Posts Tagged ‘Amazon’

I am so happy to announce that I have finally published a young adult short story on Amazon! The title is “Waiting for the Baby,” and you can find it here.

As stated in my blog post many months ago, I want to share the details of this short story journey to help you figure out if publishing short stories on Amazon might be a worthwhile endeavor for you. Since I just published it this weekend and am declaring today (Monday, April 27) my official release day, I don’t have any sales data for you yet. However, here is the breakdown of time and money spent thus far:

 

*I spent approximately 40 hours writing, revising, formatting, and publishing this story. “Publishing” includes all of the random details you have to fill out on Amazon (like book description, price, etc.); I will give more information about that topic in a later post. I’m not sure how many hours I put into writing each of my two self-published novels, but I can assure you it was A LOT more than 40 hours.

*My husband Mike spent approximately five hours designing the cover. It is far easier to design a cover for a title that is only an eBook than it is to design a paperback cover because you don’t have to create the spine or the back of the book when it’s an eBook.

*We spent approximately $40 on Shutterstock photos for the cover.

*I paid $1.49 to buy a copy of my own story to double-check that everything looked okay once it was published.

*I have not spent any money on marketing yet.

 

I fully intended to publish this short story sooner and announced to my newsletter subscribers in December that the release date would be January 28. As stated in a Facebook post in February, I apologize to all of you that I did not publish this story on time. I have been struggling to get in the habit of a good writing schedule (and to balance that with adequate sleep) since the birth of my baby last summer and have also felt somewhat lacking in creativity since then. I am going to be much more careful in the future when selecting release dates for books.

Big props go to my husband who read an early draft of “Waiting for the Baby” and helped me re-shape the plot because I was having a hard time with it. One of the benefits of releasing the story in January would have been to have a few weeks of sales data from the time period prior to the stay-at-home orders that so many of us are now under due to COVID-19. It will be interesting to see how sales go, considering that more people are at home now and may have time to read but also may be unemployed and not have money to spend on books. I will share my initial sales data in an upcoming post.

 

Although the deadline for my writing contest was yesterday, I have not yet received enough entries for there to be five winners. Consequently, I AM EXTENDING THE DEADLINE. So if you missed the first deadline, now’s your chance to possibly be one of the five winners! I will accept submissions through 11:59 p.m. on October 31, 2014 (no more extensions past 10/31). There is no entry fee, so you have nothing to lose by submitting an entry–you just have the possibility of winning a $15 Amazon.com gift card and having your winning entry published in my monthly e-newsletter! See the rules here: https://thehealthybacon.wordpress.com/2014/08/15/the-third-annual-reader-issue-writing-contest-is-here/

I am SOOOOOOOO excited to share that Illegally Innocent is now available to purchase as an eBook! It is just $2.99 and can be purchased in both the Amazon Kindle store and the Barnes and Noble Nook store. It’s coming soon to the iBookstore as well (Mill City Press has submitted it to the iBookstore, and now it is up to the iBookstore to actually post its availability)! Now that I have completed most of the tasks involved with my book at Mill City Press, I thought it would be good to post a review of Mill City Press to try to help out those of you who are in the middle of trying to pick a self-publishing company.

First of all, when picking any self-publishing company, you should not only look at the information on the self-publishing company’s website, but I’d also recommend doing a Google search to see what other people are saying about that company. Try to find blogs and discussion forums in which people post their opinions on that particular company. In the case of Mill City Press, before I’d ever signed a contract with them, I did come across some poor reviews of their company (not a lot, but a handful of them), and those definitely factored into whether or not I was going to choose Mill City. I’m so happy to be able to assure you that I did not have any of the bad experiences that I read about online! Here’s how the self-publishing process works with Mill City: There are several steps to the publishing process, and you receive one or more steps in your Mill City Press “Author Dashboard” at a time. Examples of steps are things like a questionnaire about what you want your cover to look like, a sample chapter of your print book to see if the format is how you want it to be, etc. In their self-publishing contract, Mill City outlines in detail the number of business days it will take them to get back with the author in between steps. They ALWAYS posted the next step in the amount of time they’d told me, or sometimes they posted the next step even quicker than what they’d originally told me. Whenever I emailed them to ask a question (which wasn’t often, because they cover their bases so well that there aren’t many questions to ask!), they always responded promptly and politely.

There was only ONE time that I hit a snag with Mill City Press (and I hesitate to even post this issue, because it was not a big deal to me…however, I want to provide a completely honest review), and that involved one of their publicists. I did not sign up for any of Mill City’s marketing packages, but something they included with my contract was one free phone call with a publicist. I signed the contract for Mill City Press in February 2012, and their publicist (who I’m just going to call John Doe, because I’m certainly not out to slander him) emailed me at the end of June 2012 to see if I would prefer to have that phone call or just exchange a few emails instead. I emailed him back the next day, expressing my preference for email rather than a phone call. Since I was not counting on Mill City Press to do my marketing and advertising anyway, I was already working on several marketing ideas (with some help from family and friends) that I could do with a limited budget. Several weeks passed, and I did NOT hear back from John Doe. I thought about trying to contact him again, but like I said earlier, I was busy putting my own marketing ideas into action; in addition, Mike and I got engaged in the middle of August 2012, and so I had wedding planning on top of book marketing. 🙂 About a week into September 2012, John Doe emailed me back and apologized that he had taken so long to get back to me–he said my June reply to his email had gotten filtered and did not end up in his email inbox until just that week. When I saw his email, I considered responding but was busy with a lot of other things at the time, and I ended up never responding to his email again. John Doe, if you’re reading this blog post, I want you to know that I was not angry, just busy.  🙂 Anyway, that was the ONLY time that anyone from Mill City Press took a ridiculously long time to respond back to me, and there was a good reason for it (the filter), so I certainly don’t count that against them.

Mill City Press’s contract (at the time I signed on with them) states that it takes about half a year to complete the self-publishing process–I think the official statement said 190 business days or something like that. So you may be wondering why my eBook is just now available, since I signed the contract in February 2012. I assure you that was NOT Mill City Press’s fault. I got really busy with book marketing, wedding planning, and other life things, and sometimes it took me a couple of months or more to get back to them on various steps of my book. The print version of Illegally Innocent was completed in 6-7 months, but it has taken me this long to complete the eBook.

The quality of the print version of Illegally Innocent is similar to that of a traditionally-published book. I attended a writer’s conference last fall and one of the editors I met with there confirmed my opinion when she told me that my book did NOT look self-published. On top of this, deliveries of my print books have been faster than expected, so that has been a pleasant surprise.

Will I choose Mill City Press for my second book? Yes and no. In order to publish with Mill City Press, I had to spend around $2500 for both print and eBook versions. When comparing what Mill City offers with what other self-publishing companies offer, that is a fair price, and I do not regret paying it. However, I realize that at this point in time, it might be slightly unrealistic to plan to spend that much on each and every book I hope to publish. Right now, I am planning to publish the sequel to Illegally Innocent through Mill City Press, but I have not signed a contract for that book with them yet, and it will probably be a while before I do. In the meantime, I am working on a different project that I plan to release through a different self-publishing company in just eBook format.

Let me know if you have any questions about Mill City Press–I’d be happy to answer them!

Thank you to Mill City Press for giving me a great self-publishing experience!