E-Book Learning Curve

June 21, 2011

I went to my favorite writer's retreat this weekend. Yay! I not only enjoyed time with old friends (and a new one – Winston, the friendliest basset hound ever), but I also spent time brainstorming potential career moves now that my university days are behind me. One of the things I want to try is self-publishing an e-book.

There are a hundred and one things you need to know about self-publishing before you get started, and many of the advice-givers differ in their suggestions. That means I need to read a lot of blogs and other articles so I can gather all the little pieces of information that lead people to make the bigger conclusions that they blog about. Already I'm finding blogs written by reputable people who are using numbers that aren't representative of actual dollars other writers have paid.

For instance, I have a friend who paid $50 for a e-book cover. One reputable blogger wrote that a cover would cost you about $300. I'm sure $300 is a price lots of self-published authors pay, and many probably pay more. But many pay less. So putting a number out there without giving a range is either lazy or irresponsible, in my opinion. Or the blogger is intentionally trying to lead the blog reader to a certain conclusion. (That's what much of non-fiction writing does, unapologetically.)

Another pet peeve of mine is irresponsible use of statistics. I learned in my MBA days that statistics can be manipulated to support whatever you want to say. It was an eye-opening and fascinating idea to my 25-year-old self. My pastor jokes that more than 75% of statistics are made up on the spot. Precisely. So in my blogs I will try to be clear where I'm getting my numbers, or I'll use numbers like “101 things you need to know about self-publishing” as I wrote above. My guess is that there are more than 101 things I'll learn as I go through this process.  😉  But you'll know I mean “a lot.”

I'll also attempt to tell you everything I learn, but with the caveat that if I say something negative about a person or company, I may not tell you who I'm talking about. Especially if it's just a matter of disagreeing. Unless I have a personal experience with a person or company, I'll probably only be responding to something I read. So I'll link to all the articles I can so you can read them yourself and form your own opinions.

Okay, all that said, I'll start letting you know what I learn as I go. The next two weeks will be a bit crazy for me as I travel to New York and attend the Romance Writers of America's National Conference. I'll try to make time to give you the highlights of my experiences there as well. I hope you enjoy following along!

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