Monday, February 11, 2013

unkiss me e-chapbook experiment

love. love. love.
I have several clients who either want to self-pub or are self-pubbing, and it occurs to me that, although I have a distance-learners understanding of the vendors, options, players, I've never done it myself, so all my advice is abstract.

A few weeks ago I signed on as a member of the "launch team" for this sweet little book by one of the most revered experts in the agent/pub community. If you're scratching your head about how, whether, when, what or if in the self-pub hubbub, I highly recommend HOW DO I DECIDE, by Rachelle Gardner. It's a $3.99 ebook, and a terrific reference.

chock full of goodies!
Me? Pretty much my whole adult life is a DIY experiment. I've freelanced for over 20 years, dabble in a variety of $-producing writing, editing and teaching gigs, and here I am, at 10:15, in my bathrobe (I'm not recommending that, per se, just trying to offer up the flexibility factor that defines, and will continue to define, my life).

And yet.

I have an agent, and she's pedaling two one of my novels at the moment, and I truly, truly want to nail the elusive traditional book contract. That said, I see a lot of potential in utilizing the technology, the social media marketing options, and the entrepreneurial spirit I'm cursed blessed with to learn more about getting some of my work in front of readers and building my platform and readership.

So, dear readers, I conducted a little Valentine's Day season experiment over the weekend, and uploaded a skinny collection of my stories that (but for one) have been published in small presses over the years. I did it via Smashwords, and I'm still messing around with paragraph formatting, but I think with the latest upload I figured it out. (The gatekeepers are finicky, which is probably a good thing.) I'm selling the book for .99 on Amazon, but am going to give it away for Valentine's Day (coupon code VP23Q until Feb. 15th) if you buy it through Smashwords. So far I've "sold" five twelve 17 27 copies, but the day week is young! Picture me at a mall food court donning an apron and a tray o' chicken teriyaki samples--that's going to be me for the next few days.

The other funnish thing that went along with this, was creating a web page to platform my little e-book--which relied on finding an amusing image for the cover that was big enough for the the background on the web page. (Thank God for morguefile)!

I'm thinking of making a video/trailer, too, but that could be a stretch.

On balance, so far this feels a little like playing house with a new boyfriend--you know? Like, you're not married or even officially living together, but you spend a few weekends testing the waters -- working in the garden, making soup -- it's about possibility as much as it is about caution, this little "let's put a book together and offer it up." Fun without all the gravity and seriousness of true commitment. I'm not sure that's what it's supposed to feel like, though ...

What about you? Have you lost your e-book making virginity yet? What did you think of the experience?