Some of you have suggested that you’d love to hear how book sales are going and also just about the self-publishing experience as a whole. I am flattered that you would consider my opinion on this subject valuable, and as such, will gladly indulge you to the point where you wish you had never asked.
To begin, I need to freely confess that I don’t have a clue about how to make money. I don’t. I never have. I loved my high school and college jobs–I probably would’ve worked them for free. After college I was shocked when I discovered how much I was paid to be a hero. And as for the rest of my jobs since then, I have quit them for one of two reasons. Either I felt guilty for being paid too much money or I quit because you couldn’t pay me enough money to do the job. Reiterating then, I don’t have a clue about how to make money. I don’t. I never have.
On top of this, I happen to believe that if I know anything valuable–anything of real value–I shouldn’t charge you for it. Now, I’m not going to get all Christian-ee on you, so settle down. But case in point is the Gospel. Let’s say for a moment that the story is true. Let’s say that you and I are wretched sinners without a hope, save one unbelievable notion. And let’s say that that notion is that recognizing the state of things taken together with following Jesus is the only way to balance the books, but balance the books it does. If that were the case, and I knew it to be true, I would never charge you for that information. No way.
Just the same, H- and I need money for life’s necessities, no different than you and yours. So I wrote Simon Pastor with the hope of paying for these necessities. Next up, I’ll tell you how to write a book like Simon Pastor, then I’ll share how it’s selling. Feel free to skip to the end.
Step 1 – TYPE book in MS Word
Step 2 – SAVE file every time you think of it. 😉
Step 3 – SAVE AS a PDF/A when it’s final. (Only if you care about a paperback version. If you don’t, skip to step 8)
Step 4 – CREATE createspace.com account
Step 5 – UPLOAD PDF/A file
Step 6 – FOLLOW createspace.com steps to proof book and create cover etc.
Step 7 – DOWNLOAD Kindle cover file when prompted
Step 8 – SAVE AS final MS Word file again–this time with the name Kindle added on. (You need a file to mess around with and don’t want to screw up your paperback version, that’s why I do this step.)
Step 9 – CREATE kdp.amazon.com account.
Step 10 – FOLLOW kdp.amazon.com steps to modify MS Word Kindle version as required
Step 11 – SAVE AS Web Page, Filtered
Step 12 – UPLOAD that and Kindle Cover from Step 7 to kdp.amazon.com account (plenty of instructions on their site)
Step 13 – FOLLOW the simple sequence of pricing/distributing
Step 14 – SHARE the news that Amazon is selling your book with every human being you come into contact with
Okay. Truly, it is simple. It is also free. If you don’t care to feel a paperback copy in your hands before you list it on Amazon, you never have to pay a cent–not one penny–to publish your book in either paperback or Kindle versions.
So how are sales? Since last weekend, the 4th, I have sold a grand total of twenty copies. Another one hundred eighteen kindle versions were downloaded (via the free Kindle promotion last Friday). One thing I forgot while setting the price for the eBook is that I have no idea how to make money. Amazon recommended setting the price at $3.99 when using the 70% royalty model. Up until that moment, I had been planning on selling it as cheap as possible in order to encourage heavy readership. But greed took over along with thoughts of glory and roller coasters in my backyard etc. It is a good book. I’m sure of that. But I’m also sure that while $3.99 is a cup of coffee, it doesn’t take hours to drink a cup of coffee. And it will take at least an hour to read my book. Your tv watching habits prove you are willing to waste time for free, but paying to waste time? That would be something. I see now that four bucks is a bit much to invest in possibly wasting an hour with an unknown author. So after a week I’m changing it up. I’m going back to my original plan and it is now for sale for the lowest price Amazon will let me sell it for, which is 99 cents.
I’ll update you guys next week with just a simple number update regarding how sales are doing.
Overall, the lesson learned is write what you must write. My happiness is enhanced because of writing this book. If money is deposited into my bank account, that’s great. But I will never regret writing the book. If you’re a timid soul, this post should warn you off from challenging yourself to finally write the great american novel. But we both know there are no timid writers. Good luck.