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Mystery & Drama

Anatomy of a Self Publishing Experiment

BaghdadCover2 Last night I submitted my first truly self published book to the Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing program. This morning, there it was! Miraculous.  It’s self published in the sense that I either took each step along the way personally, or I engineered the step by hiring someone to do what I thought I couldn’t do.  My goal was to produce a book that was both worth the money I was asking for it ($2.99) , and was a very good read that delivered value.  I thought it might be interesting to discuss my experience with the process.


The book is a collection of stories, conventional short stories and plays. Many dedicated readers have never encountered a story written for the stage. So, putting the two forms together is something of an experiment.  Will readers accept the premise?  We’ll see.  Few conventional stories accomplish the immediacy of a play.  The story in a play script happens as you read it. It would seem that this feature would feed right into the short attention span that readers of today demand (no flashbacks please!).  It requires getting used to story telling done completely in dialogue and stage directions.

I arranged the book to fit the premise, and to provide a progression from conventional short stories, through short plays, and on to a full length play.  The name Baghdad on the Wabash is the name of the full length play. It is the major work in the book. The book cover is a representation of a major element of “Baghdad”, that a fifteen year old girl who is something of a rebel is the catalyst for what happens in the story.

various e-book readers. From right to left iPa...

Writing the stories is only part of the process of publishing as we all know by now.  I hired Jeri Walker-Bickett to copy-edit the short stories and short plays. I edited the full length play myself, with the belief that after as many readings and stagings  as “Baghdad” has had it was ready for prime time.  In accordance with standard rates, Jeri charged me 2 cents a word. It was a bargain. I created the cover myself.  I paid for the rights to use the photograph from Dreamstime (about $40).  It required me to crop the image to eliminate one of the two girls that were in the original.  I used ACDSee to put in the wording. I played with formatting the book for Amazon, but decided I was not willing to take the chance that I could do a good enough job of it.  I hired Charles Seper of Ebook Pioneers to format it, and received a mobi file and an ePub file complete with table of contents.  Charlie charged me $95.  I was well satisfied with the files.

The marketing comes next. I’m hoping that this 78 page book will do well on it’s own, and will have some spill-over to my novel A Bridge to Treachery. I’m thinking right now that I will run at least one giveaway.  I put links to “Treachery” in the back matter of this book. I’m getting myself geared up to think “sizzle” instead of steak.

Link to Amazon:  amzn.to/11GuWZ8 

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  1. Interesting to see your breakdown for this. I have much of this to look forward to now as well.
    Jon Jefferson recently posted..Very Inspiring BloggerMy Profile

    1. Thanks for the comment, Jon. In all the research I’ve done over the last couple of years, I get the feeling that writers expect they’re going to be able to get their eBook up without spending a dime. I suppose it’s possible, but I’m of the opinion that you have to be sure your book is high quality.
      Larry Crane recently posted..Anatomy of a Self Publishing ExperimentMy Profile

  2. Congrats, Larry! I,too, a ready to give birth to a new book. Such an exciting process. All the best with yours.
    Doreen Pendgracs recently posted..the birth of a bookMy Profile

    1. Congratulations to you, Doreen, as you await your June 21st pub date! I appreciate all your points about making sure everything is as good as you can make it. This impulse I think gets tested severely by another important aspect of writing a book — getting it done! Perseverance.
      Larry Crane recently posted..Anatomy of a Self Publishing ExperimentMy Profile

  3. Congrats! I’m nearing the publishing on my first novel and I’m getting very excited about it. It must be a rush!
    TheGirl recently posted..AnomieMy Profile

    1. Thanks for your comment. I just had to jump over to your blog to what’s going on there. I see all your Chapters posted. Is that collaboration or what?
      Larry Crane recently posted..Anatomy of a Self Publishing ExperimentMy Profile

  4. Congrats on getting your eBook published! It was a pleasure to copy edit the short stories and ten-minute plays. I just downloaded it and can’t wait to read the longer play 🙂
    Jeri recently posted..Author Interview: Wendy A.M. ProsserMy Profile

    1. Hi Jeri – I’m really interested in the thought of reading play scripts for pleasure. I’ve often gone to stage plays, and left the theater after they were finished with the feeling that I missed something or didn’t completely understand something, and that I need to read the script.. Of course, the opposite can occur too wherein you read a script before seeing the play on stage, and because of the actors and/or production values you walk away with a better understanding of the story. I’d love to hear what you think about the full length play in the book.
      Larry Crane recently posted..Anatomy of a Self Publishing ExperimentMy Profile

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