On May 30th I published my first eBook via Smashwords.com. I never thought I would work with eBooks before now. The whole concept seemed silly to me. Ever since I was eleven years old I had always dreamed of holding a printed copy of my very own book in my hands complete with my name on it and an amazing cover. Of course, I also used to write my books by hand with a pen or pencil in a binder full of notebook paper. I never cared for writing on the computer and wrote by hand for five years. It wasn’t until I got my own computer and started trying out different word processors that I realized how much easier it is to write up a book, check my mistakes and have a finished manuscript by using a computer.
My first eBook (and my first book really worthy of being called a book) is called Dangerous Drop. The original title was Hypoglycemia but after some suggestions from family and friends it was decided that the then current title might get it confused with a medical book and not an adventure. I disagreed at first because I knew Hypoglycemia would’ve been such a unique title and it would’ve perfectly stated the medical side effect of the main character’s disease (Diabetes).
However, we (myself, parents and friends) rolled the idea of a different title around in our heads. It was true. Hypoglycemia had a special meaning to me but it didn’t say enough about the book itself. It wasn’t a suspense or thriller type of title. Thus Dangerous Drop was decided and after much correcting, proofreading and revisions the book was ready to be published. The big question was by whom and in what way.
We’d looked around online, did much research and learned quite a lot about the publishing world. Contracts, editors, agents, publishers and the lot. It was scary of course and did indeed sound like a lot of work. However, being serious about getting my book out into the public I pursued many agents and read about them online. Some seemed sketchy and others didn’t publish young adult fiction which I believe Dangerous Drop is suitable for.
After a few suggestions from new found friends I started wondering what self publishing would be like. I knew from the get go it would be a lot of work. Especially to pay for the printed copies and then find someone to buy them so I could make a profit. It didn’t matter if it was a book store, a library, a school or someone sitting in their living room drinking a cup of nice warm tea. I spent many days staying up late hours or up all night doing research and trying to figure out what exactly to do with the book. At first I was very skeptical of eBooks and they are still just a very small niche in the market. I don’t know who I got it from but I had always wanted to be part of something that would grow someday and change the way we read books. Could it be possible? Will eBooks take at least half of the publishing market? I don’t know but why miss the chance. If anything, it should save a lot of trees!
Anyway, I feel I’m rambling a bit much. So as I was saying, I began to consider eBooks. This is where I found smashwords. www.smashwords.com
I read the style guide and bumbled a bit, made about 4 or 5 revisions prior to the final publish and finally got it uploaded and made the price $1.99. I had a bit of trouble understanding the style guide at first because I do not use Microsoft Word at all anymore and haven’t for the last year and a half. My word processor of choice is Apple’s Pages 4 (or Pages ’09 which is part of the iWork ’09 creativity suite) but I finally got the hang of it and submitted it to the premium catalog.
It has been accepted but won’t arrive in Apple’s iBook store for another week and the other channels for about two weeks. However, you can buy the book or read the 50% sample by following the link here: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/15725
As of this writing I have sold one copy and had thirteen sample downloads. Sadly the buyer didn’t leave a review or give the book a rating which makes promotion (which it’s my job to promote and sell my own book) very difficult.
If anybody wants to take a look and if they buy, please leave an honest rating and/or review. It would really help me out.
Thanks for your help and for also taking the time to read my 801 word blog!