As most of you know, I’ve spent the last few years pretending I was a writer and the last few months actually working my ass off to make that true. I finished my first novel in November, spent December and January re-writing it and have sent it off to a select few of you to create buzz and/or crowd source my editing as the cheap, lazy bastard that I am. I spent the last week knocking out the first in a series of short stories with my writing partner, and more on that to come. It will be out soonish, and that’s a whole thing. It’s a little different than what I am writing on my own, but for those of you that enjoyed the crazy antics of Half Drunk Podcast, it’ll interest you. I’ll talk more about that when it is coming to fruition, but for now, be aware that there is a completed 7500 word short story ready to hit the market.
It will be for sale. It will make you (pick one): Laugh and/or Hate us.
While going on this journey from pretend writer to real writer, I’ve been learning a monkey-butt ton about the business of writing as well. I’ve been following the developing career of my friend Marshall Edwards and can see where he is going. I like that Marshall is getting the attention he deserves and really building some momentum. His way of building his art is a good one for him, and we’ll call it being a Type A artist. Marshall is funded by his fans and true believers to produce. That system has its merits and I hope that one day, he and I will get to sit on a panel at some big conference somewhere and discuss the differences in those kinds of tactics.
I’m going a slightly different route.
Whereas I am not trying to enter the world of traditional publishing (mostly because I think publishers are an out-of-touch monster conglomerate), I am focusing more on building my own system. I read a great book over the holidays called Write. Publish Repeat. Because of this book, I found out about the Self-Publishing Podcast and fell deeply down the rabbit hole from there. I’ve been absorbing all of this great information through these guys and their guests and that is really starting to develop into an idea of how I should approach my writing career.
If you follow me on twitter and Facebook, than you probably remember me asking a question about hard-copy books a little while back. I was very disappointed in the results of the poll because it implied to me that so many people see a book as only being a real book if it is out in print. The reason I was bummed out by that is that I don’t necessarily like print books. That probably comes as a huge shock to my former RoomLord because he just spent a weekend moving all of my personal belongings into a storage unit, and that included a few boxes of books. I didn’t have those books because I love the concept of having a physical book, though. I owned them because they were only available in print. I go through way too many books to buy them all as hard copies. It’s expensive and it’s cumbersome.
But, I decided if my friends, family and fans wanted them in print, I was going to give them print, by God!
So I started working my ass off to find the solutions to that problem as well. I already had some experience with Print on Demand thanks to the Eldaraenth rulebook being published through Lulu.com. That book was specifically put together to be print, with most of the work being done by my more skilled older brother AxiomXIII (or as George Takei says, Axiom X the Third). When we actually went to formatting it for print, we only spent a few hours getting it to look great. It was an awesome experience. (If you’re interested in checking out the Eldaraenth Rulebook for whatever reason, you can do so here, there is a look inside function on the page, so you don’t have to buy it to see what I’m saying.)
The process was so simple on my end that I was thinking, “Why don’t more people do this? There is no upfront cost to me and the work is fairly easy to do.”
How moron was I?
It turns out that formatting a book for print is actually a ton of hard work that takes hours and hours and hours.
Ultimately, I decided that I can do that down the line, after I’ve figured it out more or can afford to pay someone to help me do it. That’s not to say that I’ll never put it out in print, but I am making the decision to backburner the print indefinitely. I’m sorry for those of you that think it is the only way to read a book.
This is a decision I had to make about my available time and resources. I hope I can reach you later. Don’t hold your breath in anticipation though.
The other side of that was the cost. Do you guys realize how much a book costs to print? It’s insane! That’s why when you go on Amazon or B&N, you see a print book for $20 and an EBook for $8. Also, in the indie world, the amount of money the actual author is making per book is much higher on the EBook because all of that price difference is controlled by the printer. it costs $18 bucks to print a book you’re selling for $20 (not exact numbers). But, you earn a decent royalty on the eBook because the only real cost is in distribution servers. It’s a win-win for the author and reader. EBooks are a better business model.
But, ultimately, that’s not what I’m here to really write about. I’m actually here to tell you that I found something else that excites me more than print.
I don’t think it’s a big secret that I prefer to listen to audiobooks over reading. Since I have that thing in my brain where sometimes the letters on the page (or screen) dance around and call me names. It makes reading physical books more tiring and more intense. (I even use the text-to-voice function on my Kindle Fire to read along with me when I’m reading an eBook to help me absorb it better). That’s why I was super excited when I saw ACX.
ACX is a company owned by Amazon (through their Audible subsidiary) that allows authors and producers to hook up and create indie-published audiobooks. It’s fairly new and the indie world is really just now starting to embrace it.
I want my book in audio. It’s what I want more than anything in the world now.
I intend to work my ass off to get it there.
What I also found upon discovery of ACX is a place I can send some of my sexy-voiced friends to try and build a career around being Sexy-Voiced. I have several of them, and I believe that if they really put themselves out there and do the professional work of developing this talent, they’re going to be super-pleased with where they can go.
I’m, personally, going to be very pleased to hear my book in audio at some point in the future.
Then maybe, maybe, I’ll put it into print. That might be a thing that happens at some point… maybe.
Anyway. I have some work coming out in the near future that I’ll be talking more about pretty soon. If you’re interested in that, be sure you are getting me in your mail-hole.
Until next time,