Friday, 11 March 2011

Epublishing: Here we go

A couple of days ago, Janice Hally commented on this blog that she was ready to self-publish online. She sent me an email about the actual act and I asked her for permission to reproduce it here because I feel not enough authors - aspiring, established, rich and poor - know about this process.

Janice writes:

I was all set to upload, very excited about it, nervous even, when - before I could press the "Upload Now" button - an E-mail landed on my desktop from a producer asking to see a script.  After getting a lead,  I'd submitted the logline and synopsis weeks ago, but as is normal, I'd put it out of my mind, expecting to hear nothing.

So obviously I had to deal with that first.  And obviously, being paranoid, I HAD to read the script again - and tinker with it - before e-mailing it off.  

So suddenly it was lunchtime and obviously I had to have lunch.  

So anyway, no sooner had I got back at my desk after lunch than the producer e-mailed - having read the script immediately and loving it and wanting to find out if we can have a "chat over a cuppa"... in London.  

So I explain I'm in France and after much to-ing and fro-ing of E-mails and checking of flights, I persuade her we could video Skype because I have a kettle here and am happy to provide my own "cuppa".  

So for some reason a Skype call has to wait till she's back in California next week (maybe she doesn't have a kettle in London.  Who knows.)

So..... after all that, the day is over.  And it's up fresh and bright the next day to get the E-book upload underway.  

After much trepidation.... I actually... Press the Button.... and.... 

Wait.... 

It's going to start uploading.... yes it is.... but not straight away!  

It's in a queue... in fact it's number #1540 in the queue to be precise.  

But hey - this is digital, so it should be fast, right...?   Five minutes later I'm #1539!  Seven HOURS later I'm #457!  Finally, 11 HOURS later, that evening, I check the computer and coincidentally the number rolls over to #1, and hey presto!  I'm uploading!  Then I get a window up saying the upload was successful!  So I'm scrabbling around trying to find the book's page on the site to see how the cover art has come out and all that when... 

PING!  An E-mail arrives... guess what?  Before I can even FIND the book online, I'm receiving a notification of a sale!  Someone actually bought a copy!

Here's the page...
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/46386

Now bear in mind I truly never expected to be selling or marketing this book!  Peter and I used to offer the occasional writing course in France and this was something I put together to loosen people up before they came - it was especially for people who had never written before.  As it already existed as a Word .doc and PDF, it just seemed like something I could use to test run the process quickly.

The book has to be cleared by a human being now before Smashwords put it in their "Premium" catalogue to sell it on through Barnes and Noble, Nook, Sony Reader, IBooks etc.  
At the moment the Kindle version is being processed by Kindle to go up on Amazon, should happen later today (it takes 24 hours).
And the Createspace (Print on Demand hard copy) version has been cleared and I've just ordered a proof copy to check it.  So that'll be a couple of weeks before it's available on Amazon and through other online bookstores. 

Oh and of course, I downloaded a sample to see how it looked and immediately spotted a typo!  But one great thing about this online thing is, that you can upload a revised version quickly (though I can't fix the Smashwords one it till it's been through its Premium catalogue review).

So there you have it.  Judging by that queue everybody's getting in on the act!

But I'm definitely going to go forward with some fiction.  

3 comments:

  1. Yup Yup.
    Ebooks will never do away with traditional publishing altogether, or printed books, but it will certainly alter the landscape. Knowing Janice, as I do, I'm sure she won't begrudge me the opportunity to note that I now have several stories available in e-formats. Just check out my name.

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  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  3. Just revising the deleted comment in case anyone thought I was talking about myself. So here I go again... Carl Brookins - great guy, great writer, worth a read!

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