Saturday, 23 April 2011

Things I Didn't Know Six Months Ago

About six months ago I was doing the final edits for Feed The Enemy, wondering how the whole experience of putting it for sale as an ebook would go. I didn't have a Kindle then, I hadn't read any ebooks myself, and I realised I'd jumped off this particular cliff before looking at what was on the ground below...

I always knew having one stand-alone short story out there would be best viewed as a learning exercise rather than something significant in itself. So what, if anything, have I learnt?

1. That while there are many poor, shoddy Kindle books out there, the standard of the best ones out there is amazingly high. I'm in good company.

2. That a complete stranger called Jason M. Hiaeshutte from Michigan would post the first review of Feed The Enemy, and a 5-starer at that.

3. That not knowing the Kindle doesn't have a back-light is almost the worst crime you can commit on the Amazon Kindle forums.

4. That the worst crime is, in some people's eyes, to even dare to mention you have a book available on Kindle. They like Kindles, but not books or authors, apparently.

5. But that most people on Amazon (and Kindle Boards, and Bestseller Bound, and Goodreads, and...) are really supportive. Particularly fellow authors - there's little petty competition, or ego's spouting off, but instead people genuinely eager to help and share what they've learnt.

6. And while it may sound stupid to call people I've only ever met on the internet "friends", suffice to say there's some among them that if I ever find myself in a pub with them, I'm buying.

7. That having a short story published that is so short the sample doesn't even include any of the story itself, just the title-page and copyright guff, is probably not a boon to sales.

8. That some people look down on short stories just because they're, well, short.... but that there also people out there fighting the good fight.

9. That checking your sales figures too often each day is a route to insanity. I've got it under control at about 42 times a day now.

10. And that despite all I've learnt, I'll almost certainly make many more mistakes, blunders and screw ups when I publish 'The Other Room' in a few weeks time...

Here's to the next six months.


Alain Gomez said...

I have reduced my sales checking to once an hour. More or less.

James Everington said...

Hey Alain - once an hour, not too bad... I may launch a fake sales checking website for recovering authors - like those fake cigarettes for people who want to quit the smokes.

Alain Gomez said...

You'd have to offer a patch. Or a blindfold. Or something...