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What Happens When You Write a Book
Old 04-01-2014, 11:27 AM   #1
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What Happens When You Write a Book

Once you publish a book, you want people to buy it (not for the money, but just to see the numbers increase).

So then you want to promote it.

So then you do things like use twitter and facebook, and submit to ebook sites, etc. to unbury it from the haystack of 1,000 books that are published each day.

And if you're not careful, it starts to be like WORK.

But I think I'm able to pull back from the brink. Some of it is fun.

So just be aware of that if you start thinking about writing a book.

Anyway, my book is free from now until April 5:

Amazon.com: Drive, Ride, Repeat: The Mostly-True Account of a Cross-Country Car and Bicycle Adventure eBook: Al Macy: Kindle Store
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Old 04-01-2014, 12:46 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Once you publish a book, you want people to buy it (not for the money, but just to see the numbers increase).

So then you want to promote it.

So then you do things like use twitter and facebook, and submit to ebook sites, etc. to unbury it from the haystack of 1,000 books that are published each day.

And if you're not careful, it starts to be like WORK.

But I think I'm able to pull back from the brink. Some of it is fun.

So just be aware of that if you start thinking about writing a book.

Anyway, my book is free from now until April 5:

Amazon.com: Drive, Ride, Repeat: The Mostly-True Account of a Cross-Country Car and Bicycle Adventure eBook: Al Macy: Kindle Store
(Emphasis mine) My sympathies, T-Al!

I am thinking that it is great that you are doing this more for the fun and satisfaction of it than for the money. But all of our lives before ER, we worked for money and I am thinking that probably sometimes the old attitudes would creep back, and we would have to say to ourselves, "Self! If this is not fun today, then why not do something else for a while?"

It certainly is not a crime to find that you are not completely driven to work on the distribution aspects of writing. After all, working on that is not the fun part, and is not really why you chose to write the book in the first place. Writing and working on distribution sound such completely different experiences.

Sometimes our dreams are wonderful and then reality hits us in the face like a ton of bricks.

My suggestion is to give yourself a break! Do as much on the distribution as is fun, and then do something else for a while and come back to it. If you remind yourself frequently that you do not HAVE to work on it, you might find that you voluntarily put more effort into it than otherwise.
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Old 04-01-2014, 01:10 PM   #3
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Al, I think you just need to be patient and give your book time . You have two good reviews and IMO that is what sells books rather than the price .
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Old 04-01-2014, 02:16 PM   #4
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Al if you have not had chat with Nords about the joys of being an author you should...

His experiences pretty much mirror yours.
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Old 04-01-2014, 05:31 PM   #5
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You hit the nail on the head, W2R, but I haven't gone beyond the point at which it stops being fun.

It's fascinating to see how this self-publishing stuff works, with everyone trying so hard to get his/her book noticed. I've been using Twitter, which is mind-blowingly weird. If it were a country, it would be the third most populous, behind China and India. Most of the people on it are promoting something or saying nothing.
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Old 04-01-2014, 08:11 PM   #6
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I have a book out, and am working on number two. What I'm learning from experienced authors is that the best marketing you can do is continue to put out good work regularly and give your audience time to find you.

I've sold "tens" of my book! And only one of them was to my mother.

Twitter is a fun place to chat with other authors, but I don't think it's much of a place to find readers.

I told myself not to expect much from my books until I've got a series or two completed. It'll take 4-5 years to get there.

Luckily the quest for early retirement has taught me to delay gratification! (grumble grumble)
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Old 04-01-2014, 10:20 PM   #7
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I'm having a great time reading your book - the story of Lena's grandfather & the door knob had me laughing out loud.

DW's family is Swedish & Finnish and I know what you mean about being happy on the inside. The Swedes are extroverts compared to the Finns.
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Old 04-02-2014, 06:57 AM   #8
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I grabbed a copy but I'm not sure when I will get around to reading it -- I have several physical books from the library and a few more in the queue. It seems to me that if you like writing, layout, and all of that, this is a bit like producing a photobook. Fun exercise but not much practical value.
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Old 04-02-2014, 08:08 AM   #9
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I just got a copy too and passed the link onto a few friends. Just in time too as I was looking for my next read.
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Old 04-05-2014, 04:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Once you publish a book, you want people to buy it (not for the money, but just to see the numbers increase).

So then you want to promote it.

So then you do things like use twitter and facebook, and submit to ebook sites, etc. to unbury it from the haystack of 1,000 books that are published each day.

And if you're not careful, it starts to be like WORK.

But I think I'm able to pull back from the brink. Some of it is fun.

So just be aware of that if you start thinking about writing a book.

Anyway, my book is free from now until April 5:

Amazon.com: Drive, Ride, Repeat: The Mostly-True Account of a Cross-Country Car and Bicycle Adventure eBook: Al Macy: Kindle Store
Thanks, Al-- got it! I'll post a review on Amazon when I finish it.

How did you produce the Kindle file? Did you use a utility or outsource it to a freelancer?

I appreciate that the free downloads get authors up on the scoreboards-- and hopefully get good reviews-- but I've always wondered how Amazon can tell that the tactic leads to higher sales.

These days I get more news from Twitter than I've ever gleaned from TV or radio.
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Old 04-05-2014, 06:39 PM   #11
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How did you produce the Kindle file? Did you use a utility or outsource it to a freelancer?
I used an app called Scrivener. There were a bunch of headaches in getting the formatting right, mostly caused by having images. I created my first book with OpenOffice. Again, it should have been easy to create a Kindle file, but there were a lot of poorly designed things, that make it tricky. It's much easier the second time through. Another good app is Sigil.


Quote:
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I appreciate that the free downloads get authors up on the scoreboards-- and hopefully get good reviews-- but I've always wondered how Amazon can tell that the tactic leads to higher sales.
The general consensus is that the free periods help, but not everyone agrees. For me it was a no brainer. I gave up five days of about one sale per day, and got over 750 downloads. Free downloads are less likely to lead to good reviews, but I've been lucky. The other problem is that many people download free books, but never get around to reading them. I'll see if it makes a difference.

Congrats on your all-five-star reviews!
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Old 04-05-2014, 07:08 PM   #12
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I finished your book in two sittings & liked it - a lot! DW got annoyed at me because I kept interrupting her reading to tell her about the funnier episodes.

I am curious - are you writing books for the fun of it or fulfilling a dream or for the money or ..?
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Old 04-05-2014, 08:42 PM   #13
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I finished your book in two sittings & liked it - a lot! DW got annoyed at me because I kept interrupting her reading to tell her about the funnier episodes.

I am curious - are you writing books for the fun of it or fulfilling a dream or for the money or ..?
For the fun of it. I had realized that I could quickly turn my sight-reading blog into a book, and it took off from there. Definitely not for the money.

But it should be interesting monetarily. I don't see any reason that these books won't keep selling for ten years or more with no management from me. It's not like software, that has a tech support cost.
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Old 04-05-2014, 11:41 PM   #14
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I used an app called Scrivener. There were a bunch of headaches in getting the formatting right, mostly caused by having images. I created my first book with OpenOffice. Again, it should have been easy to create a Kindle file, but there were a lot of poorly designed things, that make it tricky. It's much easier the second time through. Another good app is Sigil.
Thanks, good to know. I bought a copy a couple of weeks ago and I'm just getting started importing the LibreOffice files into Scrivener.

No images for me... just text and some offset boxes or quotes.
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Old 04-06-2014, 09:37 AM   #15
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Thanks, good to know. I bought a copy a couple of weeks ago and I'm just getting started importing the LibreOffice files into Scrivener.

No images for me... just text and some offset boxes or quotes.
I recommend the beta version of Scrivener, available here:

Literature and Latte • View forum - Beta Testing (Windows)

It seems quite stable, and has some improvements over the release version.

Five-day promotion ended yesterday, and 783 copies were downloaded. That's significantly more than the 175 for my first book.

This book is good:

http://www.amazon.com/Twitter-Market.../dp/B00CKZX2TO
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