Been thinking…

As I write more and more of my second book, I’m less happy with my first book.

It’s not that I’m embarrassed or anything, it’s just that if I’m to become a successful writer, that first book will be where so many potential fans will start.

Anyway, I’ve re-written the first few pages & loaded up both versions here. I’d REALLY appreciate it if people could take some time and read the pair of them and let me know what you think.

All The Stars That I Can See – Book 1 -test

All The Stars That I Can See – Book 1 -original

Brett Bridger

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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.

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.