Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Next Step - Printed Books

Yes, I'm going to kill some trees. I've signed up for Create Space to put 'Let's Do Lunch' out as a paperback, with 'Swallow the Moon' right behind it.

It was a bit pricy for my non-existent budget, but well under $1k.

I would have done it myself, but the manuscript has been through so many word processors I wasn't able to get all the hidden codes out. Even after I pasted 'unformatted text' there were STILL strange little things going on.

Since 'Swallow the Moon' doesn't have these problems, and I have a cover, I'll do that one myself.

The 6x9 template looks good. I'm going for a sans-serif font because I like them better. They either are larger or they look larger on paper. The large page size should keep the page count within reason, which keeps the printing cost down.

The 'Design Team' at Create Space seems to be a nice, knowledgeable bunch. They will allow for 80 changes to the manuscript before there is a fee. But, as thoroughly as we went over that poor manuscript, I doubt we will find anything.

The cover team has a large framework to work with. They have the blurb, the photo of the Deli, my suggestions and my blessing to have fun and get a little 'pulp fiction' vibe going if they want.

Why I am doing this?

Mary W. Walters – it's all her fault. She wrote about The Author As Publisher which got me to thinking. (Danger, Will Robinson, danger!)

Print on demand publishing is the next step. This is the logical time for me to take that step. I've got 16 volumes of Mom's short stories staring at me. I’m sure she's going to want at least 1 printed on paper.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Rant in Geek Speak

I won't be the least upset if you don't read this. I haven't indulged in a good rant in a while, this one is all about data collection and so forth. Boring as hell, so sorry.

I was looking at my sales data, trying to make some sense of it. Lot's of luck - it's a nightmare.

There are 3 vendors, with sub-vendors, 12 months, a series of years to come, and an unlimited number of stories. There's no freaking way to make it fit in a single spreadsheet.

You know why? Because the crazy data is 3-dimensional not 2-dimensional.

Yes - I know - multiple spreadsheets within a book. Ha! Divided by what exactly? Vendor? Each one has a problem with it – watch this.

Spreadsheet sales by vendor. We have months across the top (X) and each writing project across the side (Y). So where does the sub-vendor information go? Oops! Can't track sales by market.

Take two – Months across the top and vendor with sub-vendor information down the side. So where do we break it down by writing project? (SUPER clunky, this one, though I will need it for the IRS.)

Take three – each project gets their own spreadsheet. (Right, like I have time for that!) and each sale is broken down by price and royalty rate.

PRICE? Royalty rate? Wait a cotton-pickin' minute! I gotta know each sale for that. Not just Monthly sales and and vendor but the dang prices (which vary) and royalty rates?

Look, you want to crunch these numbers properly or guess at how much money you lose every time you put a work 'on sale' for $.99 – or worse yet for free? Average earnings counts in the real world, chickybaby, so don't go a 'art-Tist' and squirm out of it!

Buck up and Geek this properly.

Must have coffee! Coffee and bad Chinese food!

NO! Too early for Chinese.

Okay, Coffee AND chocolate! Put it in the coffee!

(trots off to raid the Godiva.)

Did I ever tell you that I buy Godiva chocolate at the Rineyville Feed Store?

(trot, trot, trot)


(Sobbing noises)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Another Opportunity Wasted

Restaurant owners sour on county over big fee for sewer "hookup" fees for existing service.

There is nothing like investing $750k in your business then getting hit with another $50k for something that isn't going to change.

The Kustalas planned to open Lure at Coffee Creek Estate by this fall, but Nicholas said the reuse-fee issue has delayed its opening and put on hold 15 to 25 new jobs. Nicholas Kustala has taken the issue to U.S. Rep. Steven LaTourette, R-Bainbridge, and is working with the county commissioners to find a solution. The topic came up at a commissioners’ work session earlier this week, and Commissioners Board President Daniel Claypool said it shows one issue of county and municipal sewer treatment systems: unreasonably high tap-in fees that discourage new business.
We all know how 'cliquish' small towns are - is this just the latest example of how backwards Ashtabula county really is?

There is the story of the people who purchased siding, for a building on Main Street, but couldn't put it up because no one told them it had to be a certain gage.

There are the hundreds of abandoned homes that 'can't' be taken over by the city and resold. Commerical buildings that have been vacant for years. And the Carlisle building that is literally condemned and can't be be torn down.

This is the same county that insists on finding a 'fairy Godfather' super-plant that will employ every person in town - instead of growing small and micro-businesses.

In the land of 'Go Big or Go Home' is it any wonder why business choose the 2nd option?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

More on 'Swallow the Moon'

I'm getting everything in order - this is really time consuming.

However, it is important to take this time, before the official date, to get everything in order.

Here is some eye-candy.

The Smashwords edition is up and for sale. I'm waiting on the premium catalog and I may need to buy another ISBN. The book is also signed up for the Smashwords promotion at half price.

'Swallow the Moon' on sale at Smashwords for $1 with this code: SSW75

There is so much to do - I hope I've given it enough time.

Pulled the Trigger on "Swallow the Moon"

I know, you didn't expect to see that tom-cat in a post about publishing.

It's kinda like getting 'rick-rolled' which you might need to google.

Publishing the second novel is different that publishing the first. I was happy to have a manuscript in good enough shape to experiment on.

But it's different this time. 'Swallow the Moon' is a better story. So, like that old tom-cat, I haz street cred.