Over the weekend I have been working on getting the Savage Lands paperback down, and then back up. For those new, I was already planning on pulling all my paperbacks from Amazon and moving them to Lulu. (You’ll still find them for sale on Amazon after the switch, it’s just Lulu will handle the sales and not Amazon.) But around November last year I finally got fed up enough with the comparisons to “Kim Iversen,” and wanted to experiment with my full name on my work anyway, that I just made the switch, and moved all my work to the full name – Kimberly Sue Iverson.
Realized that in the long run, it’d be more work and time to do a half and half, or not just make the big move. That way I know that my work is known as my work, it’s under my full name so people know it’s mine, and I don’t have to keep track of some books under that name, and others under Kim Iverson.
Savage Lands was one of the newer works, and I still had it under Kim Iverson for the paperback. So I pulled it on Friday I think. Then proceeded to update the interior file, cover, and yesterday sent off for a proof. So hopefully by the time that one has been pulled from the shelves, the newer version is back up. And, as I have been telling everyone I would be doing, there is a free short in the back of it.
All the paperbacks are going to have one. For now, the ones I’m putting up may have a repeat, but I’m hoping going forward it’s all new and fresh. It doesn’t cost me extra to include a short story, but then it gives the reader a better value. I try not to overprice my paperbacks, but POD doesn’t allow me to go too cheap with them. My price point is that I want to make at least $2.00 with every paperback sale. So that’s usually what I make off of them. That’s for extended distribution too. If someone buys through Lulu, I make a lot more. I’d have to check. Over five dollars I think.
Why be so open about it?
Also as I’ve stated before, I’m gonna be. So people have more realistic ideas of what to expect for everything. See what goes into this world. Too many push the idea that to be an indie, it’ll cost you SO much, or just basically make it seem out of reach.
That . . . depends.
Some start out with writing groups as help for editing and grammar, and storytelling help. Some use friends and family who are in the business. (Please when it comes to editing, find people who genuinely know what they’re doing – even if that does end up being a friend who is an editor.) Some barter. Do this for me, I do this for you. Some get discounts.
There is no “default” cost. To put Savage Lands up on Lulu, it costs me $0. To buy the proof (as is required to get extended distribution and with each change of the interior), it cost me about $14. I got a coupon for Earth Day to use on there. Saved me a few bucks. So keep that in mind.
That’s what it cost. It didn’t cost me an upload fee. It didn’t cost me a fee for a thousand different items. To be clear too – I create and use my own files. I have been working with Word, PDFs, embedding, and even know html so that I could technically create for the coding ground up if I like, but I do also know how to create a working Word file. Many, many, many people online will say it – don’t use Word. They embed weird stuff.
If you just default and don’t go in for every single little thing and double-check. Because when I was first working with the file, I kept getting errors on fonts issues. What I discovered was in the header/footer area. The default font was the Word default I had. Well, that’s got issues. It’s not a font you can use commercially unless you buy anyway. Licenses, commercial. These are also important. It is why I use the EB Garamond font, and not a default. Ensures I’m not violating licenses. Also, I really love the look of it.
Font I like – http://www.georgduffner.at/ebgaramond/index.html
Every part of the file is edited by me. Line height, letter spacing, etc. And I discovered that the character marks were showing as a different font. So I went in manually and fixed every single one. Then I noticed the file saved wrong if I exited out of the header/footer, and went back into the main part of the file. So I went in and saved the file while working with the header/footer, then closed the file before I exited header/footer, reopened the file, and then altered the rest of the document, and didn’t touch the header/footer.
But when I did have to exit the header footer again, I repeated the above steps.
I didn’t notice that the changes were reverted so bear that in mind. It was only when I uploaded the file that I realized what was happening, then I began to notice it. So to properly ensure editing the header/footer doesn’t change the document in a paperback file, I do these steps.
- Open header/footer area by clicking in it.
- Alter the font, size, spacing, etc. of the header/footer.
- Don’t exit the header/footer, stay in that space. It should be open when you close the file.
- Save file
- Exit file
- Reopen file/document, into the main document area and continue working.
Not sure why just exiting the header/footer and clicking on the main document reverted my changes, but it did. I kept looking it up online and got nothing, but noticed that worked. So I do it
I know, at this point people are like wow is that a lot of work. Then what the heck are you doing trying to create nice books for your readers if you’re not willing to take it step by step to ensure your reader’s reading experience is nice? Would you leave salt out of a dish just because it was too much work to reach for it?
That’s why I do it. I put in the effort to give a high quality piece of work to my readers. I don’t shortcut. People have thought from comments I made that I won’t put in a lot of work, or I shortcut, or insert other lazy method. I will make myself sick with a headache and nausea, to put out a good piece of work. To the best of my ability. To go over it a few times. To be as perfect as I can get it with all the knowledge I have in that year of my life. But I also know that we can do that right now, and five years later, we can think it’s a piece of sh*t. Then perfect it again, and once again, five years later with all we’ve learned, it’s a piece of sh*t.
So understand that there is a sweet spot to that. Put in the work. Work your butt off for your reader or it will bite you in the butt. Put in the work. Get the work as good as you can. Then throw perfection out of the window. Because you can hire a team of a hundred editors. Thousands. Millions of readers to try to get that book to fit what’s “perfect” to every single last one of those pair of eyes. Spend ten or twenty years on it. And then one reader after you hit publish? Will say weeeeelllll this could actually use a little polishing. They will notice a typo and all that time and effort goes down the drain. they will know different grammar rules and think you know nothing. They’ll go my word this needs an editor. How could people read this trash? After your team of hundreds of editors polish it up to perfection.
Go look up any book on this planet that you think is the most brilliant piece of writing excellence on this planet. Read reviews all over the internet.
Don’t shortcut your work. Don’t put in “okay” effort. If you’re doing paperbacks always proof it before publication. But truly understand that in five years that work that you put out and was perfect? You’ll go back once you’ve matured more and go, wow. I thought this was amazing?
It’s something people learn with age and maturity. As wisdom sets in, even perfect isn’t so perfect. It’s why highways need fixing, computers die, statues crack, metals rust without maintenance. Maintenance is how things last.
As an indie I, and others like me, have the good fortune that we can pull a book anytime and polish it up, then put it back up. Clean up the bad story plot (without changing it), or add more details. Expand it as I did with the Dark Illusions series – https://darkmoondynastyuniverse.com/dark-illusions-series/ – or just clean up grammar.
Other times we can pull a work if it has never sold and give it a new cover, or end up even giving it a new title, cover, and synopsis. That one I’ve done. The book didn’t budge for over a year. Not a single sale. So I retitled it, recovered it (one of my favorite covers – Time of the Chosen), and put it back up. Now, it gets sales. I always give it a year, if not two. If I don’t have a single sale after a new cover and synopsis? I pull it and rebrand it completely. If that doesn’t work and I still wouldn’t have seen a single sale? I’d probably have left it alone. But I do like to try to change covers, give them a facelift, and then slowly work each process.
Most published works do that too. Go look at how many covers people like Stephen King have had on certain books. How about one of my favorites? Go search out ‘Pet Semetary covers.’
It’s what any good marketing person knows if they’ve been part of branding any company for over ten or twenty years. Things occasionally need a facelift, a change. The best artists will do it. Go look at most music artists. Who they were when they came out? Not the same ten or twenty years down the line. They change with the times and either keep their sound, just give their brand a makeover or will completely overhaul themselves and their brand.
Depends on the end goal.
For some it’s money, for some to stay relevant, for some simply boredom and wanting a new look. Nearly every single human being is going to find an error if they go looking. And far too many think they know everything. Don’t even take my word for it. I speak purely my experience, and your life experience is wholly different from mine. You also may make loads more money than I, or another does for both of us combined. Only take my advice if you wanna try something new. I am not an expert. I won’t be an expert twenty years from now. I won’t be one fifty from now – if I’m still breathing. No expert is expert forever, and no expert can tell you what all want. Because I am one of those that most experts? Don’t know nurfin about. They’ll be all, “they want this,” and I stare at it going that is stupid.
Same with “popular.” When something becomes popular I don’t know what it is. It becomes so incredibly irrelevant to me. Until people don’t like it, or the hubbub dies down. I lose interest real fast. Then suddenly I gain interest. I’ve never really enjoyed jumping into the “it” thing. Maybe it’s a product of growing up poor. We couldn’t afford the latest and the greatest. We did often luck out and get those items (if not the off-brand of them, lol) but we’d have to wait until the interest died, and they started to go on sale.
Always interesting how much of a our childhood factors into things.