I’d like to buy a vowel? Heck, I’d like to buy an hour, Chuck—maybe three?
It’s still available at Smashwords for FREE, so get it while you can—and please, write up and post some reviews! The Uninvited has also gone into the Smashwords Premium Catalog, which gets distributed to major retailers, such as Apple, B&N, Sony, et cet. While I applied for a B&N Nook account, they apparently have to check/approve something, so that hasn’t yet gone through.
Okay, I meant to include much more in my previous post, but the Internet had gone down that day for a spell, and I’d lost my list of things I wanted to include in that post. I’d since found them, since found more things to list, so…I continue:
- Don’t have the Internet go out on you when trying to work.
- Don’t lose your notes for your blog post.
- Tax ID #. From all I’ve gathered, you don’t need one unless you’re creating a COMPANY entity, beyond just using your author name. Now, yes, you can just go and get one, using IRS form SS-4. I know of one person who did this, but you don’t need to, because your SSN is what’s used (and is on your tax form, if you claim your writing as a business). Yes…you can get paranoid about it…but what I’ve read, my experience…is that the IT (info technology) departments at these companies—for all their faults—do take security très seriously and, well, your information is out there in many forms, and the reality of today’s world is that it’s damned hard to keep all your personal info off the Internet. There’s so much out there we don’t really even realize…and the IT departments do their best at keeping it secure. Sigh. There are courses and books written about this stuff.
- Create Google Alerts (yeah, actually learned this years ago, but I re-learned it and actually, finally, created some). Go out and create some. Copy sections of text from your works, stick em in there, and if they come up anywhere, the alert with, uh, alert you, and you take it from there, if it’s legit, plagiarism, or a blog post/review. Rock on.
- Though Smashwords has lots of great stuff to offer, what I hear from many in the Indie world and am learning myself is to separately upload the epub file to B&N’s Nook (PubIt is going to be phased out over the coming months), and Amazon’s KDP, versus Smashwords. The big advantage is that Smashwords pays royalties quarterly, while the other two do so every 60 days, and they offer other things, like affiliate programs and such I’m still learning about and don’t know enough about posting about, right now. More on these later (I hope).
- If going to B&N’s Nook separately, and don’t yet have an account, create one now (read all the fine print), cause they”confirm” your account and get back to you. It isn’t immediate. My formatter, Pam, told me about this weeks ago, but I simply didn’t have the time to adequately read all the fine print and do it. I just did this Wednesday. Still waiting. See #7.
- Nook’s “fine print”: there is a paragraph in there, 4.G. (not LTE…) that states “You are solely responsible for ensuring that your eBook complies with all applicable local laws in all such countries.” How this is any kind of possible, I can’t fathom, but it is a legal positioning for them to absolve them for anything in your book. A CYA clause. I don’t know that it would actually hold up in court, but, hey, it’s there, read it, consider it, be aware of it.
- Okay, when I was uploading my novel into Smashwords, I got confused about some of the selections. On the very first page, where you input all your titles, descriptions, cover, etc, there is the bank of selections for file conversions once you upload your properly formatted Word doc file. Select ALL these formats. These are not distribution, but are used for the various downloads you can select upon buying the book. There is a separate page later on down the line—that I had to search for (it wasn’t obvious)—where you opt out of certain distribution channels. It’s called the Smashwords Channel Manager. It is here you make your distro selections. I selected everything BUT Amazon and B&N. On some of the Smashwords pages, there’s a lot of text up front, and (once you’ve loaded your work), when you scroll down, you’ll find selections, so don’t just blow through the pages without scrolling down them. When I first entered Smashwords and was “playing around” in it, I found these same pages, but they also told me I hadn’t yet uploaded a book. After doing so, and went to these very same pages, I found I “suddenly” had selections! A whole new world opened up!
- Screw-up #2: I had friends like Terry Wright, offering me all kinds of cool tips and such, and one of these was about ISBNs. BTW, Screw-up #1 was going “live” early. Okay, not a big deal, but hey, it makes for good conversation. ISBNs. So, I did my due diligence, read and studied and got confused and read and studied some more. Thought I had a loose handle on things, enough to know that I wasn’t supposed to use the Smashwords-assigned ISBN anywhere else. So, I input my KDP info, chuggin’ along, and before I know it, I’d found I’d entered my danged Smashword ISBN into KDP! Argggggh! I cried! Yet everything was already submitted and pending approval at KDP. So, quickly not panicking, I search for their “Contact US/Customer Service” selection and told them what happened. This morning I found: a) my book was now available on KDP, and 2) I was told I could just go back in and re-edit—remove—that ISBN (which I did). It was a little unnerving, cause it makes it look like you’re going back to The Beginning, and sets your status back to “In Review,” but that is what seems to be the process. I went back in to check Amazon, and it’s still up for sale, so that must be how it goes. Basically, I was told it wasn’t a problem, and I’ll elaborate more on ISBNs in a future post, cause, believe me, they deserve it.
So, that’s all for now. This is definitely like drinking from a raging fire hose, but you know what—it’s worth it! It’s much different than when I first published Sleepwalkers, in 2001, and I have to admit, I love the process! Love the control. Yeah, there’s not much time for sleep and relaxing and my wife is wondering when I’ll ever come out of my “cave” (at least in the learning stage), but it’s so much fun getting some work out there again, after so many years (12; but who’s counting). The Uninvited won’t be for everyone, but for some who’ve already read it (the ones who blurbed it), they liked it, so I know some peoples out there are bound to like it. And the support out there from other Indie authors is so…heartfelt. They know what people like me are going through, cause they’ve already been there. It’s not an ego thing—at least not with me. It’s a communicative thing. It’s how we’re wired. Some are wired to jump off cliffs in “bird suits” and fly through needle-like openings in stone, and others write. Other save people’s live as cops, paramedics, or firemen and women. It’s all how we’re wired.
So, thanks, again, for all your support. And thank you, Laura, my sweet and gracious wife, for putting up with me. I know, I’m a pain, I’m driven, me and my “cave” and all that, but thank you for hanging in there. Love you.