The writer/publisher – part 6

The pressure is on. I have to get this book printed.

There are close to 5000 people reading downloaded copies of Danger Quicksand – Have A Nice Day and some of them have asked, "Is it is available on Amazon yet?"

Gretchen’s friend in the self-publishing business was incredulous when she found out I was giving away free downloads. Her voice practically squeaked when she said, "You’re not billing them for the downloads?"

There are few role models to follow in this  rapidly changing self-publishing landscape, so I have to make it up as I go along. Since I am blogging as I go, you are getting a first-hand view of what it is like to break new ground as a self-publisher.

I am trying to apply good business practices to a situation that has never existed before, so I may make mistakes, but you should be the first to hear about them.

Meanwhile, you can read this with your morning coffee and be thankful that I’m doing this first. When you publish your book, you’ll know exactly what to avoid.

First of all, let’s deal with the matter of allowing free downloads.

I think this was the best investment I could have made.

How much would I have to spend as an unknown author to get my very first book read and discussed by 5000 people before it was printed? Care to pick a number?

If I had only one book to write and this was my only chance to
publish, I might be concerned that some might read the free e-book and
wouldn’t buy the paperback edition. I don’t think a free e-book is a
problem, I consider it the best solution for introducing a first book.

There are thousands of people in the corporate trenches who need the
data this book provides and they needed the information yesterday, so a
free e-book is an attractive introductory offer.

However, they will need a paperback version of the book as a
reference next year and the year after that, because they will run into
career challenging situations again and again.

I am taking a chance that some fraction of the people reading the
downloads will want a smart-looking paperback they can refer to or give
to friends who are having a hard time at work.

The feedback I am getting from readers seems to indicate that I will
have some orders to fill when the paperback is available. We will just
have to see how many…and you will be able to observe my results and
determine whether you should risk following a similar path.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the printer selection is almost over.
I am down to three contenders and could go with any one of them without
regrets. All three have sent me sample books that match the look I want
to achieve with this first book: A perfect bound, glossy 12pt laminated
cover over 60# white text stock.

The last hurdle is to call the references they have given me and see
which printer will give me the service and support I need. If all goes
well, I should have a printer selected within 24 hours.

Then I prepare the final files for the text and covers and send them
off. Since I’ve not done that before, I expect that I will have a few
challenges to overcome before the book is on the press and running. My
choice of printer will be heavily influenced by the amount of support
they provide to first-time publishers.

Stay tuned for further developments…

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