My Mom discovers self-publishing and e-books

Today, my Mom called me and asked me if I’d heard of this Amanda Hocking person (she actually got the name wrong, but I knew whom she meant) who is selling a million ebooks and making seventy percent on every sale.

I said, “Yes, I’ve heard of her, but how come that you have?”

Turns out that she heard it on the radio. Which is a surprise in itself, because though I love Radio Bremen, like all traditional media outlets they’re not exactly up to date with regards of what happens on the internet.

Amanda Hocking’s blog is here BTW. She talks sense and seems like a lovely person, too. I’ll really have to try one of her books, too, because she writes paranormals and given her story, her books would seem to be relevant to the PhD thesis.

My Mom: “This whole thing sounds really good, even if it’s ‘just’ e-books. And she’s sold a million books and she gets seventy percent. Do you think you could do something like that?”

Me: “Actually, I’ve been thinking about putting up some of my stuff in e-book form for a couple of weeks now and see how it goes. I just need to do some research first, because I want to make the e-books as good as possible.”

I’ve been following Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s Business Rusch series and Joe Konrath’s blog with some interest in the past few months, so of course I’ve been having thoughts along those lines. In particular, I’ve been thinking about putting up bundled short stories and some of those “unsellable” novella length pieces. I have several of those, they’re good and just sitting around on my hard drive, because there is no market for them. I also have a couple of stories/novellettes that feature the same characters and would be ideal for bundling and selling.

I’ll still try to sell new short stories to the various magazines and I’ll shoot for a traditional publisher, when “the novel” is finished. But I don’t see why I shouldn’t try more than one channel.

Anyway, I want to do this right (and I have to talk to my accountant, too, how such business ventures are handled by German tax law), so it may take some time yet until I put something up for sale. But until then:

Watch this space!

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14 Responses to My Mom discovers self-publishing and e-books

  1. Estara says:

    I can recommend a really good service for creating beautifully formatted ebooks – via a self-published romance/family soap author I discovered at DearAuthor.com – Moriah Jovan (which is her pen name). I asked her for her rates at the time, because Sherwood Smith was exploring how to get her manuscripts into ebooks and so she sent me her then-current ratefile. I thought the price was reasonable and of course takes much of the hassle of formatting away.

    However if it has to be very cheap, MJ recommended becoming a Smashwords author because their software for formatting manuscripts seems to serve the standards and be readable, just not as prettily layed out as ebooks can be.

    If you are intrigued by her own books, I suggest starting to read Stay, as this is closer to regular romance ^^ – you will have contact with Libertarian philosophies and the Church of Latter Day Saints without it becoming too preachy (especially the religious side of things).

    • Cora says:

      Thanks for the tip. I’ve looked at the Smashwords service, but I wouldn’t mind paying a reasonable price to get something that looks good. Formatting costs are probably tax deductible anyway. Her blog looks interesting, too.

      I have absolutely no issues with her religion or political affiliation. I have even read inspirational romance on occasion. They can be very interesting from a sociological POV, because they give a glimpse into a very different culture.

      • Estara says:

        Since you can see my e-mail address in your view on the backend of this site, drop me a line and I’ll forward you the information I sent to Sartorias at the time ^^ – because I can’t find an email address of yours here.

        Her romances are about larger than life, quirky individuals in dangerous situations – as if Dynasty or Dallas where set in the capital of Mormon faith – with lots of very hot sex, too.

        Stay is more a single-pair romance, The Proviso is more the family soap opera. There are weaknesses but everything is tightly edited and of a technical quality level that the big publishers bring to their books. And to me the mindset is more other than, say, a coloured Catholic or Arabian character (which is made easier by the fact that I’m half-Syrian of course).

        Political and personal philosophies are part of these people’s make-up so they get discussed in detail, too. So is an enjoyment of life and love in all kinds of ways, heh.

        Anyway she has truly sizeable excerpts to download, so you can always check her out before you invest.

        • Cora says:

          Oops, seems like your last two comments got stuck in my spam filter. I have no idea how this happens, but sometimes it eats legitimate comments.

          Anyway, it would be great if you could send me Ms. Jovan’s offer and I’ll send you a mail about that. I’ve been plagued with spam when I still had the old blog, so I only use a contact form now.

          Dallas or Dynasty with Mormons sounds fabulous. As for the mindset being “other”, a lot of US fiction feels very “other” to me, including some mainstream romances. It’s easy to forget since both the US and Europe are part of the so-called Western world but the culture can be and often is very different. And as long as it’s not preachy – well, I’m fair game.

          • Estara says:

            Re: The spam trap – that has happened on my WordPress installations, too, so I wasn’t too much worried.

            The price list is the then-current one from 2009 but at least it’ll give you an impression. And I had made some screenshots of different formats and added them – so it should be useful.

            If you should have sent the e-mail already it hasn’t reached me yet, though.

          • Estara says:

            No, I’ve just checked my webmail as well (I usually download it via Outlook), it hasn’t arrived.

            • Cora says:

              That’s odd, since I did not get an undeliverable mail message. I probably made a typo and some person with a similar e-mail address is now wondering what the hell is up.

              No problem, I’ll send it again.

          • Estara says:

            All sent. *feels accomplished*

          • Estara says:

            I hope at least bits of it can be of use. 🙂

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