Great is the road I climb…

I decided about a year ago that I wasn’t going to try and get published. I was going to publish. That was a pivotal moment for me.

Changing my mindset from writing and revising and querying literary agents on different projects hoping one might attract interest, to focusing on self-publishing a story I loved writing so much, I’ve written and revised and rewritten *inaudible whisper* times, energized me in a way I’ve not felt in a loooong time. So much so, that recruiting BETA readers, and then hiring an editor after revising the story based on Beta comments, and then revising it yet again based on Editor suggestions, and going through and tidying it the last week based on ARC readers catches, has honestly, felt effortless. The prospect of doing it for the next book, and the next, and the next… I awake each morning eager to get to my computer. The only tough part…

Formatting the finished product — finally got that figured out, yeah!– and…

Navigating the different Book retailer sites for self-publishing authors.

Amazon. Kobo. B & N Press for Nook (sorry, No Canadians may apply (which would have been nice to know before I was half-way through opening an account)). iBooks (only for Mac owners — or those with friends/family willing to loan them a Mac for the time it takes to create an account and upload an ebook). It’s not easy. I liken it to walking across a lake using tree stumps that rise almost to the surface, spaced in haphazard fashion, some visible beneath the water, others blending with murky shadows, hard if not almost impossible to locate, but you have to find the next one if you’re ever going to make it to the other side. Sort of.

There are online book formatting and distributing sites like Draft2Digital and Smashwords that offer an alternative route. Only they charge travel commission on top of the sales commission the Book retailer collects, which essentially shaves an author’s thin profit margin, to near translucence.

What I’m trying to say here is, Self-Publishing is not for the timid. Nor is it for those unwilling or unable to navigate a variety of learning options. And seek solutions. Fortunately, I love learning. And, as my mother (and probably husband) can verify, I am a wee bit persistent in getting what I want when I want it bad enough. And I want this. I’ve wanted it for a long time. So I’ll persist.

There’s also something else I’d like you to know…

If you balk at paying $3.99 or $5.99 or $6.99 for an eBook, please reconsider. I can’t tell you how many thousands of hours have gone into the writing, rewriting, revising, editing, copy-editing, formatting, and cover creation for just one book. Not to mention the Editor’s cost (over a thousand dollars, if you’re interested), cover art licensing and website creation/maintenance fees… it’s adding up, and I haven’t sold a single book yet. And I’m not counting the time spent on communication between myself and Beta or ARC readers, or here between you and I.

I buy books all the time. Mostly in-store (I need the smell, the feel… it’s a sickness!). And I’m always excited to get a deal–who isn’t?–so I snap up the 2 for $15 paperbacks and 40% off the Hardcover price new releases, when I have the money. I also seek out the $2.99 and $0.99 eBook options. I’m human. And I have a budget. But I’m also an author. And it hurts…

When I hear someone say they won’t click Buy for an eBook priced above $0.99 or $2.99, but who will drop $5.20 or more, for a Grande or Venti at Starbucks.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Starbucks. I’m a Goldstar member, for Heavens’s sake. But if I have to choose where to spend limited money…

I’ll invest in the book. It’ll last longer than the drink–and the cup it arrived in–and I can share it with a friend, or relative. More importantly, I’m helping Author Mary, who slaved for months or years to write that book and nurse it through all its various doctoring until it was ready for market, afford to live, so she can write more books for me to enjoy.

So please, if you have to choose… choose Books! Fix home brew, and click Buy. All the books. Buy all the books! Treat yourself, and Author Mary (okay, me)! We each deserve it.


Great is the road I climb, but… the garland offered by an easier effort is not worth the gathering. ~Propertius



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