My new supernatural mystery/horror novel, Salt in the Blood, launched last week! It’s a rush writing about my book here, almost like I’m my own celebrity. The launch process, on the other hand, wasn’t such a rush. In fact, it was nerve-wracking and tense, and that’s the best I can say about it.
Like many other indies that have boldly gone before me, I published Salt in the Blood myself. I had several beta readers give me feedback and edits, which unfortunately happened after I’d sent the manuscript to formatting. This meant I had to learn how to format the ePub myself, review it, and get it back on the Kindle publishing platform. I downloaded the programs Calibre and Sigil to help tackle this. When you’ve delayed your launch too long already though, struggling with new software is not something you look forward to.
I managed to make those corrections and get everything set on KDP, but then I realized that the corrections were made directly to the Salt in the Blood ePub and not to the original file. I was at a loss at how to take my ePub back to Word (or, in my case, Pages) and then back again. Instead, I decided to re-create the document using KDP’s 6 x 9 Word template. I took my original file, corrected it, placed it on the template and added a table of contents. With fingers crossed, I uploaded it to Createspace. While Createspace was able to upload the file, was appearing as a one page file. I was devastated and annoyed. Back to the drawing board for me.
I sat at that drawing board so long, I could have written the sequel to Salt in the Blood in that time. Ultimately, I decided to pass on print for now and just finish up the other odds and ends that remained before my soft launch, which was coming up fast. What I didn’t realize was I’d have to decide between 35% and 70% royalties.
This might seem like a “no duh” moment for most of you — who wouldn’t take 70% over 35% pay? But here’s the hitch. Books at the 70% level have to be priced between 2.99 and up. Two ninety-nine is the highest price I’d want to charge for my book, which is novella length. Even though Amazon shows page count on the book’s product page, I didn’t want anyone to feel ripped off by paying too much. I wanted the final price for Salt in the Blood to be .99 and the only way to make that happen was to the choose 35% plan.
Here’s where I curse Amazon softly while pressing the little dot to activate the 35% plan.
Is it not enough that I am only making 99 cents? Now they’ve got to hog most of the money? Heck, it only costs .04 in downloading fees — I’d happily pay that to Amazon if they’d let me keep even half of my meager earnings.
That was my last task, however, before pressing “Publish”. When I got to that point I think a small, scared part of my expected Amazon to implode, explode, or send me an instant rejection letter or something to that effect. But what happened was Salt in the Blood, live, on it’s own product page, ready for purchase.
Now I wait and hope for the best.
**UPDATE: SITB made it to the #2 Spot in Horror/Occult on the first day of hard launch! I’ll consider that a win. Thanks to all of you who helped make it happen!