Tag Archives: ebooks

Self-Pub Distributors

…aka, covering the market.

I’m publishing my book in a few different ways.

1. Createspace

This is Amazon’s POD service. I’m using this for the print copies. It’s a paperback book, about 6×9 inches. I’m aiming for 272 pages. Cost will be $10.99. I know this is a lot for a debut, self-pubbed novel, but it’s the cheapest price where I don’t have to pay for each copy sold. Remember: self-publishing is NOT free. The author has to cover the cost of printing each copy before any royalties are earned.

2. Kindle

Yeah, I know. Kindle’s Amazon, isn’t it, just like Createspace? But as it turns out, they are two completely different publishing endeavors, even if they are part of the same company. Publishing on Createspace does not automatically put my book in Kindle, or vice versa.

3. Smashwords

The problem with Amazon, is that they only provide your e-book in a Kindle format. But since a few people out there have iPads, Sony’s, Nooks, whatever… I need to provide my book in a format they can use. Hence, Smashwords.com, which offers the book in all epub formats, including…. wait for it… Kindle.

I’m not sure how this works, really. But from a consumer standpoint, I think you’ll be able to go to either Amazon or Smashwords and find my book. If you search on Amazon, you’ll get the option of either Kindle or paperback. If you search on Smashwords, you’ll get the option to purchase the e-book for whichever reader you have. Including pdf for your computer.

Both companies offer access to full-scale distribution outlets, which means you should be able to find the book by searching online at other venues, such as Borders.com, or Apple’s e-store. And of course, I’ll have links on my website and Facebook page. I’ll probably also keep a few physical copies on hand to sell at… well, at whatever I can round up. Or sign and mail to you if you want an autographed copy.

Hmmm. Do I charge for shipping in that case?



I write about time travel, but as far as I know, we can only access time in one direction. Which is why I’ve been giving lots of thought to the status of SHIPBUILDER. Whatever decision I make, there’s no going back to fix things.

From the beginning, my dream for this book was to have it available in time for the 100th anniversary of Titanic’s sinking, which is April 15, 2012. I wrote the book as my own, admittedly quirky, homage to Thomas Andrews, her chief designer. He was on board for the maiden voyage, responsible for the shipyard’s Guarantee Group. Their job was to make sure the ship worked perfectly, and to fix whatever wasn’t perfect, whether it was a misplaced mirror in a stateroom, or catastrophic engine failure.

The engines worked fine, of course. But they did have to move a mirror.

Every one of those men died. Thomas Andrews was only 39 years old, with a much-loved wife, a 2-year old daughter, and parents and siblings and cousins who all loved him.  I know he wanted to live. And I know he died devastated, heartbroken that his beautiful ship could not save those 1500 people who depended on her for their lives. He would have done anything to fix that.

So I wrote a time travel novel. To give him another chance.

I know it’s fantasy. The ship is still at the bottom of the ocean, and Thomas Andrews long ago became part of that deep sea.  But in the spirit of honor for his legacy, I announce that my book, THE TIME TRAVEL JOURNALS: SHIPBUILDER, will be available in print and e-book formats in September 2011.

I’ll chronicle the adventure as I navigate through the sometimes murky waters of self-publishing. I have a lot to learn. And there’s no going back to fix things.

A Little Hodge Podge of Links


There are million details to be alert for when looking over contracts. This is one reason agents are good to have. But for those who find themselves treading the publishing path alone, it helps to have Information. Which some of those agents generously provide (ghoddess bless them, everyone)

Here’s a link where  Kristin Nelson discusses the phrase, “in perpetuity.”

Is the Price Right?

I really, really, really don’t like authors who sell their ebooks for 99 cents.  I’m talking about novel-length works, here. Is that all your work is worth? I know for a fact that mine are worth more than that. If that’s what you’re charging, I won’t buy your book. It can’t possibly be worth my time. And my time is worth a hell of a lot more than 99 cents, whether I’m using it to write my own books, or to read yours.

A possible exception  might be that you’re offering this price as part of an introductory special – with a specific time frame.  Say, two weeks, to introduce your first book. And I do think this can only be used by first-time authors. Your second book? Sorry – charge the right price.

But a better method would be to offer the first 10% or 20% of your book for free, as an excerpt the customer can click on. Then let them buy the whole book for the regular price.

What is that “regular price?” I dunno. I find paperbacks are usually $6 – $10, depending, I guess, on size.  I have a gut feeling that $6 – $8 is good for ebooks. Maybe $4 for anything under 70K.

The core of this argument is that you wrote this book. You committed time, energy, and emotions to create this story. You spent more valuable time perfecting it. If it’s self-published, you also paid to have the book edited (you did have it edited, didn’t you?)and to have a cover made (or you made it yourself). You formatted it,  sometimes for multiple formats. You’re the PR department, too. The time and work that goes into those electrons for people to download… huge. Huge.

Don’t belittle it by selling it for the price of a candy bar. You hurt yourself, and you hurt every other writer, too.

I know I’m a slow writer. But if I take a year to write a novel, and several months to get critiques and edits, then more time to revise, perfect, and polish… I am not going to pretend this work is worthless.  If you’re dashing off something in a couple of weeks and slamming it up on Smashwords or Createspace, then yes – sell that for 99 cents. Because if that’s what you’re selling your book for – I’m going to assume that’s what you’ve done.

And just so you go away happy – check out this Astronomy Picture of the Day.