Ebook Publishing

Discussion in 'The Book Club' started by Sac Arrow, Sep 22, 2015.

  1. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Anybody publishing ebooks out there? If so, are there any better alternatives to Amazon? (Specifically thriller/fiction.)
     
  2. John221us

    John221us En-Route PoA Supporter

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    My brother in law recently did. He used Amazon. His was young adult fiction (vampire story). He promotes it heavily on FB and is part of an authors group. They help with editing and post reviews for each other on Amazon (prime the pump, I guess).
     
  3. dougperry

    dougperry Filing Flight Plan

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    What do you mean by better? Not trying to be sarcastic, just want to know what shortcomings you want to avoid.
     
  4. cowman

    cowman En-Route

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    This is relevant to my interests as well although I'm nowhere near this stage and change genre to sci-fi/maybe comedy.

    I'd think anyone writing and selling their work would have two goals
    1. Get as many people reading their work as possible
    2. Make money

    So, any sort of publishing would have those two things as priorities.. in my case #1 being the bigger emphasis.
     
  5. tinerj

    tinerj Cleared for Takeoff

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    Amazon does not require books be placed exclusively with them.

    However, my daughter-in-law (search on Billi Tiner) who has a bunch of books selling well, stays exclusively with them although she is not entirely happy with the change to pages read rather than books purchased.

    I, on the other hand, am sticking with my traditional publishers. 96 books published so far.
     
  6. steingar

    steingar Touchdown! Greaser!

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    A couple of my buddies have used Lulu, though I really don't know how satisfied they are with it. To me self publishing is too much like dating your sister, but some folks do very very well with it.
     
  7. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Don't get me wrong, Amazon appears to have a very functional and professional e-publishing service, but I think they are playing games with reviews and sales. Well I KNOW they are playing games with reviews (long story.) Plus the market is limited to Kindle read capability.

    I'm looking at Smashwords as a potential alternative.
     
  8. dougperry

    dougperry Filing Flight Plan

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    Yes, I understand. I did publish one book with them but have not had the time to do any real marketing since then.... (long story.. started a company..etc). I really can't say anything bad, but I also cannot say anything good because I simply didn't have the time to deal with it. I was more curious about the negatives you have seen. I haven't had experience with review or sales manipulation (yet?) so unfortunately I cannot add much.. :(
     
  9. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    All right.

    You can't do self reviews (I understand that, plus it's meaningless.) But dammit I need at least one review so I created another account and attempted to do a review. I then learned that in order to do a review, you have to use an account that has purchased something.

    Fine. I'm okay with that. I get it. They don't want people to make up droves of fictitious accounts just so they can do good reviews. Whatever. I buy something. I do a review. It gets taken down a few hours later. Both reviews. On both books.

    Okay, so I used my credit card. Whatever. Amazon has the audacity to send me bi-weekly emails telling me I should buy MY OWN BOOK, as if they don't realize that my Amazon and KDP account are owned by one and the same person (it's the same login) yet they are sharp enough to figure out a completely unassociated account may have possibly (but not definitely) been set up by me.
     
  10. dougperry

    dougperry Filing Flight Plan

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    Get some friends to buy your book (even if you have to bribe them ;)), get them to write a review, you are good to go.

    :goofy:
     
  11. tinerj

    tinerj Cleared for Takeoff

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    For a week every so often (6 months?) you can offer a book for $1.00. Do this and tell your friends. They can buy the book and be "legal" to review it.
     
  12. SkyHog

    SkyHog Touchdown! Greaser!

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    My parents run a publishing business, and they do a lot of eBooks. If you can ask a specific question, I can get you an answer.

    http://www.casadesnapdragon.com
     
  13. JimNtexas

    JimNtexas Pattern Altitude

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    My wife's Uncle printed up a vanity run of about a hundred hard copies of his memories of his experiences flying 50 combat missions in WWII as a B-24 navigator. His book is more about the training pipe line and life in the squadron than it is about his actual combat missions. He does describe five combat missions in detail, including one ditching that should have killed him and a couple more where he was really lucky.

    He passed away shortly after the book was printed.

    I thought about it a lot and decided that I didn't want this book to die with him, so I published it on Amazon.

    Nobody could find the electronic copy of the book, so I had the book scanned ( ~$100). I made an editing pass through the resulting word document and caught about half the typos.

    I hired an editor/book designer for $350 through Upwork. She designed the eBook, including cover artwork. She also caught most of the remaining OCR anomalies. She worked quickly and was a pleasure to deal with.

    Frankly, Uncle Robert's book really could have benefited from a professional editor, but he didn't want one so we didn't modify anything that he wrote.

    Once the designer had the final '.mobi' file done, I uploaded to Amazon via their Kindle Direct ( https://kdp.amazon.com/ ) program.

    Our ISBN number cost $125. Amazon doesn't require it, but since I did this so that a hundred years from some kid in a virtual reality library can read about the greatest generation, and you need an ISBN number if you want your book to be searchable outside of Amazon.

    I haven't promoted it beyond mentioning it on a couple of web forums. I think I'm getting about $75/month from it. I've recovered my costs and any future revenue will be donated to a scholarship fund for his unit alumni association.

    There are several good writers here, I think any of them, and we know who you are, could make Uber driving money by publishing an eBook.

    I did this DIY, but there are services that will do the grunt work for you, and put your book on iTunes, Barnes & Noble, etc.

    I had my book scanned by Bookbaby ( http://www.bookbaby.com ), I think they are decent and can do any part or all of the publishing process.

    I'm working on an Audio Book version. I'll get it done, but it's slow going. It takes me about about two hours to get 15-20 minutes of audio that has a chance of passing Audible's QC process.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2015
  14. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I decided to not renew one of the books to the Kindle Unlimited program (which gives them exclusive rights during the period) and put it on to Smashwords. I had to do some editing, apparently Smashwords doesn't handle either the newest Word document format or the automatic TOC generation like Amazon does. Minor aggravation.

    By the way, I don't think that Kindle Unlimited program is that bad of a deal. If someone buys a free one through with a Prime or Kindle Unlimited membership, or if your book gets loaned, you get paid by the pages that get read (yes they track that) and it's something like $0.005 per page, which is about what you would get if you charged $2.99 a copy.
     
  15. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Well I am learning the system more and more, and I'm leaning back towards Amazon. Having posted two books on Smashwords, the biggest differences are 1) The Amazon publication interface is much more sophisticated, and 2) I actually sell books on Amazon. I have yet to sell one on Smashwords. I will probably end up pulling them off so I can revert them back to the Kindle Unlimited program on Amazon.

    Also the review and vetting process is a lot more intensive at Amazon. There is a LOT of pure crap on Smashwords, and some people even use it as a forum for whatever political or religious message it is that they are trying to convey, vs. actually penning a real book. It fills up with three page porn novels with covers showing a girl in a thong. It's a niche market. It occurs to me that EVERYONE has an Amazon account, where almost nobody has a Smashwords account.

    Anyway I have a new one that just went online a few days ago. So far it's been moderately (by prior standards) successful. I'll PM a link to anyone that is interested.