February 24, 2009

Surprises, again

Well, the process of self-publishing is coming together for me. The first step was just getting the block and cover together, uploading it to Createspace, surveying the proof, setting the price and then pushing the “publish” button. Because In Between Goodbyes was my first baby it also involved some crying, some book hugging and yes, even sleeping with the book (one night only).
After that initial exhilaration I sat back and resolved to be patient for the several days it would take to appear on Amazon.com, but it was only hours before it appeared. Almost instant gratification. The email blasts went out and I’ve been impressed by the sales that trickled in.
It was the side things that happened that impressed me even more, though. First Amazon put up the cover then provided a “look inside” view, all without my prompting. My next challenge would be to provide a Kindle copy for Amazon.com and to set my price. This was amazingly easy with MSWord’s “save as HTML feature. I proofed the HTML, tweaked it a bit and sent it on its way. At first it appeared as a separate entity on Amazon.com and I was wondering how it would get linked to the hard copy book. Google can be a wonderful tool and indeed Google took me to a board which assured me that Amazon.com would eventually make the hookup. True to the poster’s word, about 5 days later my Kindle version and my hard copy book were married on Amazon.com.
Sometimes it also pays to Google. I Googled the book this week and lo and behold Amazon.com seems to have a co-marketing agreement with Langton Information Services, an English bookseller, because my book was also in their online offerings. My, my.

So far how does this experience compare with traditional publishing? Well. I had spent a year trying to get In Between Goodbyes published. For whatever reason I couldn’t even get an agent and more and more publishers are refusing over the transom submissions. My self-esteem was at a new low when I started this process. Call it vanity publishing? Perhaps it is if you are just tying to get something published and don’t care about sales. For me, this is about finishing something and trying new things.

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