if you forgo a book trailer, format yourself, or decide not to make a print version.

So if I sell my book for $2.99, and at the very least make $1.79 a copy with premium catalog retailers, than I will have to sell around 727 ebooks to break even. Who says algebra wouldn’t come in handy later?

Selling 727 ebooks is my first goal. No matter how long it takes, this will be the carrot I’ll dangle above my head.  That breaks down to 60 ebooks a month, 15 ebooks a week, to 2 ebooks a day. 2 ebooks a day! That is completely possible. Plus, if I sell my print version it will help get there even faster.

Writing is so fulfilling for me, so to break even will make it possible to keep going. It would be great if I made money, but if I can at least not lose money with my passion than that is all I can hope for.

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The good news is that my second proof arrived and this time the cut of the book is perfect.

The bad news is that I’ve come across a change that I will need to go back to my formatter for and I hope he can work on quickly. I decided (hopefully not too late) that I need to include a bibliography in the back of my book.

Most traditionally published historical fiction authors don’t include a bibliography, but that is usually due to the publisher not wanting to pay for those extra pages. However, in this electronic age, it seems much more cost-effective to post up sources on your book’s website and direct your readers there through a mention in your forward. So this is what I planned.

This weekend though, I spoke to my editor who advised me to add a bibliography to be extra safe. I don’t hesitate to include my sources, in fact, I wish I could use footnotes to cite historic events. I would love my reader to see that many of my ideas, details, and events are actually inspired by true accounts. Although, most readers seem to detest the interruption of footnotes in fiction. The last thing I would want to do is to disengage my reader so I have restrained myself from citing. I decided to include an interactive page where my reader can click on links to sources that will further educate the reader. I planned to use this page to give credit to my excellent sources as well, but I realize that I should also include my sources within the book to be sure I acknowledge to each reader that I was inspired and informed by those talented non-fiction writers.

I have to hurry my bibliography and get it off to my formatter now so that I can approve yet another proof. I am getting down to the wire now and I might have to put-off some of the less critical tasks to do this right.

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Less than a month to go!

This was taken from my count down post back in July. Let’s check my status and see if anything needs to be added:

1) Get the MS back from the editor-make all changes and send it back out for second check

🙂  Check

2) Create LLC and small press publishing name: Rock Castle Publishing

🙂  Check

3) Send blurb out on forums to get feedback

🙂  Check (so helpful)

4) Send cover out to forums to get feedback

🙂  Check

5) Make final changes to book and send out to second copy editor (it’s always good to get two pairs of eyes to catch everything)

🙂  Check

6) Make final changes and read through to make sure it’s perfect (last chance!)

🙂  Check

7) Sign up and register for copyright

  😦  Still need to do this. Appears I have to have a publish date to do this.

8)  Buy 10 ISBNs (I’ll probably get 10 since I have a series and many more books planned)

🙂  Check

9) Work with my graphics designer to make the POD cover with author photo and book description

🙂  Check (I scrapped the author photo & bio–I didn’t like how it looked)

10) Send out to book formatter for B&N, Smashwords, and POD (Create space) formatting

🙂  Check (shows how much I knew about this- it’s termed epub, mobi, smashword, and pdf files)

11) Send out to book reviewers to review around launch date

  😦  Ah! I still need to do this and it scares me :0

12) Get quotes from positive reviewers to put on the back of the book & website

  😦  Still need to do this (hopefully there will be one or two positive reviews or at least snippets taken from negative reviews I can salvage)

13) One month before release send out trailer on all writer’s forums

🙂  I actually decided not to do this. I’ve realized it’ll be best to post up the trailer and description when I can point people to where they can buy it. I’ve heard people comment how annoying it is to read a promo to realize there’s no live link to purchase.

14) Ask close bloggers to review my book on their blogs or send out the word of the release

  😦  Still need to do this–*wink* at my blogger friends reading this.

15) Look up all relevant blogs and ask to guest post

  😦  Still need to do this

16) Put up the book for pre-order on Amazon.com

  😦  I need to check if this is even an option

17) When it’s released send out notification on forums, blogs, and websites

  😦  Still need to do this

18) Get second book out in a few months!

  😦  Still need to do this, but I’m getting it back from my editor any day now 🙂

Add:

  😦  Get a Tax ID number

  😦  Open a bank account in my publishing company’s name

  😦  Upload and publish on Smashwords

  😦  Read through and approve second proof & finalize the Create Space account

  😦  Finalize the Historical Info and post on my blog

  🙂  Offer ten people a free ebook copy a couple of weeks prior on my blog in hopes of leaving reviews (positive or negative)

  🙂  Launch book on 11-11-11 with a fun giveaway

I better get busy!



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Front Cover (eek!)

Back Cover

Spine

First Page

Chapter 1

Random Page

I can’t believe it. This day has come. I saw the small book-sized package on my front step and I couldn’t remember what book I’d ordered. Upon opening it I could hardly breathe…

my proof had arrived!

It was such a strange surreal moment. As if something you had only imagined had materialized right before your eyes by some white magic. As if you wanted something so badly that it wished its way into the world.

Now, that’s not obviously what happened since I have been toiling away trying to bring this book to life –revising, beta-ing, work-shopping, editing, copyediting, formatting, and uploading, but it suddenly felt like it just appeared out of no-where on my front step.

I’d heard on other self-published writer’s blogs that you shouldn’t expect a bookstore quality version in print, that they have bleeds, pages askew, smudges, shiny thin covers and poorer quality paper, but I was incredibly impressed.

The 5.5″ x 8.5″ size feels wonderful with its hearty 280 pages. Yes, the cover’s shiny, but I thought it looks like many of the shiny covered Grisham/Patterson novels in my bookshelf. The cream paper is a perfect thickness and all of the print was smudge-less and straight. My mother was with me when I opened it and both of our jaws dropped with how professional it looked and felt. It was only when my husband saw it that he pointed out one flaw — the cut was slightly narrower at the top than at the bottom. Of course, now it’s all I can see, but if that’s the only thing that’s not perfect than I can live with that since it doesn’t interfere with reading. I don’t think it’s something I can tell Create Space to correct, but I’m going to get another proof to see if the same thing happens.

All in all, this little bound book made the biggest smile spread across my face. Everything looked fantastic inside, the formatter and cover artist did a terrific job. I passed it proudly around to my large family and they all couldn’t believe how great it looked. Watching them all thumbing through it, inspecting it, and smirking (many of them doubted that I would see this through) was priceless.

I realized that this is a huge milestone. I’ve already achieved something that not many people do. Whatever happens after this won’t take away from the fact that I set out to bring this story to life and I’ve done it –through countless distractions, agent rejections, self-teaching, and self-doubt –I’ve accomplished a life’s goal and that’s a pretty amazing feeling.

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