On Monday I self-published my first short story. I wrote the story nearly a year ago. I thought it was awesome, so I contacted a local writers centre, got an editor, paid $50 and got really good editing with some great encouragement as well (Let me know if you need editing done). I submitted it to a short story compilation, waited, and failed. Submitted to Amazon’s special ‘Kindle Single’ program, waited, and nothing.
Then after the wedding, and the in-law trip, I thought what the hell let’s do this! Let’s self-publish and make billions!
I read so much about what I needed to do. Amazingly (sarcasm), the actual ‘publishing’ part, as in when your text goes live is easy.
There are steps all over the place to make your text ‘kindle friendly’ but to summarise:
- Don’t use different sizes for fonts. Use headers ( header 1, header 2) to highlight content (This will make a table of contents for you). Use 0.5 first line paragraph indents and 10pt after paragraph spacing.
- Basically after this you will be converting it to a .htm file and then uploading to Amazon.
The marketing is much harder.
Here some tips:
- So first of all you need to find a cover. Stock images work – so I paid money, got one I like, photoshopped with a bit of Kuler action for colours, and boom had a cover.
- Had to have a great description, ok let’s do one short and sweet.
- Had to have a bio – god what do I say about myself ‘suffers from weekly existentialism’.
- Had to put it in the right categories ‘Humor’ and ‘Fiction: Short Story’.
- Had to choose a price – I went with 0.99 cents and the equivalent in the other 8 Amazon stores
- Then hit publish, and it was live in 12 hours.
But it’s up and it’s generating quite a bit of traffic to my blog, but not sales at the moment.
But I’m sure it will – once I publish my other short stories. I need a presence, and a bigger following.
- The payment area is interesting for Australians. We can’t do EFT, but we can do checks. But you will need to apply for a US Tax Number, called an EIN for businesses or ITIN for individuals (if you are a sole trader, do the EIN it’s easier), because if you don’t, Amazon will take a 30% cut of your payment before you can get it (and I guess international tax returns can be painful).
- Royalties are 35% of the sale if you are pricing between $0.99 and $2.98, and 70% of the sale if you are pricing between $2.99 and $200 (the latter has some concessions on your part, but not anything too drastic).
- Generally, short stories $0.99, novellas $2.99 and Novels $3.99 or $4.99 for indie or undiscovered authors. But remember pricing can be annoying at times, and there is some secret science to it…
But all in all, I’m glad it’s up there. I’m proud to be there, even if at the moment it isn’t generating sales. It will, with a few more reviews, more page views, and more impact.
If you haven’t read the piece, have a look. Review it, criticize it, whatever you feel like.
Feedback is what I need
The first commenter on this blog post will get a free copy in their email
Love thy life.
By Bryan Harrell