Friday, April 1, 2011

Experiences in self-publishing

This is probably the first post of many about my experiences with self-publishing. Recently, I've been reading a lot about authors embarking on this path and their stories. Most of these authors you may have heard of. Well, that is, if you're into that sort of thing. If you're reading this blog, I imagine you probably are.

So far, everything I've heard from these authors has been compelling enough for me to dip my proverbial toe into the self-publishing waters. If Amanda Hocking's or Barry Eisler's story doesn't excite you--well, you need to check for a pulse.

I began putting together my publication earlier this week. Actually, truth be told, it took me longer than that to construct the cover image and get it just right. I owe a shout out to James (a colleague at work) who gave me invaluable information to help me out in that department. Thanks, James! You da man. I managed to have everything prepared and uploaded my work to Amazon and Barnes & Noble Wednesday afternoon. That night, I went through the Style Guide on Smashwords, heeded its advice, and when finished, submitted my work to Smashwords.

Amazon and B&N state that it could take 24-48 hours until the work is available in the marketplace. If Smashwords gave an estimate, I don't remember what it was. When my submission was received by Smashwords, it said that I was number 808 in the queue. Needless to say, I figured it would be the last to hit the market. I was wrong. I received an email from Smashwords during the wee hours that said my book was available for download. Wow. That was fast.

My story did not hit the market on Amazon until today (Friday). Barnes & Noble still hasn't finished processing the submission. On the first day the story was available on Smashwords, I already had 89 downloads and received three four-star reviews. Although the first reviewer gave away one of the twists in the story. I can't believe he did that!

I wanted to release this story for free, as a promotional device to reach readers and spread my name. Well, the unfortunate downside to that plan is that Amazon and B&N require authors to sell their work. Smashwords, on the other hand, allows you to give work away. So, as a side note, let me apologize to anyone who is turned off that my story is only for sale on Amazon and B&N. It's not my fault. I would give it away on those platforms if I could, but alas, I can't.

So, there you have it. My experience so far with self-publishing. It has been exciting and pleasant. I hope it continues to be. Now, I must spread the word, let others know it is out there, available for download, and hope they get a copy. Even more, I hope they enjoy it and help spread the word.

So, if you've managed to read this far, I hope you've gotten something out of my experience thus far. Also, if you haven't yet read the story, here is the link so you can check it out. Free Smashwords copy. Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoy(ed) the story and I hope you'll come back for more.

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