This is Part I of a two-part series on my experiences printing my short story collection one bad twelve. This initial post covers the reason for printing my title, why I went with CreateSpace, and some beginning knowledge you might need if you want to do so yourself.
In a recent blog post, writer and publisher Dean Wesley Smith talked about the importance of making sure your writing is available in print as well as digitally. E-readers, he points out, are the wave of the future, but,
“…electronic publishing is hovering around 20% of all books sold. Higher in some genres, lower in others, higher in some months, lower in others. That means in general that 80% of all books sold are paper, through either online bookstores like Amazon or indie bookstores or box stores.”
For many indie authors (and Kindle aficionados), this post will fall into the “water is wet” category of late-breaking news, but I’ve found it’s foolish to make assumptions about what others know and don’t, especially when it comes to the rapidly-changing face of digital publishing and the internet.
The Best Resource Out There
Kindleboards (www.kindleboards.com) is a site that has to be at the top of every digital self-publisher’s bookmarks list. It is a supremely helpful site that, in digital publishing terms, has been around since the Stone Age (about 3 years) providing a forum space for budding digital authors, Kindle book lovers, and geek and gadget people in general.
The forum section boasts around 55,000 registered users and several thousand are online at any one time. A subset of those are writers (detailed below), but many more thousands are readers interested in one thing: digital books.
My crime fiction short story collection Three Shorts has been free since about the first week of February. In a month, it had been downloaded a respectable–if unspectacular–500 times. I had heard of other indie authors garnering thousands of downloads, but I’m a relatively unknown new-comer and I was more than happy to see hundreds of downloads fueled by little more than a change in price…I didn’t do any specific promotion beyond Twitter, Facebook, and a blog post.
The covers need to be provocative enough to get people interested as well as hold up fairly well when shrunk to thumbnail (111px x 78px) size on the various book sites. And, naturally, I want them to look good when they’re at their full size (823×576). The two sizes can’t be different images, fyi…the thumbnail is always the shrunken-head version of the full cover.