Sunday, April 10, 2011

Indie Publishing - Update 2 April 2011

Ok, where were we. . .oh, yes.

Our hero, The Mexican Trailrunner, is going to bust
through the indie publishing industry,
make buckets of money,
and live like a rock star.

The plan was to put the 4 Emergency Medical Spanish
language books up
on Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords
so folks can read them on their digital devices.

Good idea!

So, I revised them for digital.
I did hours and weeks of research on how to do it.
I joined Amazon's KDP -
Kindle Direct Publishing
and pressed onward.

I did a few more hours of research.

Then I was ready.
I embarked on the "Easy 3 Step Process"
to publish my little books.

Step 1 - no problem.
Step 2 - no problem.
Step 3 - Houston, we have a problem.

I loaded the book and when Kindle finally digested 
the accepted format and spit my book back out,
it was gobeldy-gook.

I did more research and even resorted to Kindle's forum,
support, FAQs, and a few WTFs.

Turns out, the Kindle format REALLY likes novels,
not so much books with lots of lines, lists, bolding,
indentations, foreign languages with accents,
and other freaky abnormalities.

So, back to the forum and an appeal for help.
Was advised to seek help from professional 'Formatters'.
who knew

They were all very nice, very responsive, and very helpful.

I submitted my book to them and waited sleeplessly for
their verdicts and price quotes to format the books.

Not cool.
First quote came in at $275 US to format a 64 page book.

Second  quote came in significantly lower at $150 US
with a request for lots of revising from the formatting people.
that's better  i guess

Then there was the "better cover" suggestion.
Ummm, ok, how much is that dynamite cover going to cost?
Ohhhh, $375 US
times 4

That would total $600 US to format 4 little books
that I wanted to sell for 2 bux each. . .
and a staggering $1500 for 4 new covers.

I did the math.
It didn't look very good.
I would have to sell 1,050 books just to pay for the formatting
and covers.
back to the drawing board

Plan B
flexibility is a good thing

Three of the language books are now up for sale on eBay
and all 4 are for sale on this blog.

 The book is on CD and the price reflects the added expenses - 
not the least of which are all the nickles and dimes that go to eBay.
sheesh, ebay used to be cheap to sell on

The books will always be available on this blog for less
as they will be a digital ebooks.  
They can be loaded onto digital devices via email, 
downloaded to computer,
or printed and kept by the phone or in the glovebox etc.
If you want them on CD, see eBay.

So, that's where we're at.

Now for the fun part!
I get to concentrate on writing my next 2 books for Kindle.

In NOVEL form!


  1. And here I as hoping to carry around the medical book on my Kindle. But I like it as it is, as well.

  2. you have given me all sorts of ideas...and that's a good thing...novels hmph....

  3. Wow how cool that your selling them on ebay even. Way to go. Sounds like all this was a pain but a great learning process all the same.

  4. Steve - the Kindle can handle PDF files - not quite as elegantly - but it does all the same. Of course you know this - just saying.

    I am assuming it is available in PDF TailRunner?

  5. Oops - sorry I just had to read to the right - yes of course it is in PDF. I have many PDF files loaded on my Kindle.

  6. Sounds like this Brave New World of publishing is a real money-maker, but not for everybody. Buena suerte. Now go write a novel.

    -- Felipe

  7. Steve - is there anyway to download to a Kindle other than through Amazon?
    Mermaid! - thanks for your comment, tell us what you're thinking about doing?
    Amanda - thanks, girl. ;)
    Calypso - Si, it's got a good PDF format too.
    Zapata - Yes, it is a new gold mine for some folks, but some writers are making tons of money too. Simply by selling cheap and selling thousands. Not that hard to do since Kindle/Amazon has such a huge global reach around the world. Yep, will start one of the 2 projects this week. Can't wait. May ask your advice on a question, if you don't mind. I'll email you.

  8. FYI: The books have been sent via email to some medic friends who have downloaded them to Blackberry and IPhone with success. They all said the books came through fine, only complaint was there were no chapter links and they had to scroll to the areas they needed. A valid issue, but one that cannot be solved without the digital format.
    Additionally, I had an IPad for a while to play with and emailed the book to it to see what would happen. It came up fine but some of the headings were tweaked and that kind of thing. So, it's not too bad by email to handheld devices, but not perfect.
    Your mileage may vary. . .

  9. Download 'Calibre', a free ebook manager. It can convert between many different formats. It's not always completely successful, but it would at least give you a chance to test how your book will look in different formats without having to pay someone.

  10. Hey m1k3g0, thank you for the tip, will try it today.

  11. Don't give up, but concentrate on the novels for a bit and I'll bet Kindle & Co. will have worked out the bugs in a few months. The technology just hasn't caught up with the demands of the industry.

  12. Good advice, Bliss, thanks for the comment. I agree.