Publishing On A Budget

August 5, 2013

Good Monday morning,


I wish I could say I feel rested and ready for the new week, but as a busy woman that’s not likely to happen for a while. My beta reading opportunity has yet to begin, I’m not sure what’s going on there but that’s solely the responsibility of the author at this point. I brought a book this weekend to read in my down time, something to calm my nerves, give my brain that down time it’s probably begging for right about now. So far I like it, I’m on chapter 8, and charging my Kindle so I can read some more.


As far as the book goes, the 3rd draft is done. I spent all Saturday working on it. The word document page count remains around 155-158 pages. Soon I have to work on the acknowledgement, that part in the book where you thank everyone and give them their credit for the help and patience.  I also have my third reader, at first I thought I might have to beg someone to read it but turns out, one of my cousins just asked me if she could help.


It’s really strange working on this project so openly because it feels surreal. Sometimes I think my family knows what I’m doing but sometimes I feel like they don’t know. My writing isn’t really something I go around talking about, people just know I do it and we kind of leave it at that. The only other time in my life I was this open about my writing was in high school, I participated a in a lot things back then. Everything about this project feels personal. I’ve been blogging and Facebooking a lot about it.


This brings me to my next uphill battle. Advertising. How on earth am I going to tell people about this book? I’ve been wondering if I should make it a Facebook page. If I should make this blog a Facebook page? I’ve been putting so much stuff up and I don’t really know if it’s doing me any good? Did you know to make an ad on Facebook you have to pay 67 cents if someone clicks on it? I know the saying is to make money you have to spend money, but I don’t have any money to spend. It’s scary to think that if I create this ad I’ll be sitting there hoping people see and hoping people don’t click on it all at the same time.


Which brings me to my next problem. Getting an ISBN for my book. For the newbies a ISBN is an “International Standard Book Number and it is a unique numeric commercial book identifier based on the 9-digit Standard Book Numbering code created by Gordon Foster, Emeritus Professor of Statistics at Trinity College, Dublin, for the booksellers and stationers W. H. Smith and others in 1965.” In short an ISBN is your ID number in the book world. The shit you can figure out with Google and Wikipedia is freaky.


This is another one of those things I have to do hours of research on.  I would want an ISBN. The problem is affording one, or ten. It’s like buying a social security number for my book it has the copyrights and all the legitimacy of a real book. Alas, it’s not as easy as it sounds because then it wouldn’t be right, the take home point is that every format of the book needs its own ISBN. So for example a paperback it needs a new ISBN, an audio version it needs a new ISBN, for a different website it needs a new ISBN. Formatting is key, if I have three different formats it’s going to cost me three different ISBNs and at $55.00 a pop, this broke female is banging her head against the desk.


This problem has a lot to do with my distribution plans it’s time to start figuring out the hard stuff. Thinking about this stuff can make you dizzy. Do I only want to sell my book through Amazon as an ebook? Do I want to make printed paperback books to sell as well? They have sites that will sell your book and the only time they print as a paperback is if someone orders it that way. Do I want to sell it myself though my Website (as soon as I can afford it) and skip out on Amazon banking 30% of the profit? 


What it seems to all boil down to is in a world that is going digital do I want paperback copies of my book? It’s been my dream since I was like ten years old reading Mary-Kate and Ashley books for the ability to one day hold a paperback book that I wrote. Today at the age of twenty-five I find myself asking if my stories are worth the cost of a paperback copy just yet.


My Distribution Plans(so far):  


Kindle:  Distributing through Amazon, because does not require an ISBN if you are publishing content with Kindle. When I looked it up the website says, “An ISBN is not required to publish content with Kindle Direct Publishing. Once your content is published on the KDP web site, will assign it a 10-digit ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number), which is unique to the eBook, and is an identification number for the Kindle Book on”


Nook: Distributing through Barnes & Noble. Barnes & Noble has a PubIt service that is similar to Amazon: “You do NOT need an ISBN to sell your eBook through PubIt!. If you don’t have an ISBN, Barnes & Noble will assign an internal 13-digit identifier to your title for you when you submit the title to go on sale.”


Lulu: Distributing through Lulu seems to be almost too good to be true and will we require lots more research. It seems that through this site publishing is free and they include and ISBN for your book. They also offer a service of printing your books for a fee of course. This one is a big maybe. 


So far it seems like this headache is just the beginning but if I do my research I might be able to get through this with the money I don’t have still in my pocket.

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