Cal Miller: Publish Your Own Everything

[I’m here for the zombies.  Also, here’s something I wanted to do for years…write a book or otherwise be published. :) ]

Finding Cal?
calvinalmillerii.com | teddead.com (a Wednesday web comic about a zombie who works in something like Best Buy!  Teehee!)

  • This is about anything you can do to get your work out there.
  • Everyone has a story to tell.  Find it & write it!
  • CreateSpace – can do print, cds, dvds, etc.
  • He did about 68g words.  (Novellas 40g-60g. Short stories over1g. Novels over 60g, Flash fiction 500 words or so, just a bit of it.  You can publish stuff like this on the Kindle
  • Yes, you can do the trad route.  It can take a while.
  • He just wanted to get the 1st thing out there.
  • Hardcover can be self-published, it’s just a bit expensive.Paperbacks & kindle is less expensive
  • Another option: start your own publishing company.  He self published thru that & now he’s also publishing others (ten speed did this)
  • Just do it! Start. You can give yourself an arbitrary date to get it finished to keep you moving. Don’t worry about how you’re gonna make $ on it.  Just do it because you love it. (So pick something you are passionate about.)
  • Editing? Yes, get a pro to do it.  Also make sure you have some continuity type checks, too.  High school teachers are a cheap option [me: esp for beginning, I’d think]
  • “In America, you get a job & become the person that does that job”
  • Get honest input as you go along from people who kinda like the topic.

Cost?

  • CreateSpace is Amazon’s (and it does print & kindle)
    • Ex: His $9.95 paperback yields $3.00 in royalty shares
  • Kindle: you keep 30%
  • Smashwords lets you keep more.  They just signed with Apple for the iPad.  They do Kindle, Nook, iPad, iPhone, PC, etc.
  • Lulu does paperbacks & ebooks.  He feels it’s confusing.  Perfers Amazon, CreateSpace,  or Smashwords
  • ISBN costs $125 at Bowker.
  • UPC = $25.  You need the barcode to get in the stores [me: yup!!]
  • Get a Facebook page for your book.  Find genre blogs & make contacts.

Formatting: 

  • Biggest pain!  Must format text & cover to certain rules.  Check with your site.  For ebooks, for example, you don’t want to put a page break in it.
  • [Me: read books in your ebook format before you publish in it.]

Pricing ebooks:

  • ebooks on Kindle…NOT over $9.99 & NOT more expensive than the print copy.  Half is a nice thing.
  • Keep in mind, you get less $ for Kindle than print.  People have a hard time understanding that.  [me: Really??  That’s my librarianship kung-fu getting in the way of how most ppl think.]

Promotion:

  • Amazon’s discussion group is great, as are blogs, etc.  Participate!
  • Fan page or groups on FB
  • Snippets & pics of your book on FB or twitter
  • Blog sites. Keep in mind that there are review sites out there.
  • Shows! Conventions!  People are nice there. :)  He’s met a guy who makes fangs with a demel tool.  Heehee!
  • Chains can be tough.  Get into website, at least.  Some stores don’t get into all genre.  Play the local author card.
  • That starting the company thing…really makes you look serious & make it seem more professional.  [me: Hey…fake it till you make it works!]

Q&A

  • Finding conventions – meet people, google “horror conventions”, look on discussion groups.
  • How about illustrations?  Cost comes in when you’re talking b&w vs color, not line drawing vs. line drawing.  (With createspace, the out of pocket is only really the ISBN & UPC…the cost of the illustration comes out of the royalty, so it just reduces your royalty some.)

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