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.
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