This morning I looked at my inbox and found an e-mail exchange between Tony and someone at allromanceebooks.com about a customer who had an issue with a self-pubbed e-book. Long story short, she/he couldn't download the e-book with Word because of Mac issues and HTML issues on her/his end, which rarely ever happens. In fact, it's never happened before. But we all know that anything can happen and usually does eventually. And even though it's the first time this situation happened, it's not the first time an isolated issue has come up and thankfully Tony and I know how to deal with it from a tech end and a customer service end.
But most authors don't know how to do these things. And they go to e-publishing services that offer tech assistance and other things that can range from developmental editing to marketing/promotion. The article to which I'm linking now talks about how the majority of people in e-publishing/self-publishing today are making money with services for authors, instead of the authors themselves making money. It's a tricky article because they also mention authors like Amanda Hocking who became what's been dubbed a .99 millionaire because she allegedly started the self-publishing boom after her books took off. But for the most part, very few authors are making that kind of money, and even fewer are getting a return on their investment to self-publish...which on average seems to range from one to two thousand dollars.
Before this boom, authors such as Hocking and Bella Andre, another successful self-published author, did all the work of creating, editing, formatting and distributing e-books, often slogging through complicated technical manuals and getting stuck for days or weeks on complex software problems.
A lot of authors do this themselves, and they do it for control reasons. But what's really interesting is now that she's been so successful, the article says this is what Andre spends each year.
Andre estimates that she spends $60,000 to $80,000 a year creating and promoting her books, employing about a dozen freelancers for various parts of her operation. Each works up to 10 hours a week for her.
What the article fails to mention are things like genre specific authors and books. For example, anything like LGBT that doesn't have a mainstream audience. We didn't jump onto the e-publishing bandwagon to be the next Andre or Hocking. We learned how to self-pub because we didn't have any other alternatives. And even more important, authors who have been around in trad publishing and now consider themselves hybrid authors because they self-pub and trad pub, got into self-publishing because big publishers were screwing them over with royalties and because they wanted to get out of print backlists into the market again. Another huge issue the article doesn't mention is that it's not simple to self-publish and e-publishing services deserve to get paid for what they are doing. No one works for free...except maybe the author. But no one is twisting any author's arm to self-publish. Last I heard authors are more than willing to admit making money is not on the top of their list of reasons why they self-publish. Think about it this way: water is free at your kitchen sink; millions of people pay for bottled water in spite of this and the companies bottling water are not twisting anyone's arm to buy their product. It might not makes sense to me to pay for water, but it does to many people.
So the entire concept of self-publishing goes far deeper than the content of this one little article. And not everyone is self-publishing because they want to be the next .99 millionaire. But in a general sense there are a few good tips at the end of the piece you can check out here. In the same respect, they might be so basic I think everyone already knows them anyway. My advice would be to learn how to keep your costs down as much as possible, and if you can learn how to do something on your own, do it and get that free water. If you can't, and you know this, find an e-publishing service you trust who charges fair prices for the services being offered. You can google this information with a simple search and compare one to the other very easily nowadays. You just have to know there are no magic secrets to making millions in self-publishing. I wish I could say it's all about writing good books, but that's been disproved with one or two bad self-pubbed books that made millions. Sometimes you need a little luck, too.
The most positive thing I can say is this: now you can do it. Now you can self-pub and get your book out there. You couldn't have done that fifteen years ago without spending thousands of dollars on publishing the print book alone.
Rush Limbaugh/Pope Francis
I keep seeing these comments and pieces about Rush Limbaugh and Pope Francis all over social media and I really haven't been paying much attention to them. Rush Limbaugh means about as much to my daily news radar as spending the holiday season on the moon does. He's a pundit...ugh...who gets paid very well for doing what he does. He knows how to manipulate and sway people in one direction. He also knows how to get them angry with some of the most insignificant topics. If he'd been alive in the old Wild West days he would have been a snake oil salesmen. To be fair and objective, and to remain bipartisan, Limbaugh is about as creepy and disgusting as that other liberal creep on MSNBC I can't remember offhand.
The Pope, however, is one of the most powerful, spiritual, respected figures in the world. Even if you aren't Catholic, you know the significance of his position on a global level. Nancy Reagan once said that in all her years at the White House her most impressive experience was meeting the Pope. She's not even Catholic. The Pope is not a pundit at Fox News or MSNBC hawking for ratings. He's The Pope. So I don't even see how Rush Limbaugh...or any other commercial American pundit for that matter...should even be associated with the Pope. But this is what's been happening.
Rush Limbaugh is going after Pope Francis just in time for the Christmas
The outspoken conservative pundit blasted the Pope this week after the
pontiff released a new 50,000 word document, titled “Evangelli Gaudium” (The Joy of Gospel), calling for church
reforms and criticizing certain ideas of capitalism.
Talk about putting a spin on something. I don't even know where to begin. The Pope is not an elected government official. He's the Pope. What part of that Rush doesn't understand passes me by. And if you are a serious Catholic and you believe that Catholicism is the one true religion, it makes Rush and the American Christian right even less significant on a global level. In other words, what the Pope does, and what the significance of his position is, goes so far beyond American politics it's not even worth trying to compare the two. Unfortunately, Limbaugh is the Ugly American stereotype who just doesn't know any better.
Mr. Transman 2013
This is a competition held in Brooklyn for female-male transgenders.
Set to take place at The Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, New York, on Thurday, Dec. 5, Mr. Transman will bring together five individuals to compete for the title through the categories of Platform, Swimsuit, Interview, Talent and Evening Wear. The "female-to-male competition" will be judged by a panel of trans and queer personalities, including Juliana Huxtable, Merrie Cherry, Glenn Marla, Kit Yan and reigning Mr. Transman Teddie B Glaze.
All I can say is you have to check out the photos. Some of these guys are gorgeous. Trust me.