Just shy of three years ago when I was starting out in publishing, I blogged this:
I find it funny that people are incredulous when I say I could self publish an eBook on Amazon for 99p and still make the same profit (25 to 50 pence) as my current £12.99 offering (Little Child) on Amazon. This is the absolute truth, no word of a lie. The one thing you can guarantee in this game is that different publishing models all result in a very similar profit margin, but the real gain for us as writers and authors is when we hit a worldwide audience simultaneously with minimal effort. The more people you "hit" with your book, the better chance you have of raising your literary profile to dizzying heights. Remember what I said in an earlier post - it's not just about the book anymore, YOU have to be a brand as well. I thought about this for a long time today and I came to the following conclusion: the internet is an amazing resource with no limits, but to utilise it properly the only thing stopping you, is you. Anybody who has a remote interest in writing can self publish some kind of book, but if you know your market and your price points and you've done your research, the potential to reach as many people as possible is right there waiting for you. I'm going to experiment with my theory and come back to you on this. Don't forget, I'm still learning too. I'm a marketeer in the making!
And it's taken a while, but I'm finally there! My 99p eBook is now available on Amazon. The marketing is still a work in progress and I'll be exploring that side of things once I've built my back catalogue. There will also be a paperback version of Getting Ready to Freelance and Write available on Createspace over the coming weeks.
I have to say it's thrilling to see my book on Amazon and it's even more of a thrill to know that I did it all myself from conception right through to launch. I started small so each chapter is only one or two pages in length and there's only about 50 pages in total. I was glad of this during the editing and formatting stages - all of which I did myself (isn't it great to see the message from Amazon "0 spelling mistakes were found in the text") - and at this point in the process, after reviewing my formatting for about the 20th time, I was also thinking that writing in a series and putting out episodes rather than going full throttle with a whole book was something I would like to try because it would break it down into manageable chunks.
Of course, you can pay someone to edit and format, but I needed to try it for myself. In my humble opinion, the size of your project determines to a certain extent how much money you should spend. The only part of the process I wanted to pay for (due to budget constraints) was the artwork - eBook cover, Createspace cover and Facebook timeline banner. I wanted my designer in the US to source and purchase the stock photo and have that creative control. All of this cost me a total of 40 dollars and I found him on Fiverr.com and I've used the artwork over and over on my different social media sites. I was itching to try this site and really enjoyed the experience, but as usual I tried to run before I could walk, so make sure if you're getting people involved in your project, that you have everything you think you might need ready to go. There's a little bit of forward thinking required and also anticipating, which only comes with experience after being through the process once. For example, have all of your text clear in your mind so when your designer needs it, you can shoot it straight across. Also, my big thing was I hadn't yet loaded up my manuscript to either Amazon or Createspace so I didn't know sizes for the cover artwork. Big fail! Luckily because Drew was specifically creating a Kindle eBook cover, one size fits all. The cover for Createspace was a little more tricky although you can start the process of creating a book with them and in the early stages you determine the book's sizing. I did take a guess on the number of pages - I wouldn't advise that. Try to be as accurate as you can. I think I've got lucky again and hit it spot on, but don't rely on luck!!
I would recommend you give yourself a couple of hours for loading up a short eBook (approx 50 pages) onto either of these sites because you can go off on different tangents at each stage of the process. For example, I didn't purchase an ISBN but used the one Createspace generated. This is down to personal preference, but before I made my decision, I read all the information about it. This is time you need to factor in so you can make the best choices for you and your project.
Once you've loaded up your text, edited and formatted until you're happy, the next step is Rights, Royalty and Pricing. The only snag I hit here was forgetting to factor in the 3% VAT Amazon adds for European countries, so when I looked at my eBook price the next day on UK Amazon, it said £1.04 rather than my desired 99p. The base price I should have loaded was 96p. It was easy enough to amend.
The final stage is to hit Publish and it takes about twelve hours for your eBook to appear on all of the Amazon sites in the countries mentioned in the Pricing section. If you spot any mistakes or there are things you need to update, you can make your changes and re-publish as many times as you like.
Your book sits on your virtual bookshelf within your Amazon account and you can Unpublish at any time as well. All of your Royalty reports will appear in this section.
Blogging is an amazing concept so here I am giving it a whirl. You'll get words. You'll get pics. Sometimes a vid or two. You'll get tongue in cheek, the odd humble opinion and an honest insight into my travels and writing life. Maybe even a few gems along the way. I'll be musing on home turf as I see more and more of the UK and sharing my experiences further afield on holidays and adventurous trips across the globe.