Let’s try a competition!

I’ve bit the bullet and posted a free give-a-way of my book on my Facebook page. I’m interested to see how many people respond. As Facebook gives you all kinds of stats on the page, it will be interesting to see what happens!

https://www.facebook.com/pages/All-the-Stars-I-Can-See/1532409093648902

Highly processed ‘meat’ in tin cans

Yes, that’s right, SPAM.

I find it amusing and sad at the same time when I peruse the spam that get’s caught in the auto SPAM filter for my blog.

Amusing that people think I’d be taken in by this stuff and sadness that they are trying and that at least some people are taken in. Let me share some of today’s gems:

Hi, i think that i saw you visited my blog thus i came to “return the favor”.I’m attempting to find things to improve my web site!I suppose its ok to use a few of your ideas!!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts about loss goals. (they obviously didn’t see the photo of me)

I think the admin of this web page is truly working hard for his web site, since here every information is quality based information.

I read a lot of interesting articles here. Probably you spend a lot of time writing, i know how to save you a lot of work, there is an online tool that creates unique, SEO friendly posts in seconds, just type in google – <text removed ’cause I ain’t gonna advertise them>

At the core of this is going to be the basic human need for recognition. I understand that, having sunk a lot of hours into a book that less than 20 people have actually bought yet (and a good portion of those are ones I bought for people). But each of us are too important to sell ourselves because some lying <expression removed to protect your sensibilities> wants to take us in by pandering to our insecurities. The christian bible uses the phrase “tickling itchy ears” and it’s never spoken of in a good light. A real friend will tell me that what I’ve written ‘stinketh’ and should be just as free to tell me that it worked. In our western society, however, ‘Political Correctness’ and the overall breakdown in our society has meant that too many of us don’t have that core group of friends that will guard our back when we need it & slap us over the back of our head when we do as well.

Have a good one.

Brett Bridger

My site is apparently suspect (according to Norton)

I’d forgotten about that. it had been so long since I established a ‘new’ website that I forgot you had to manually tell Symantec that they can trust you. My book’s website is fine, because it doesn’t allow any registration, etc (http://atsics.com/) but this one is different. I think this will take a little bit of research as it’s actually a WordPress hosted site so I’m not sure how the normal process will work.

Symantec normally want you to insert a ‘verification file’ into the root of the site. I’ll get back to everyone with the results once I sort it all out.

Kindle Lending Library

Just had my first KOLL/KU ‘borrow” and I’m now up to a massive 13 copies sold!

This is a little short of the couple of million copies I was hoping for, but not bad. When I released the book I purposely did a few things:

  • Exclusively sold it through Amazon
  • Exclusively released it as an eBook
  • Signed up for the KU/KOLL program

Exclusively sold it through Amazon:

This was a financial decision. After I’d paid for all of the things that I’d really not thought through that I’d have to pay, money was tight. The cheapest way was to exclusively release through Amazon. What did I end up paying out? About $1,500. This got me:

  • Facebook page professionally done
  • Website professionally done
  • This blog
  • Commissioned artist to do the cover artwork
  • Professional cover art
  • Some legal stuff
  • All the Amazon stuff

Exclusively released it as an eBook

I was actually going to do a paper version when I came across an article (sorry, forgot to note down who) where they pointed out the expense of changing a paper manuscript. Therefore the advise was to publish first as an e-book, get your audience to find the majority of issues over the first few months and then publish the corrected manuscript. the more I thought about it, the better it seemed. I’ve already had 3 errors (two tiny & 1 big) picked up. I’ve also taught at least one person a new word. They thought that I’d mispelt something until I pointed out that what i put was a real word and in fact was the correct word!

I had already done a fair bit of investigation into the publishing side and knew i could easily double my initial costs without gaining much (if any) market share. In fact, the publish book side looked to be a lot more risky for a new, untried author.

There were also so many potential land mines in paper publishing that I was really concerned with going with anyone until I knew a lot more about the industry and whether I could write.

Signed up for the KU/KOLL program

When going with Amazon, you have the option of releasing your book through Kindles library. The way the system works is that you get paid based on how many copies are borrowed. I chose to sign up for this because:

  • As an unknown author I felt that I stood more of a chance in having my book borrowed then bought by someone I didn’t know
  • It allowed me to tap into segments of the market that I probably wouldn’t  otherwise get into
  • It increased my returns on bought books
  • Initial evidence was that there was at least some ‘double-dipping’ that occurred. people would borrow the book, like it and buy it as well, giving me 2 lots of royalties.

The initial figures on the payouts is encouraging, but how that ends up long term we’ll just have to see. it seems Amazon is over-rewarding to encourage authors, but that’s OK from my viewpoint <grin>.

Where to from here?

I’ve started on book two, the reader feedback so far is great (but hasn’t translated into reviews yet) and I’m being forced to think longer term. While it would be good to become famous from book 1, it may not happen. So once 2 is ready, I may just give volume 1 away for a little while and allow pre-orders of volume 2 a couple of weeks before it’s published. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Nearly Entered a Competition

I got a stack of SPAM in my inbox about the upcoming closing of the fifth annual eLit eBook awards. As a special offer, they’d dropped the entrance fee!

Ohh, I’ve just written a book. I’m convinced it’s got to be the best book around at the moment, so it’s a no-brainer!

It’s also fairly profitable for the organisers. There are over 60 categories, no prizes and, best of all, the winners have to buy the awards image from them to use on your book.

No judges are listed and promises are scarce.

Sigh, looks like I won’t be winning this award any time soon.

Brett Bridger

Amazon Author Pages

It took me a little while to figure out firstly that i could have one and secondly how the heck to set it up, but now I’m the proud owner of a Amazon Author’s Page:

http://amazon.com/author/brettbridger

So, the steps in case anyone else was struggling:

  1. Have a book for sale in Amazon (e-book, paper, audio)
  2. Go to the following link https://authorcentral.amazon.com/gp/books
  3. Create an account
  4. Link to your book
  5. Start filling in the gory details!

I’ll do a second post about linking this to all the different Amazon sites later.

Great Expectations

I’d not been prepared for the emotion involved in having the book finished. I was really excited.
But I’d been so concentrated on actually publishing the book that I hadn’t really thought much beyond that. So after I’d finally released the book on Amazon, I breathed a sigh of relief. I’d finally made it.
Again, I wasn’t expecting the roller coaster of emotion then. As the sales of the book stopped at 5 copies for three whole days, I started feeling really down about it all.
A timely sermon, a bit of a re-think, a chat with friends and I realised that the publishing wasn’t the end, it was just the beginning of the next phase.
As I’m a self-published author, I’ve now got all of the leg work in front of me to show people that they really do need to buy my book!
the Facebook page I started has to be fed. The 500 odd people that have now been exposed to it have to be captivated. They have to like the page so much that they’ll want to share it with their friends.
The Author’s blog (that you’ve currently reading), has to grab, excite and compel.
The little advertising cards I’m handing out have to matter. I started handing them out because I saw the little card as the end. I’ve got to stop that and look longer. The card is a waste of money if I haven’t engaged the person I gave it to. They have to be inspired to act on that card (so my apologies to those who got a card, but walked away without getting me or my book – I’ll try to do better next time).
I really do think my book is good and that it’ll provide entertainment for my readers, but like anything worthwhile, it’ll take time to fulfill my great expectations.