Yeah, You Read That Right


You’re not imagining things. I didn’t have a post up this morning. I know I try to be consistent with you all, and put something up Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, but this weekend, my wife and I got some really, really incredible news and a happy turn of events for the first time in a long, long while. NOt as exciting as a full-time job or winning the lottery would be, of course, but pretty exciting just the same, and it happened JUST IN TIME.

God sure knows what He’s doing, y’all.

So, rather than knock myself out and try to come up with an entertaining post for today, I decided to take the weekend off and just bask in the flow of the provision of God and enjoy it. Grocery shopping hasn’t been that much funin a long, long time. I’ve had a stupid grin on my face all weekend,  and then I turned around and it was Monday. Ha!

So, sorry it’s late, but you know how it is. 🙂

I’ve made some decisions about my writing this weekend too. I talked to my first fan and long-time supporter Raga and took her advice: I’m going to publish some of my not-likely-to-be-published work and put it up for a reasonable price (because I can’t set the price to “free”) on the Kindle store and Smashwords.

That’s right, Bryce, I’m going to self-publish an eBook. Ha! ME! Of all people! But you know what? Why not? I’m giving it away right now. Why not see if someone will pay for it? If not, no loss, right? So there ya go. I’m going to be editing and stuff this week to try and get it up there before too long. If anyone’s interested in editing and being a set of eyes for me, send me an email. You can use the contact form on this blog to do that if you’re interested, but I’ll need to hear back from you by Friday, August 6, 2010.  No biggie if you can’t do it.

Anyway, that’s it. Nothing else to report today. I’ll see you all Wednesday, hopefully. 🙂

-JDT-

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15 thoughts on “Yeah, You Read That Right

  1. Congrats on your good news!! And good for you for self publishing some of your stuff. It’ll be great. Let me know when it’s available.

    Thanks, V. R.! Wonderful to have you in support! I’m very grateful. 🙂

  2. Congratulations on the good news whatever it may be. And another congratulations on making a decision about your writing.

    Thanks, Marta. It’s sort of scary — what if no one buys it or whatever? — but I can’t NOT try, especially with stuff that’s never going to find print.

    As for my previous suggestion about swapping back and forth. What if the swap was something like every 6 months? I didn’t mean you had to swap daily or weekly or whatever. You say you aren’t wired that way, but are you wired to keep bothering yourself about which one to do and then end up getting nothing done at all? Just asking.

    Unfortunately, yes, that’s EXACTLY how I’m wired. That’s why I haven’t done anything for so long. Well, not exactly true; I’ve actually penned about 90K words since I stopped writing my WIP in May ’08. So the growth has been there. It’s just not in one continuous work. But I’m going to give something a shot here and then go onto the new work. One never knows.

    Although, actually, you are getting something done because you’re announcement in this post proves you are. All the same, something like 6 months (and I’m picking a time frame at random here) would give you time to get into a groove, get something done, and then wind down. At least then you wouldn’t be thinking about the thing you aren’t doing. You’d be able to not worry about it because you’d know you will be doing it.

    That may be rubbish, but I’d like to help. You do what work for you!

    I think six months may actually work, Marta. 🙂 I can definitely get something going. 🙂

    Congratulations again.

    Well, thanks! Much appreciated!

  3. Good for you on the writing front. Count me in on the edit, if you think I’m a good fit for the work.

    Oh, you ARE a good fit, but you’ve edited most of these already. 😉 Would LOVE to have you along. I’ll let you know when the document’s ready for read-through. Remember, it’s a short story collection.

    I already said it on Fal’s post, but congrats on the good news! Can’t wait to hear what it is. Not a full time job, but pretty good…That could be a million things, and now my mind is racing. 🙂

    It’s pretty cool, for sure. 😉

  4. Now if I can just get you to switch to openoffice, your journey to the dark side will be complete. {maniacal laughter}

    Hahaha! Dream on there, Spanky, dream on. 😉

    Setting up for Smashwords & the Kindle store is not terribly hard to do, but if you need help with the file formatting/setup let me know.

    Anything you can offer me would be a big help. Kindle’s documentation (not the forum) says to open a Word document, convert to HTML with the whole SAVE AS function, then upload, right? Then Smashwords says just upload the Word doc and their Meatgrinder (not a comforting or confidence-inspiring name, to be sure) does the rest. Can you upload to Kindle from Smashwords? I thought Konrath said you can.

    Sound off, brother. I’m ready to listen.

    • If you know any html, i’d suggest editing the exported material in a text-only editor before uploading. Word processors tend to add in all manner of extra stuff that may or may not cause your document to get formatted funny.

      I know word processors tend to mangle HTML. But there are formatting problems with text-only editors though, which lower the quality and professionalism of the product. For instance, straight-quotes versus “curly-quotes” … doesn’t sound like much, but it’s a visual difference maker. The curly ones make the product seem less home-made and feel more professional. I’ll have to see how the product looks.

      I think smashwords takes an rtf file, which you can also “save as”. I remember the style guide on smashwords being useful. Make sure you put all the “front matter” that they suggest.

      They prefer a .doc file, is my understanding of their manual. I’ll have to look again. They do NOT want an HTML document, though, right? I just read their information the other day, you’d think I’d recall it. Hm.

      What about covers? Smashwords is clear on their covers — dimensions, file types, etc. — but what about Kindle? Any information on that? Thanks, B!

      And make sure you do away with all superfluous spacing.

      • Curly braces are still easy in a text-only editor.

        No no — not braces. Quotation marks. There are no curly ones in text editors.

        You can search and replace them in to submission. And in a ebook, you don’t really want a lot of formatting other than paragraphs, headers, bold, underline and italic. A reader’s device is going to control most font & size concerns. And a few user coded css styles will always trump a bajillion automatically created ones.

        I know the Smashwords guide said NOT to use headers and such; just make the font size 14pt and bold it. I guess for the title page you can maybe do all caps or something. What did you do for your title page?

        When I did Oasis, I did the export and then I cleaned up the generated html. Lots of stuff got “Search and replaced” with nothing.

        Where did you export from? From Amazon’s HTML generator, or Smashwords’s, or something like that? Or from the word processor you used?

        I remember Kindle wanting a very large cover image (not as a requirement, but as a recommendation.)

        Where is that information for them? 900px tall by 600px wide is what Smashwords wants; where can I find Kindle’s recommendations? I couldn’t find them anywhere in the documentation for formatting. (I read them all; at least, all the ones I could find.)

        Thanks Bryce! Awesome helps so far!

        • Sorry, I meant quotation marks. If you export from Word or whatever, the correctly aimed quotation marks will still be in there. And I started with the openoffice html export.

          Ah, okay. I get it. I guess I can give it a try. Never noticed the quotation marks came in curly to a text editor.

          For e-books, it’s hard to define a cover page, as different sized screens and different font settings will mess it up. I think it’s better to create a “cover section” instead.

          Oasis begins like this:

          Oasis

          by Bryce Beattie

          Smashwords Edition

          Published by Baby Katie Media, LLC at Smashwords

          ©2008 Bryce Beattie
          Bountiful, Ut
          http://www.StoryHack.com

          For Aurora, who encourages me to write, even when it’s about zombies.

          1: The Last Shift

          I heard Donald running down the corridor calling my name, but I didn’t care. I just tightened the straps on my backpack kept walking toward the door. In fact, I sped up, hoping to get to the parking lot before he could…

          I read on Konrath’s blog that Smashwords will create and upload to Kindle, and they keep a small percentage of sales to do that, but I didn’t see anything like that on their site anywhere. Do you know anything about that? And Smashwords is VERY particular about the “front matter” and such. Very fussy site. Not sure why, but they sure are.

          When you’re setting up your book at dtp.amazon.com, they put a link to http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/?ie=UTF8&nodeId=14061811 next to where you choose the file to use as the cover.

          some guidelines in one of the link on that page
          -TIFF (.tif/.tiff) or JPEG (.jpeg/.jpg) format.
          -Image pixel dimensions of at least 1280 pixels on the longest side, 2560 or larger preferred.
          -sRGB or CMYK color mode.

          Wow, that is a HUGE image. Goodness. I though 900x600px was ridiculous. How does the Kindle display THAT mess, or is it just for the store display? Man.

          Great information as always, B. You might want to post this stuff on YOUR site so you get credit for it. 😉

          • Yeah, as far as I know, Amazon just takes the big picture and chews it up for use everywhere. I’m not sure if it gets embedded into the kindle file or not.

            One of the authors on the forum has a site with a big section dedicated to the Kindle publishing process. He says that 600×800 is ideal and the whole thing shows on the screen. I say, what about the newer devices? Oh well. I guess it doesn’t matter. 🙂

            Yes, you can just set up on smashwords and they will distribute your ebook to the kindle store if you want them. You just get don’t get to keep quite as high a percentage of the sales proceeds.

            From: http://www.smashwords.com/about/supportfaq#Royalties

            “Smashwords pays the author, or the author’s designated publisher, 85% of the net sales proceeds from the work. Estimated proceeds are clearly disclosed during the publish process in a pie chart, and are calculated as follows: (Sales price minus transaction fee) multiplied by .85 = proceeds to author/publisher. The royalty rate for affiliate sales is 70.5% net. For most retail distribution partners, Smashwords pays the author/publisher 85% of the net proceeds to Smashwords, which works out to 42% or more of the suggested list price you set for your book. These rates vary by retailer. Apple is 60% of retail price.”

            Basically they take a 15% cut of your profits to distribute. That’s great for the stores you can’t get into by yourself, but hey, that’s like an extra dime for every sale if you set it up yourself.

            Yeah, good point, especially since the set-up for the Kindle is so easy. I mean, it’s easy. Why bother?

            That’s a good idea. Maybe I’ll copy and paste some of this to my self publishing tutorial blog.

            Just proper attribution is all I ask for my part as the originator of the information 😉 (J/K); but this info is AAAAALLL yours, bud. Thanks for sharing it.

            And if you want, we can collab on a post about the experience when I finish it, which will be this weekend. I’ll be sure to detail the process and share how it’s done.

  5. Ooh good news. I wonder what it could be. Could it be you finally got that growth on your ass lanced?

    You’re still here, so no, guess not. ZZZZZIIINNNNNG! Gotcha!

  6. Yeah for good news! I wish you the best of luck with your self-pub endeavors and very much hope you share where the journey takes you through your blog. It’s such a big step and it takes loads of guts to pursue it.

    Thank you, Kimberly! I’m sorry, I missed your comment before somehow, but I’m flattered you came by. I will be sure and let everyone know when the Kindle store has my book ready for download. If you have a Kindle, or another type of eReader, I hope you’ll consider spreading the word with me. 🙂 Thank you again!

  7. Congrats on the good news, whatever it is.

    Thanks, sweetie! 🙂

    I’ve been thinking about the self publishing thing lately. One of the things that holds me back from finishing a manuscript is the fear of rejection. All that work just to be told no makes me scrap each project after two or three chapters. If I self publish, I can do whatever I want. So there.

    Yes, that’s true. My recommendation to authors at this point is to go ahead and try and find a traditional avenue. But like J. A. Konrath says, if you have a manuscript that made the rounds and didn’t find either an agent or a publisher, why NOT let the public decide it’s worth? Put it out there on the Kindle Store and Smashwords and just see what happens. It’s FREE, unlike print self-publishing or vanity publishing, and Amazon says eBooks are outselling hardbacks and have been for months. Why the heck not?!

  8. Congrats on the good news, will we be filled in on the secret? Regardless, I’m stoked for you either way!

    Well, thanks! I doubt I’ll make it public. It’s really only a big (BIG!) deal to us, but we’ll see. 🙂

    And congrats on taking a dive at online publishing. It could be a great thing! It could be just the right thing you need! Honestly, you’re right, you are giving it away for free right now, and why not see if you can gather some interest? It’s worth a shot, if anything.

    That was my thinking too! I hope it goes great, but if not, what have I lost? The ONLY potential drawback is having my name associated with low sales numbers. That may cause traditional publishers to bypass me when I submit. Time will show, I guess. And besides, that’s what pseudonyms are for. 😉

    I’m happy for you 🙂

    Thanks, hon!

  9. Good news, good news, nothing not to like about good news. I’m happy for youse.

    Ah, well thank ye!

    If I didn’t have to train for a new part-time job, I’d be right there for you in the proofing department – another time because there will be one.

    I wish I could find such a part-time job. It’d be nice to have SOMETHING I can do to add to an income. 😉 And I completely understand about time issues and constraints. Thank you for your offer.

    A lot of people are going the self-publishing route. I think you are getting into an area that is on the cutting edge. Money is nice but first anything is a learning experience, right? However, I know you will be successful even on try one.

    Well, I certainly appreciate your confidence, and wish I shared it. 😉 But, as a caveat, I’m NOT getting into PRINT self-publishing. I still feel that’s the last resort of the author who can’t find an agent/publisher/editor. I believe I will/can. This is strictly for ELECTRONIC books for devices like Kindle and Nook, etc. If it takes off, who knows? I may not NEED a traditional publisher. I’m willing to find out. 🙂

    I was lucky, I went to a University that gave me 9, 10th and 11th chances to get my act together. Why can’t more institutions be built around what people are really like, eh?

    Heh. You’d think they’d want the additional money, wouldn’t you?

    Thanks for stopping by, I’m always glad to see you. 🙂

  10. I am happy for you! For whatever vague reason. If you’re happy, I’m happy. 🙂

    Thanks, Spark! The Lord blessed us awesomely with His awesomeness — what more reason do we need, right? 🙂

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