A little insight on writing and self publishing

So yes, I have self published. That means its up to me to write it, format it, upload it, market it, and advertise it. This is a less and less poor mans way to get a book out into the world and it allows you to have basically total control over all aspects, which you give up when going to a big name publisher. They will take a year to change your title and your story, and then they’ll take all your money. Self publishing has become fairly modern and easy to use and it gets your work right into the hands of the places it will actually be bought and read from, like Amazon and Barnes and Nobel.

Wait, stick with it, this’ll get interesting in a second.

When I was new to the ins and outs of self publishing, I kept seeing references by others authors to steer clear of Amazon, Boycott Amazon, they dont treat you well, etc… well let me just say this:

Hey morons, you’re doing it wrong.

First and foremost, when you hear someone say “book” you think “Amazon.” That’s just the way it is. Barnes and Noble has a good, but smaller, share of notoriety, but really, you think “Amazon.”

I utilized Smashwords to get my book into the largest number of retailers available, to include Barnes and Noble. Its a great service that they offer and they get it to lots of places where EBooks can be found, including the smaller retailers. More is better right? Well in this case when its all free, my thinking may have been more along the lines of “It cant hurt.”

Smashwords was maybe a little easier to format my original document for uploading and that is to say I only had time to drink two beers while I did the work. Amazon took maybe three and a half beers.

So back to the idiots that say to not sell your book on Amazon. The math for my sales figures after the first month works out to Amazon selling 99.97% of all books sold. Yeah, don’t use Amazon…

Now, who wants to watch me bite the hand that feeds me? Hey Createspace, you have a great Print on Demand service, but your pricing sucks. Now let me once again say that I’m not in this for the money, BUT I am a capitalist trained businessman that can do reality based simple reasoning. You cannot offer a product at a price that is not attractive to the potential buyers, and think it will sell. It will not sell. But, when your system is set up so that when a product has a good price, it puts the royalties at mere pennies, well you’ve got a conundrum, or maybe I do.

I see way too many people have their stuff priced way too high, especially for first time self published authors. If you pick up a paperback in the grocery store it has a list price of usually something like $6.99. I think thats reasonable. I paid that for the majority of the books on my bookshelf at home. So why are 1st timers putting their prices at $12, $15, $18 dollars? Because the freaking royalties are so miniscule you might as well not do it at all – is their thinking.

Look, none of us are writing best sellers. Your need to be realistic. First, E Readers are not just the way of the future, they are the way of the now. The majority of all your sales are going to go out in electronic format. Its cheaper that way. But if you have your EBook priced at $5.99 and your paperback at $15.87, you arent going to be selling many books at all. First timers and small timers have to keep the price realistic. Your base isnt just going to happen, especially when no one wants to pay too much money for your unproven work.  It might even be a future best seller, but not if it never sells.

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