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How to Ebook

February 10, 2012

Before I get started here, I just want to say ZOMG. I’ve had a little over 1000 views of this blog. I never expected to get that many this fast. I mean, sure, eventually, when there’s that scandal about the…but I’ve said too much. Thanks for visiting, guys. It’s humbling.

I also have 146 followers of my Twitter feed, which amuses the shit out of me. I’m not a very regular tweeter. Anyway, hi Twitter folks! You guys rock!

Okay, on to the actual point of the post. A lot of authors say that the number one question they get is “Where do you get your ideas?” (Gary Larson, creator of the comic “The Far Side,” said that a close second for him was “Why do you get your ideas?”) I have not found this to be the case in my life, mostly because I write erotica and people are usually scared to ask that question. Instead, the question I hear the most often is some variation of, “How can I do that?” That, in this case, being making and selling ebooks. The stuff that I’m going to show you is going to involve a lot of reading, and I have absolutely no problem with that. If you’re unwilling to read, how on earth do you claim to be willing to write?

Guys, I have no new ideas here. I want to be really really clear on that. I am standing on the shoulders of giants here. The information and links that I am going to give here are written by others, and this is going to be little more than a collection of the stuff that helped me get started.

Also, I’m going to assume that you have a story. Short story, novel, whatever. Poetry. Haiku. I don’t care. I’m going to assume that you have something publishable.

First stop in my case was Amanda Hocking’s blog. Hocking is the wunderkind of the indie publishing scene, and was one of the very first to break a million dollars in royalties with independently-published ebooks. She writes paranormal romance for the most part, at least some of it aimed at teens. I know, this is probably not your genre, but bear with me here. Chick knows her stuff. She talks about how she got started here. And she talks about how she does what she does here. Guys, it’s easy to get discouraged in this line of work. It’s very good to have blogs like Hocking’s to refer back to from time to time. Those two entries were huge helps to me when I got started. The second blog entry there contains links to other blogs. Sort of like this entry does. Did I mention my lack of new ideas here?

The first blog that she mentions in there is J.A. Konrath’s. There is damn good reason for this. Konrath has been publishing for years now, and is a major voice in the indie publishing world. His blog is called “A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing,” and that’s precisely what it is. It’s worth going back into the archives on this one. He does lots of interviews, and while he can get a little ranty from time to time I still find it worthwhile to read.

Konrath plucked the best of his blog from the ‘net and put it together under one cover: The Newbie’s Guide to Publishing. Go now. Buy this. If you do not have a Kindle, you can download an app for free from Amazon that will allow you to read it on your computer, phone, smart glasses, or whatever. The book is $2.99, and if you’re serious about the indie ebook trade, there is no better way to spend three bucks. You will make it back many, many times over.

Dean Wesley Smith has written a little bit of everything from novels to comics to short stories to…okay, you get the idea. He’s been publishing for around 200 years now, and is still way behind on his idea file. He writes long entries that are done in wonderful detail, most of which have to do with the indie ebook market. He’s experienced it from both sides, both as an indie publisher and a “legacy” publisher, and he’s firmly on the indie side for good reason. His blog is divided up into major sections. The two that I found to be the most useful were Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing and a relatively new series called New World of Publishing. Those links drop you into the table of contents for each section. Both of them are worth reading thoroughly.

Kristine Kathryn Rusch is another writer who’s been publishing for many years in many formats. She does just excellent sci-fi, and one thing that I love about her blog is that she posts a brand new free short story every Monday. Honestly, how can you beat that? Anyway, she’s also seen life from both the legacy and the indie writer’s viewpoints, and has a lot of really insightful observations on both. Her book The Freelancer’s Survival Guide is seventy (that’s seven-zero) chapters of amazing freelancer information. In the section of her blog called Business Rusch, she writes about the business side of things. She covers all sides, including agents and contracts and copyrights, oh my.

John Locke (no relation to the dude from Lost) writes and publishes the Donovan Creed thrillers, among others. He’s the first indie publisher to break a million books in sales, and he tells all about it in his blog and in his book How I Sold 1 Million Books in 5 Months. Is his technique for everyone? Of course not; we can’t even get any two professional writers to agree on a price for a 50,000 word novel. However, the book is $2.99 and very much worth reading through.

Okay. Honestly, that’s how I got started. I just read everything that I could that people said had helped them. I really hope this can help some others get in touch. And to the authors named in this article, I offer heartfelt thanks.

Checking my Work:

Still on track for my New Year’s resolution this month, so that’s good. Finished another story under my other pen name, finished a quick humor story about a dragon who mistakes a knight for a princess. Those should be up soon.

Currently writing: The sci-fi story, which is turning out to be even frikkin’ LONGER than I thought. Also a story about a guy who helps fulfill some wishes.

There is no unicorn story here. You saw nothing.


4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 13, 2012 05:48

    I’m looking for a way to protect my ebook from being leaked to the public.

    I thought about making a password for the ebook, but that could also easily get leaked.

    What i thought about is making an individual password for each customer and if that password is used on more then 1 IP i could ban it. But i have no idea how to execute something like this.

    • February 13, 2012 10:40

      As far as I know, outside of using DRM to encode it, it’s not possible to do that.

      Well, I suppose it’s POSSIBLE, but I write smut here. My way of thinking is that if someone pirates my book about how a guy turned into a big-breasted slut who was obsessed with teachers, then it’s more or less free publicity.

      I read enough of your blog to get an idea of what your book would be about, and honestly I’d say that you need to do an email list or work out a way to allow access to the information on a website by a password. E-books might just not be the right format for what you’re looking for.

  2. February 14, 2012 20:14

    Hey! Someone in my Myspace group shared this site with us so I came to take a look. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Wonderful blog and outstanding style and design.

  3. February 26, 2012 08:38

    It’s laborious to find educated people on this topic, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

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