08 Dec Publishing Your Own Book For Free (For Real This Time)
This morning I published my book Thinking Like A Start-Up! It is available in paperback form for $19.95 before a discount and for the Kindle for $9.95. The book is about 214 pages and has a lot of thoughts about start-ups. It is meant for start-ups but also corporate IT and product management professionals. You can click this link to go buy my book on Amazon.com. I promote you to do it. I also promote you to write up a bang up review and give me 5 stars on Amazon.com. Now if you are my relative or a good friend, this is a given. If you are just by chance reading my blog because you randomly found it, then please read my book and give it whatever review you want. I am just happy you have heard about my book.
I think it is a pretty good book. You can beg to differ. Does matter much to me. Most important to me is getting a few sales and getting the book out there!
On October 21, 2014 I wrote a blog article about how to publish your own book for free. In that article I mentioned a website called Createspace.com, which is a subsidiary of Amazon.com, where you can publish your book. I have heard of a dozen of these sites out there, but if you are going to do it, Amazon.com sounds pretty good to me. This article will show how I went ahead with publishing my book, despite a bunch of negatives. And at this point, my Amazon.com book is now available, as of this morning, and I actually saw 5 sales in the royalty report. I am actually making $67.25! I am ecstatic.
When They Say Something Is Free, You Know There Is Always A Catch!
What I did notice along the way is you can pay for expertise and services. I just decided to skip these add-ons. Createspace.com has a service where they will make a cover for you for, for example. They have paid services where they will edit your book, carry out design services, publicize and market your book and various other services. I would believe these services are excellent. But I was determined to publish my book for free!
I would say the biggest negative is my book is pretty plain and simple. If you look at comparable books, they have nicer covers. The other books have cooler graphics. They probably have much better, nicely edited writing. I did my own editing and proofing. So it may be ugly in parts. But the biggest issue I ran into is I did not pay for Kindle conversion services. So, when I looked over what happened in moving over the documents to the Kindle version is the book is pretty unreadable. This was mainly because I did not put in the time to do the Kindle conversion properly myself. I just took the print version in a word .doc form and jammed it into the Amazon Kindle site. I also realized late in the process that I probably should have printed the book under my corporate name, not my name personally. So, you will notice when you buy my book, I, Dan Gudema, is the publisher. This may seem a little unprofessional.
You Pay For Professionalism
Another issue I ran into is I decided late in the game to add these quotes and quips to each chapter. When I showed this to my cartoonist friend, he wanted to create graphics for the book. A week later, I called him and he confirmed that it would take him at least a month or 2 to create these graphics. Even he said, well why don’t you just publish you book today and we will add the graphics later on. Sorry about that. My first version of Thinking Like A Start-Up will not be that nice…. but there is always going to be a nicer edition 2 out. Finally, another weird issue I found out about at the last minute is Createspace.com will not publish your ebook or Kindle version. I had to go to http://Kdp.amazon.com and it almost felt I like was starting over with the process, which did not make a lot of sense to me. I may be adding another article covering exactly step by step what to do with the Kindle version, because it was a bit rough, and what came out of it was rough. So, if you can afford it, pay a publisher to do it right. If you are cheap like me, then do it yourself!
What I Learned From This Experience?
Well, first off it has come to the point where anybody can create a book and do it for free. My point in this blog article is I just feel sometimes you just have to stop talking and do something. I needed closure. I realize there may be a spelling issue here or there. I also realized there may be some run-on sentences, sentence structure problems or wording issues. There are definitely some minor glitches in the book. but you know, that’s life when you are self-publishing. The point is, sometimes you just need to go for it, whatever it is and find out what happens.
As far as the overall view here. What I am seeing is the removal of the middle man. If we can all publish books on what we want to pontificate on, and we are able to get people to actually buy our stuff, we are seriously removing the agent and publisher from the process. Now, in my case Amazon.com is taking a hefty fee, like 55% of the sale, but who cares, I was able to publish my book!
Dr. Frankenstein The Writer
So, I experimented and made $67.25. Not sure if I will make a dime more. At least I am hoping to double that, as long as family and relatives feel obligated to buy my book. I also put 100 names of family, friends and colleagues that I acknowledge in the book (to get them to buy the book)! This is a silly practice, but maybe it will get me an additional 3 sales. I would like my publishing experiment to be a money making venture. However, for now that will have to wait. I am about 75% complete with my next mini book, which is going to be the first in a series on the tools that tech start-ups to get started, get presentable to investors and generally figure things out.