Ebook Talk Thursday, May 16, 2012 to the Summerlin Writers Group.
The following acted as a guide for my presentation.
I started writing one liners for Joan Rivers and other comedians around 1984. I think it was during my 2nd midlife crisis or was it my 4th.
I was asked once why I write and I answered, “because I don’t talk so good.”
First I’ll relate my early experience with eBooks. A number of years ago before Amazon’s kindle, Barnes and Noble’s Nook and all the other eBook readers, there was a small niche industry that you could buy ebooks from. A number of years ago an author of ebooks came to speak at our writers group. Her Genre was Erotic Fiction. She gave us a list of trusted publishers. Her earnings were about $1200 a month. My interest was piqued… I don’t remember if it was the $1200 a month or that I could actually make money selling and putting my erotic fantasy’s on… not paper but in cyberspace. I quickly knocked out a short erotic piece which I dare not call literature and emailed it to a trusted publisher, and waited a reply. My first rejection arrived with some helpful hints. Like, show don’t tell and this site does not except Erotic Lesbian stories. Rather than search the net for Lesbian publishers and all that would entail… I once searched Victoria's Secret never realizing there was so many Victoria's that had secrets they wanted to share with me.
I don’t’ take rejection well even if it was my first. So I decided to build my own web site, be my own publisher and sell ebooks that my Grandchildren could read. I bought a website program, built a Web site, bought a Domain name from Yahoo which I’m still paying $12.59 a year, opened a separate bank account to keep my earnings distinct, and found a site that would host my web site for free, but would charge a fee if you wanted to know how many hits your site received. My first sale was to myself in order to test the PayPal system and make sure I would be able to collect the riches that would come pouring in. I priced my first offering at three dollars at my lovely wife Rochelle’s suggestion… I’m trying to enlist her as my agent and offered 100 percent commission but she’s holding out for more. My second and last sale was from a friend for eight Metamucil tablets. The cost of building a web site was over a hundred dollars. This included the program to build the web site, the purchase of a domain name, which is called Humourebooks. I was selling 10 loosely connected short stories called the Adventures of Julie and Brad.
Steven King the bestselling author dipped his toes into the ebook game and got them scalded. He put his book out there in cyberspace for one dollar on the honor system, his fans in return for his generosity downloaded and disseminated his work and not enough coughed up the dollar.
By this point in my talk you have the right to be disillusioned. Don’t be. That was then and this is now.
Now any of you who are proficient using MS Word and have access to an internet connection can publish a book on Amazon for Kindle at Zero cost. You can also make your book available to other online book stores through a company called Smashwords. The companies will help you promote your book and you don’t need a web site, because Goggle will host a blog for free, which you can use to promote your book like I’m doing now. You can add a link to your blog that points to your book on either Amazon or any of the places your book resides so you don’t need a website with a royalty collection vehicle. Amazon handles the money side and you can set the price of your ebook and a choice of royalty program. 70% or 35%. You also have the choice of adding DRM digital rights management to protect your work.
How do you do this?
Download the following guides.
Building Your Book for Kindle a free guide, which you can read on a Kindle reader application that can be downloaded to your PC for free.
Smashwords Style Guide http://www.smashwords.com/books/download/52/1/latest/0/0/smashwords-style-guide.pdf
Or visit CJ’s Easy as Pie Kindle Tutorials, which I found helpful.
The following sentence is a Log Line for my novel, that I’m trying to refine by piquing the readers interest yet not act as spoiler.
Three single parents and their children’s circumstances are altered after “Rent A Muse” enters their lives.