Reading is fun! We all know that – it’s why we’re participating in the Cannonball Read. A few of us love reading and want to switch seats – we have decided that we’d like to try to tell stories of our own. In the past, I’ve tip-toed around submitting books and comics to traditional publishers. I’ve also thought about self-publishing, since it’s so much easier than it used to be. But publishing is one thing; making money from publishing is another.
After writing a couple of books and playing around with (Amazon-owned) CreateSpace, it became obvious to me that I needed a little help with everything from formatting to pricing to getting out the good news of my book(s). I hopped on Amazon to see what I could see, and Rick Smith’s book seemed like it might get me pointed in the right direction of mixing art and commerce.
Createspace and Kindle Self-Publishing Masterclass – 2015 Second Edition: The Step-by-Step Author’s Guide to Writing, Publishing and Marketing Your Books on Amazon certainly has helped me feel more confident in going forward. Maybe confidence is one of the main takeaways from the book. In a sea of weird, mediocre books, you can stand out just by spending a little extra time on book covers, blurbs, subtitles, and making sure the front portion of the book is well-written and engaging (because that’s what shows up in the free sample).
As the title implies (and that’s important in selling your book!), this book covers both physical and eBooks. Smith believes it’s much easier to create a physical book first, even if you don’t intend to sell a lot of physical copies. It’s much easier to convert to Kindle format than it is to go from Kindle to physical format. He covers how to decide what your cover, title, subtitle, and initial pricing should be. He makes fiction- and nonfiction-specific observations. There is also a lot of information on networking, keywords that will help sales, pricing changes, international markets, and more.
I think a lot of the advice is practical, although since the Amazon marketplace is ever-changing, you will probably want to make sure everything you take to heart still applies. I also had an uneasy feeling about turning my treasured work into this item to be coldly sold and marketed, but that’s why publishers exist! As a self-publisher, you have to be willing to do both writing and marketing if you want to make any money back.
I’m giving this three stars because while the book boosted my confidence, I’m sure it will be outdated soon (I don’t the author would disagree since he updates it from time to time) and I don’t know how effective his advice is. I do think that following his plan is way better than sitting on my hands doing nothing.
We’ll see how it goes!