So, I’ve been exploring the murky depths of the self-publishing world this last two weeks or so. Whether you’re a traditional author or a committed self-pubber, you can’t ignore the phenomenon. It makes sense to find out about it, as far as you can. It makes particularly good sense during this month of December when I will find it difficult to get much “proper” creative work done (dahling). Mucking around with my Scrivener formatting presets, createspace’s book cover generator and Singapore’s tax system (I kid you not) is valuable work that I can nonetheless pick up and put down whenever I need to, without discombobulating (or, indeed, involving) the Muse at all.
In order to self-publish, you do, of course, have to have something to publish. T’ain’t gonna work otherwise. So I revised the collection of fables I wrote a couple of years back for my sister-in-law. Rewrote them a bit and added a whole new one. Et voila! Three Caterpillars (and other stories) was born.
Next question: print book or e-book? To which the obvious answer is – both. Print On Demand services mean that you no longer have to risk your own money on a print run that you may or may not sell. You make the book electronically and when someone orders one, it gets printed off especially for them. Nice!
Then comes distribution. There must be literally millions of words on the internet written about the various pros and cons of Amazon-createspace-Kindle versus Smashwords, bookbaby and the like. I’m not going to add to those millions, I’m not even sure I get it yet. For someone like me (who is new to this and, frankly, has no real idea what they’re doing), the Amazon services pretty much have you by the short and curlies. So despite the fact that I have reservations about Amazon, currently Three Caterpillars.. is available as a paperback from Amazon and as an ebook for Kindle. Selling out – doesn’t take long, does it? As I become more familiar with this entire world, I may try and find alternative outlets.
You can find them on my author page; they’re available worldwide through Amazon’s international websites. Neither of them seem to cost any money at all, which is just fine. Get hold of one (for nothing, if you like), read it and leave me a review. I’d be ever so grateful. I might even send you a free signed copy, if you let me know who and where you are. Because the next thing I have to do is the bit I’ve been really dreading..
..learn how to market the damn thing.