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Month: October 2013

Audio books

Posted in Audiobook, Production, Publishing, and To Carry the Horn

audiobooks1Exciting news — I'm in the middle of producing an audiobook for To Carry the Horn.

I was horrified to hear from one of my readers that there was an automated Whispersync version generated by Amazon. I couldn't imagine how that must have butchered all of those Welsh names! That motivated me into looking into producing my own version under Perkunas Press.

It's been an eye-opener of a journey. First of all, I had to understand that audio comes in three forms: digital downloads (MP3s), CDs with MP3s, and Audio CDs. Then I started looking at cost-to-produce. Sigh…

For my ebook and print editions, I do almost everything myself, even the cover design. This keeps the costs low and allows me to control the business expenses.

Audio is a very different story. Very, very different. Read More Audio books

Stage 2 of self-publishing

Posted in Distribution, Formatting, Just for Writers, Production, and Publishing

person-reading-ebookOver the summer I've been unusually busy with the business and technical side of publishing. I've reformatted all my books behind the scenes and I've moved up a level from starter self-publishing and am just beginning to move beyond the basic retailers (Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Apple, Kobo) to a broader worldwide market. This has required my learning a great deal more about worldwide aggregators and distributors, as well as professionalizing (further) my use of metadata in the trade channels.

For those of you who aren't doing self-publishing, let me give you a quick overview. It's quite straightforward today to take your book, apply professional assistance in areas such as editing and cover design, and produce a product that is indistinguishable from the work of traditional publishing. Yes, the devil's in the details — you have to write reasonably well, too — but that's a given. There are no artificial barriers in the way of doing this.

The big difference is in the area of distribution. The US market is the furthest along, and ebooks are perhaps 20-30% of the US market. (Independent publishing is not well captured by book trade statistics, so there's a lot of speculation about the actual numbers). That number is still growing though the speed has slowed down and, of course, print isn't going away. Still, in fiction particularly, it's clear that ebooks will likely eventually approach 50%. The rest of the world is just getting started, but ebook adoption rates there might surprise you — remember, many third world countries went straight to cell phones without bothering with landlines much, so technology adoption rates do vary. Read More Stage 2 of self-publishing