Tourism of the Mind XI - dipping my toe in the ebook water
You might notice the top menu now has the item "ebooks" on it. Click on that and you might notice the Book I cover on it, and even… a price. Not that you can buy it yet. There are other hoops I have to jump through to create an ebook.
I am leaning towards Smashwords, mostly because I heard good things about them some years ago, and more recently, just today in fact, I was on their site. I like their approach… I like the way the guy who owns it (Mark Coker) thinks, and the tone of his communications with writers. He asks for quality and pernicketyness in presentation, and that fits well with me. (The cleanness of my posts, especially the earlier ones, is trad-pub quality. Says the author of dead-tree novels who still resents the typos in them.) I feel like I am on the same wavelength. I also like Smashwords’ success. Old success tip: to be successful, rub up against others who are.
If any of you have any comments on this, any suggestions of another route that might work better for me, please sing out. I need a method of publishing ebooks that is suited to me, i.e., an indie who:
1) Has a well-developed website
2) Produces like crazy
3) Has very error-free copy
4) Designs her own book covers and writes her own blurbs
5) Wants to create a base of several thousand readers who read her work online, commenting, RPing, interacting, contributing, etc., ongoingly, while selling ebooks to many more. That’s Karen’s perfect world!
Smashwords doesn’t provide—or require the use of their—editing, cover-art or blurb services, so there’s a fit. They just do stuff I don’t do: convert to the ebook reader formats, and distribute to their retailers.
Marketing-wise it would be best for me to offer each ebook for sale before completing it on the site… so people who just can’t stand to wait will buy it. Writing-wise it doesn’t work… you know me, I like to change as I go, throw questions out to readers, RP and them make them into scenes, etc. Not that it matters for PA, since it’s mostly written. I have nine books I could sell right now without writing another word (not counting asa kraiya, due to the discontinuity.) One of Mark Coker's seven secrets of ebook success is "build a big backlist." Check!
Reminds me… I am thinking of hiding asa kraiya… so that readers can no longer get ahead of where I’m writing. If I do this (it so goes against the grain) I will not delete it, but will just disappear the links that get you to it easily… on the top nav bar, front page, etc. The original strategy was to give readers of the dead-tree books something fresh to read right off the bat. On retrospect, that was a mistake. They’ve all wanted to read the new version of Chevenga’s story from the start, as far as I can tell. Unless there are howls of protest, I will likely do this soon. If you’ve already read it and enjoy rereading it… bookmark the TOC page - http://chevenga.com/node/6 - right now. You’ll still be able to get to it that way even after it’s apparently gone.
I will definitely make asa kraiya fully visible again, at least chapter by chapter as we go, when I get to the end of PA and it's time for the asa kraiya Club to do its read-through.
I’ve set a goal to get five e-books out there by the end of the year, but I’m thinking that by posting for just three days a week, I might be able to do it faster. Most of the ebook stuff I’m doing today is one-shot—learning about smashwords, looking at their style guide, etc.
It's all scary. Each step in this is another wall to break through, another bout of feeling naked and exposed, another creepy inkling that I am doing something wrong or overly bold or bigger than me or that I don't deserve. I'm starting to get used to feeling this, and pushing through anyway. Huge thanks again to capriox, who ensures I will push through by raising the spectre of even worse pain from her formerly cluex4-shaped bat. I'm saying it facetiously, but I would definitely not be as far along as I am with all this at this point, still hesitating and wringing my hands, if it weren't for her.