Saturday, October 25, 2014

Lessons Learned

In the Coast Guard, every time we did anything, drill, operation, Search and Rescue case. We would usually do a lessons learned debrief afterword. We'd sit around afterwards and talked about what went right and what went wrong. What we could do better next time and what we learned that we could teach others that might find themselves in the same situation.

Three Months ago I started down the Self-Publishing path. I figure it is time to do a lessons learned debrief.

  1. Format the book in Smashwords. Follow their guide. This will fix all problems and make the file usable in other places. The first one took 4 hours. The second one 15 minutes.
  2. Use the Smashwords file to create the Amazon file. Remove the Smashwords edition information. Convert to fully justified margins. Publish.
  3. Use 6 points after paragraphs for create space. It looks better. Be careful of the gutter, mirror margins, etc.
  4. When creating your cover for Create Space. Make sure there is no text near the edge. It will bleed over and won't be allowed in the print version.
  5. Use free short stories to advertise your books. Put the first three chapters of your major work at the end of the short stories.
  6. I make more money with Kindle Select and Kindle Unlimited than I do with full distribution through all the other sites. This might change later but for now all of my books are going into KDP select.
  7. Follow Writer's Cafe on the Kindle Boards. You will learn a lot of inside knowledge that would take forever to learn on your own.
  8. Make sure your books are listed in Goodreads. This community can influence others.
  9. Have multiple books in the same genre available for readers. I have numerous reviews from the same reader.
  10. Make sure your book is proofread. The readers will let you know if it isn't and hold it against you
  11. Covers and blurbs are critical. A cover will get them to read the blurb. The blurb will get them to read the book.
  12. If you don't publish you can't sell. Get off your butt and get your work out there.
  13. It takes the royalties of six $.99 books to equal the royalties of one $2.99 book. Take that into consideration when pricing your book.
  14. Stop following your sales chart every hour. Turn the TV off, Turn the internet off. Write. When you are done, write some more.

That is all for now. I will try and do another update three months from now.

Friday, October 17, 2014

 I have posted my short story "First" up at Amazon. It is a Science Fiction story that explores Man's first trip to the stars. Let me know what you think.

Monday, October 13, 2014