Living the dream (bastard).

This post is dedicated to a self-publisher who made it work for him. He is an example to us all and I hate him already. That’s him, the sworn enemy of shaving on the left.

I want to share this. It’s something that all aspiring self-publishers should have a look at. It’s proof that it can be done. I know he’s not the first, but I have a tenuous personal interest in this guy’s achievements. Check out the link below first then come back to me and read the rest of this post. Or don’t. I couldn’t care less.

When I was deciding to go down the self-publishing route a couple of months ago I started doing some research. Part of that research was to download a few free books from Amazon’s Kindle website. I wanted to see what I would be up against. I wanted to find out more about how to go about it all and what I should do and include. What was involved?

I actually downloaded this guy’s first Inspector Mclean book, Natural Causes. It was doing rather well in the free download chart at the time. I even read it. Then I stalked him for a bit. I was able to do this primarily because within the covers of his e-book he provided his blog and web addresses. He wanted people to track him down and see what else he was responsible for. That way, if they enjoyed his first book they might be encouraged to part with some money and buy one of his others (I didn’t). At least they would have known that he had others to buy.

I learned that he narrowly missed out on getting a publishing deal and so had thrown his lot in with self-publishing. And it worked for him spectacularly as you can see. Hats off to the man. (Grinding of teeth.)

Out of unsolicited interest I just happened to check up on his blog yesterday (I have him on my blog’s blogroll, even though he hasn’t condescended to reciprocate, despite my repeated begging emails. If he doesn’t add me soon he’ll end up on my bogroll, although with the money he’s probably now wiping his arse with for fun he has no need of us ‘little people’ anymore) and saw the article and learned something else from his experience.

One thing that I hadn’t been able to make my mind up about with my own impending self-publishing venture was how to price my books when I put them out there. Initially, I thought of putting them on for free, or at least the first one and then having a sliding (upwards) scale of purchase price for the others. People will want them. (Oh, God, please, let the people want them!) Then I thought, bugger it. I sweated blood on these. If people want to read them they can sodding well pay for the privilege.

But people won’t. People – like me – want their books for free like they don’t want to pay for anything. Read the article in the link and see Oswald’s experience. He says that when he had the book on the web for 99p he sold about 15 copies. When he made them free that download figure went up to about 50,000 copies. It’s just become a no-brainer for me. One has to appeal to the cheapskate masses. Why do you think that The Sun and The Mirror are so popular? All right, maybe it’s because they have big pictures of women with their breasts out. But maybe it’s because they are cheap! (Yes, in every sense of the word.)

Anyway, back to the hero of the hour. Those numbers ensured that he got seen and noticed and famous; on a list (the good kind) and with publishers fist-fighting each other in the street for the rights to his books. International rights. He must be rolling it. Bastard. The book wasn’t even that good. (Anyone else smelling sour grapes?)

If he can do it we can all do it. Let them eat cake. Give it all away. I’m going to. The greedy grabbing public will gobble up my free output. I’m going to make all three in my Romney and Marsh series downloadable without charge. I’ll get famous and hunted by the suits with their fountain pens.

I shall be dreaming about Bodrum nights again tonight.

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