Back to e-publishing – well it is fairly simple to publish with Amazon kindle, Kobo and all the others you just need to write something, give it a title, get a cover then put it out for a few pounds whenever you want and there you go you have a book but you’re not a writer, not yet. People need to buy your product and that’s when you become a fully fledged writer, albeit on a small scale. My advice is to use a site called Lulu, which was set up by a guy who wanted to be a writer but couldn’t really make it with a big publisher, he saw what was going on with Amazon and the rest who operate a policy of ‘screw you’ as you do all the work and they take a bit chunk just because the can. Lulu gives you a fair deal so I recommend using Lulu.com as you keep a bit more money for yourself like any publishing outfit they take a percentage but they leave you a bigger percentage than the others do and they not only publish it on their site but they push it out so it will still be on amazon, kobo, nook, etc.
It has to be said, the big e-book companies like Amazon kindle and the rest will screw you because you’re small fry, you’re not turning over hundreds of thousands of books for them, you don’t have a big publishing house behind you so it is just you vs a multibillion dollar company and they are going take you for as much as they want so Amazon takes upwards of 30% commissions on all your work for doing absolutely nothing other than hosting them, which is atrocious especially for people like us who are small time writers – we’re only going to sell, if lucky, a few thousand copies and with the already bloated market you will only be able to sell them for a few pound losing almost half of that to $1 billion company which does nothing to help you. This aspect is probably the worst thing about being a writer.
So try to work a system around Amazon if you can and use more writer friendly set ups like Lulu, it’s difficult but that’s my advice.
So far I have looked at how I go about my writing, how much effort you need to put in getting it in the marketplace via publishers/e-books so to the launch.
This is the fun bit, if not also the scariest bit – closing in on your launch window. It’s what I am doing right now, where you’re putting new material out there and hoping people will pay to read it so that you can then invest another eight months to a year in your next project because at the end of the day it’s what you love to do. to buy Each launch I worry, I do hope it sells, not to buy flash cars and motorbikes, even though that would be good – it’s so you can pay your own way in life and do something you love and being able to continue on this path. So launch is a worrying time. First of all you have got to devote a lot of time to seemingly peripheral matters such as pictures, videos vlogs, blogs anything and everything to get out there and by doing so you risk criticism but you have to be ready for that its part of the game. Being active to get people to follow you on Facebook Twitter, Instagram and the rest so you have a big pool of people who are more likely to check it out when you launch as you have their interest. You will need to devote a lot of time to this – I’m talking most of your days, which is difficult with the day job – as I said I’m lucky at the moment as I’ve finished my last job so I have time for my projects but still saying that I’m a busy guy as I’ve got two businesses to run and I am doing helicopter lessons and getting my motorbike licence so it means dividing your time wisely so you don’t want to burn out! However, if you don’t devote time to working up the launch then it isn’t going to take off- which takes me into a very important part of writing which gets underestimated by so many people – the team around you, you need a team to make it work to; you need a good editor or two, you need your family and friends to read the book beforehand just to check it and be critical and you do need people around you to help you with your launch. Get your family involved, get some friends involved. Just ask you never know, they may be happy to help, as I said in my earlier post in ‘The Week’ people supporting each other is essential and that is what I’m asking for this week, for people to help me to get my latest book out there to as many people as you can, asking you if you’re reading this to go tell your friends and your family, share, pass on my links and help it grow – supporting the indie authors.