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My first download?

Filed in Writing Life by on March 1, 2014 0 Comments • views: 3034

I decided, after a lot of thought, to make my first book, Life Blood, completely free. I also changed my mind about the publication date and put it up today instead of late March, hoping that more people would find it before book #2, Blood Born, goes up in April.

I put it on Amazon first and got a message that it’d be posted in 12 hours after review. Good enough.  Then I put it up on Smashwords, which is a good way to get it on B&N, iTunes, and other stores. By the time I’d fixed my mistakes so that it would be accepted for their “premium catalog” (meaning it will show up at B&N and all those other fun places), it had already been downloaded once.

Is this automatic? Or is there already someone out there actually reading it?

I’m so used to the procedure at legacy publishers that the idea is thrilling…and a little freaky. Before a real “reader” could see any of my work in the past, it went like this:

  • I wrote the book.
  • People I trusted reviewed and made suggestions.
  • I edited.
  • I sent it to my editor.
  • My editor sent back line edits.
  • I did the line edits and sent them to my editor again.
  • My editor checked it again and sent it to the copy editor.
  • My copy editor sent it back to my publisher, who mailed it to me.
  • I did the copy edits and sent it back to the publisher.
  • The compositors typeset (BY HAND, retyping EVERY WORD) the manuscript and sent me a final galley to check for typos.
  • I did the final check.
  • The book was approved.
  • Three to six months later, the book was shipped to stores.
  • The book was put on shelves at the release date.
  • The first readers came in to buy.

This isn’t to say that this new method is easier.  There’s a lot more riding on me, and I confess that I’m really, really bad about typos.  I still have to edit–and copy edit–and I still rely on readers I trust to review what I write long before anyone else sees it.  I’ve changed a couple of other things, too, that are making the quality of my work significantly better, things that I can do only because I’ve gone indie.  (In reality, the book still sits for 6 months or longer, but for other reasons.)  But as far as instant gratification goes once I hit the “publish” button, ebooks are definitely a different kind of game.

I expect the going to be slow at first.  I’m not going to sell 20,000 books in less than ten days or anything like that–things that are possible, still, with legacy publishers and a strong midlist title.  But I can’t help but get a little thrill, perhaps misguided, that someone might be reading my first Aethereal Bonds book already.

About the Author ()

V. M. Black is the creator of Aethereal Bonds, the sensual urban fantasy world that takes vampires, weres, and faes to a place they've never been.

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