Friday, March 13, 2015

Writing: The Self-Publication Journey

In May, my next full-length medical thriller, Fatal Trauma, will release. It's been a year since my last book, Critical Condition, appeared. In the meantime, I've written and edited three novels, all of which will be published by Abingdon, starting with Fatal Trauma.

In the meantime, I decided to dip my toes into the self-publishing waters. A number of authors before me have gone this route, and although it may not fit my personality and desires, I figured release of a short novella would be appropriate in the interim. Of course, to do that required writing it, but the work didn't stop there.

I read and revised the work several times, as I did with all my other novels. Then it was edited, since two heads and two pair of eyes are always best in writing projects.  But I also had to arrange for (and pay for) a cover design. Dineen Miller did a nice job in putting together one that captured the tone of my prior books.

As part of the cover decision, I had to make another--should Rx Murder (the title I'd chosen) be made available only in e-book format or in print form as well? I decided to offer both, since some of my readers (and me, truth be told) prefer a printed version, even if it costs a bit more.

The book itself had to be translated into the proper language for an e-reader. I found there are several options here, and they vary with the type of e-reader chosen. By this time, I was wondering why there wasn't a universal language for this stuff. I suppose that would be too simple.

Then came other decisions, the process of proof-reading and requesting changes, and numerous other steps that I'd never considered. But now I'm almost there. I'll be announcing the release of Rx Murder soon, and because it's a short novella its price will be, I think, quite reasonable. Oh, that's another decision I had to make--price. But the good news is that I control it.

If you want to be among the first to know about the release of the novella, I'd suggest you sign up to receive my newsletter (see the right side of this page) since this group will get the news first.

So, that's some of what I've learned. Stay tuned, as we are within sight of release day. And thanks for your interest.


Deb said...

Congratulations on dipping your toe into this pool! It's been a real learning curve for me, that's for sure. I wish you blessings on the new venture and many, many sales.

Part of the reason there's not a universal language YET, is that each selling platform wants to keep their customers chained to their proprietary formatting style. What works for Kobo won't work for Amazon, etc. There are intermediaries such as Draft2Digital who will do the necessary conversions for you and push the book out to their several vendors.

I agree; the onus shouldn't be put on the writer. Not our job to be tech-gurus. I think over time, the business WILL devolve into a single format, but that day's not here yet.

Richard Mabry said...

Deb, thanks for your comment. I'm using a service to translate this book into the proper language and get it onto Amazon (which is getting to be the 600 pound gorilla in this space). I just finished an e-book on formatting a manuscript, and have to admit I got lost after about the first 20% of the book. I agree--there are different languages because every type of e-book wants theirs to be unique.

I note that Scrivener (which I've tried, although I come back to Word) can translate into some ebook formats, but there's more to it than that.

I realize there are some authors who understand Mobi and SmashWords and such terms, and maybe eventually I'll learn them, too. But as you point out, there's a steep learning curve.

Ane Mulligan said...

I'm keeping my eye on you Indie authors. lol I'm gleaning all I can. I've got a short story (a fairly long short story lol) I'm thinking of releasing between my traditional books. Keep us posted on your progress.

Richard Mabry said...

Ane, I appreciate it. Although temperamentally I'm more suited to writing for a publisher, I see those opportunities getting harder to find as traditional houses are interested in established authors with near-guaranteed sales (as they should be--after all, they're for-profit businesses). The face of publishing is changing, and I'm just trying not to get too far behind. Thanks for your comment.