Ralph's Rant - Page 8

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  1. #71
    How is Smashwords? I have never tried them.
    I wonder if we couldn't create a whole thread just dedicated to the pro's & con's of different places to publish.

  2. #72
    Member Dormouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Rotten View Post
    How is Smashwords? I have never tried them.
    I wonder if we couldn't create a whole thread just dedicated to the pro's & con's of different places to publish.
    Yes please I think that would be helpful and not just to newbies. It could also be of use to more established authors.
    Last edited by Dormouse; August 6th, 2018 at 06:13 PM.

  3. #73
    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Rotten View Post
    How is Smashwords? I have never tried them.
    I wonder if we couldn't create a whole thread just dedicated to the pro's & con's of different places to publish.
    I never had a problem with them.

    But I think I'm spectacularly non-picky about the details of self-publishing. I hate it so much I just sort of slap everything together, shove it up some sites, then shake my fist at the universe and yell "There! I did it - are you HAPPY now?!?".

    So I'm probably not picking up on the subtle nuances of the process...

  4. #74
    Okay, I have scheduled 10 minutes this morning to update this thread. In an average day I only have about an hour of free time. Normally I work >14 months a year, in addition to writing. So the only way it all works is if I strictly partition my life.



    So today I am working on the final tweaking for the new eBook due out Sep 5th. Bayview asked why I don't just upload a *.docx file, and I didn't really give a good answer to that.
    The short answer is that this is a fairly complex book due to both artwork and special fonts.
    Not only does the book have a lotta artwork to help tell the story, but every scene has a scene header (this is a mockumentary), so each header has to be formatted so that it stands out from the rest of the text.
    The story also includes a number of faux news articles which actually require a special font (courier) so I have to add special formatting to override the Kindle's preferences.
    Seems simple enough until you factor in a 1200 page burden (Kindle pages).
    Also, the graphics are a PITA to work with (and they increase the file size, but more on that later...)

    Also, an eBook has to be tested in all available formats: kindle, phone, tablet. That's 3x1200 pages.



    There are also a ton of other details. Here is something no eBook should be without: A link at the end of the book so readers can post a review. Amazon's algorithm determines how high on the list to float your book based on basic criteria: Sales, reviews, and activity. If you want reviews, then make it easy for the reader!








    But Bayview is right; If you don't mind your index being broken, and you have a simple-text book then you can upload your word file directly to Amazon.
    As I mentioned before, the app I use (WonderShare MePub) is powerful enough to digest a 5mb Word docx (with pics!) and turn it into a functioning eBook that will work at 99% of the sites that sell eBooks (GooglePlay is persnickety!)



    Special note: I actually do most of my work in FrontPage (Microsoft's web building app) and compile it in MePub. Many eBook authors simply do it all in Sigil, which is free. MePub costs about $40.
    Last edited by Ralph Rotten; August 10th, 2018 at 02:12 PM.

  5. #75
    So the next thing to worry about is my 6.3mb file size.
    Here is how Amazon works on large files:

    If you choose the 35% profit plan then they don't charge you for large files, but you only get 35% of the cover price.
    35% profit plan is good if you wanna sell a 99 cent book (actually it is the only option if you wanna sell a book that cheap.)

    If you choose the 70% profit plan, then you are subject to a few additional fees.
    For books like mine they charge $0.15 per megabyte of book (rounding up to the nearest mb)

    So this book is selling for $6.99
    70% of that is $4.89
    The filesize is 6.3mb (before they add back the cover you uploaded in a separate step), so my download fee is $0.90
    My take-home profit is roughly $3.99 per copy.
    I prolly shoulda priced it a little higher...

    Here is a link to a very hard to find page on Amazon that explains the many fees you face with Amazon.
    The download fee used to apply only to books >1.5mb, but now seems to apply to all books.
    Bastages!

    https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G200634500

  6. #76
    Okay, I have been working since 0430hrs (yes, I slept in...such sloth!) so I guess it's time to stop and take a break.

    For those new writers who think being an Indie writer is all about writing; guess again.
    Like I have mentioned before, there are 2 indisputable rules of professional writing:
    1) Books don't write themselves
    2) Books don't sell themselves

    So today I am working on marketing BS. First I had to send off a press release/announcement to the local paper. I need to do a few more of these for the regional papers. This is nothing but shameless self-promotion; not something for the faint of heart. I've had practice from selling cars, software, contract security, and a few other things I prolly should not mention here. Still, sales sucks. I hate it.

    But the bulk of the morning has been spent on rebuilding the Rotten Apple web site from scratch.
    The old one looked like deep-fried ass, so I just built a new one.
    However, that also required fresh artwork, so I threw out the old images and cut new ones from the master copies.
    Here is a view of my desktop, so you can see that this was not a quickie.




    I am posting this stuff so that writers considering becoming an Indie have a full understanding of all the crap that is involved.
    Worse yet; even if you do all these things I'm showing you, there is no guarantee that you will succeed.
    Indie publishing is hard work, and the writing industry is fast becoming a gig-economy.

    The new website is up at www.RottenApplePublishing.com

  7. #77
    Since I am 15 days ahead of schedule on the new book, I get to work on marketing.
    Uggghhh I hate marketing. Can't I just publish a book and hope it sells on its own?
    The short answer: NO!
    Remember rule #2 above: Books don't sell themselves.

    So here is an interesting item: It's a record of past advertising I have tried on Amazon. I got a lotta impressions (the book appeared on a page) but very little direct sales.



    Budget=total budget for the campaign [non-refundable]
    ACPC=how much Amazon gets paid per click (from your budget)
    Est Total Sales: Direct sales from the campaign
    Stopped: Campaign cancelled either by me or by Amazon due to not enough click-thrus

    aCPC determines how prominent your ad will be displayed--$0.19 is a tiny ad at the bottom of the page amongst dozens of others. $0.89 is a tiny little ad higher up on the page.

    Just something to consider if you are thinking of advertising on Amazon.

  8. #78
    Aaaaaaauuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!

    I just received 3 beautiful copies of the new book (book 4) and right there on page 124 was a big, fat, open space caused by accidentally hitting the enter key.
    Holy $@#!$$!@#! !!
    Those copies were supposed to be sent out for marketing!!!


  9. #79
    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Rotten View Post
    Aaaaaaauuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!

    I just received 3 beautiful copies of the new book (book 4) and right there on page 124 was a big, fat, open space caused by accidentally hitting the enter key.
    Holy $@#!$$!@#! !!
    Those copies were supposed to be sent out for marketing!!!
    At least you noticed! What's the plan.

    Budget=total budget for the campaign [non-refundable]
    ACPC=how much Amazon gets paid per click (from your budget)
    Est Total Sales: Direct sales from the campaign
    Stopped: Campaign cancelled either by me or by Amazon due to not enough click-thrus

    aCPC determines how prominent your ad will be displayed--$0.19 is a tiny ad at the bottom of the page amongst dozens of others. $0.89 is a tiny little ad higher up on the page.

    Just something to consider if you are thinking of advertising on Amazon.
    This is worthy of it's own thread in marketing.
    “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time”

    John Lydgate

  10. #80
    I dunno what I'm gonna do about advertising with Amazon.
    I have some book money set aside for ads, and the bigger ads on Amazon actually do help sell, but can I afford one of those ads?
    I gotta think about it, but at the same time I need to make a decision soon. I am at t-20 days.
    Time to shit or get off the pot, I reckon.

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