In which I detail my adventures in writing and publishing

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Ready for prime time?

Last night just after 10 I completed my final (?)walk through of the manuscript for Win or Go Home. That's a lie. I still feel compelled to check it for typos and misspellings once more. The point is that I am not going to make any more substantive changes until I get it back from my editor.

I've contracted with Erin Potter to perform the task and expect to send it her way sometime in May. After accepting or rejecting changes I will be ready to submit the book to three e publishing platforms: Smashwords,Kindle and Pub It. There's a bit of an overlap because Smashwords distributes to Amazon and Barnes & Noble, but if the book is on the web sites of the big players I stand a better chance of getting readers to look at the books. The royalty schemes are slightly different between them. In another post I'll take a closer look at that.

I've done a lot of thinking about pricing and if I had to decide this moment I would list price for $0.99. Why so cheap, you ask? Nobody knows me. One look at the number of visitors to the blog is evidence of that. If I price the book at $2.99 or more, chances are slim that anyone is going to take a chance on an unknown. Of course I believe it's a good book, but there are a lot of unread good books out there.

JA Konrath, John Lock and Amanda Hocking have sold lots of books for $.99. I think market share is a lot more important than return on a single unit. The price of a gallon of gas today is $3.95 at the station across the road. If I sell my e books for a fraction of that, I think readers will take the chance and put their money down. My fixed costs for producing one novel amount to $900. If I never sell a single copy it won't break the bank. But if I can sell a few hundred copies in the next year, I'll recoup the investment. And there always is the chance that I'll sell more than that.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Smashwords update

My self-pub experience continues. There have been fifty downloads of Christmas in Puyallup from the site. So far it hasn't been reviewed by the overlords and isn't yet included in the premium catalog for wider distribution. I updated the cover and that pushed it to the end of the line I think.

I also submitted it for inclusion on Indie eBooks and got a positive response from the site manager. Here is a link: She will feature it around Christmas because it is, after all, a Christmas story. That reminds me. I should post my all time favorite Christmas movies. You might be surprised at what I picked.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Cover art

When I published "Christmas on Puyallup" on Smashwords the other day I included as cover art a photo I took at Alcatraz. It's the replica of the cell occupied by Frank Morris, architect of the prison break memorialized in the 1979 film Escape from Alcatraz starring Clint Eastwood.

Well, a cover needs more than a picture, don't you think? I downloaded a free program called, which allows the user to perform photoshop-like things and probably more than I am capable at the moment. It didn't take me long to create some improvements to the cover, as in a title and the author name.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Another update

I'm liking the e publishing business. 41 downloads of my free short short story on Smashwords since yesterday. The weird thing is, I checked the best sellers on Smashwords and most of them seem to be erotica. Not that there's anything WRONG with that. I'm just saying....

Monday, April 18, 2011


Christmas in Puyallup has been successfully published. Now I have to hope it makes it to the premium catalogue.


Last night I downloaded a short story--Christmas in Puyallup--to the Smashwords website for electronic publication. The process isn't over at this writing. There were several hundred submissions ahead of mine, believe it or not. If there aren't any mistakes in my formatting (always a possibility)the story will be available for free downloading by tomorrow. Free, you heard me right the first time. It's only a short story, remember. Consider it an appetizer for the upcoming publication of Win or Go Home. Same main character: a doctor-turned bounty hunter with a brain. I entered the story in a fiction contest sponsored by the University of Minnesota Alumni magazine. Sadly, but not unexpectedly, it didn't win. There were 78 entries and I can do the math. Better odds than Powerball, but still not too good. I'll probably hire someone to do the formatting for the novel. 90,000 words are a lot to handle. Then again, I may only hire someone for the Kindle formatting, which I believe requires the document be in HTML. If anyone knows that not to be true, let me know in the comments. Smashwords formatting doesn't take much computer skill that I can see. When the story is up on the Smashwords site, I'll link it specifically. As it is, you might enjoy going there for a look around anywhere. here you are: