‘Gnaw’ is Published

'Gnaw' by Jennifer Brady

It’s the weirdest feeling. My first ever ebook is published. It is now FOR SALE. Pre-ordered copies have been delivered to peoples’ devices like Christmas morning, a surprise in the dgital ‘stocking’ (I hope!) for the adult-child within.

It’s the weirdest feeling. My first ever ebook is published. It is now FOR SALE. Pre-ordered copies have been delivered to peoples’ devices like Christmas morning, a surprise in the dgital ‘stocking’ (I hope!) for the adult-child within. Thank you those who pre-ordered because it completes my test phase 1. What a dull morning it would be without a purchaser. I am in-fact writing this post listening to Handel’s Messiah to celebrate before the house awakes. Handel takes the place of the champagne I will not have, the launch I will not party to, the speech I will not make because like most things with self-publishing (and digital), projects notoriously iterative and endless and lacking in glory except for the secretive little triumphs that mean nothing to the outside world. Oh well! The gains are so much more than donning party frock and the nature of the beast means that I am posting to the universe of binary, fitting, yes, fitting indeed.

screen grab of publication notification from Amazon

You could argue that every book should have a distribution ‘health plan’ and for certain books (digi-first, fan fiction, erotica, romance and singles) enrolling them in KDP Select first is a must to take advantage of promotions and countdown deals will give them critical visibility

I did it myself. Completely. Not just because I’m a writer and writers should be innovating here, but because I hate blindspots in a work process. This was a blindspot in my day-to-day job. Publishers are not individuals, they are ‘bodies’ and bodies don’t necessarily make tailored plans for every ‘limb’ (metaphor awful, apologies) or book that may not necessarily suit democratic distribution (ie iTunes, Nook etc). Amazon KDP Select which Gnaw is enrolled in, like many self-pubs, is very much an individual approach to a person (or publisher) who wants to preen and grow their book, learn data and analytics and then tailor the book’s distribution journey. Seems like a logical place to start for me. Like it or not we live in a culture where ‘the people decide’, say what you like but Amazon account for c. 90% of books sales for publishers (article ref to come) and to NOT know every twist and turn of this sales channel is remiss for any publishing person and this is where self-pubs lead the way. They are not supported by print income and need to get creative here, a mentality larger publishing houses could develop and innovate with too. You could argue that every book should have a distribution ‘health plan’ and for certain books (digi-first, fan fiction, erotica, romance and singles) enrolling them in KDP Select first is a must to take advantage of promotions and countdown deals will give them critical visibility and more importantly feedback for a tentative publisher trying to learn the world of digi distribution which is a very different and GLOBAL one to the print one. For Gnaw, a very Indie literary affair, there’s no real advantage for me to distribute elsewhere yet. I have 90 more days in KDP Select to figure out what next, but in the meantime, while my book is selling millions (!) I’m listening to the Amen Chorus about to start the day’s work and I’m happy with that.

Epigraph of Gnaw taken fromThe Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1, 1931–1934 ‘The symptoms of hibernating are easily detectable: first, restlessness. The second … absence of pleasure. That is all. It appears like an innocuous illness. Monotony, boredom, death. Millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it. They work in offices. They drive a car. They picnic with their families. They raise children. And then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them and saves them from death.’  Many thanks to Ron Hussey, the Anaïs Nin Estate and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company,


Many thanks to Ron Hussey, the Anaïs Nin Estate and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company for permission to use Nin’s quote as epigraph for ‘Gnaw’. 

Buy Gnaw here for US and here for .co.uk realm. See Jen’s Amazon Author Page .You can get the synopsis, or what is called ‘Product Description’ here. Spread the word.  Note the very lovely permission from Anaïs Nin estate to use the quote for the Gnaw epigraph. That made my day some weeks back. Epigraph of Gnaw taken from The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1, 1931–1934

‘The symptoms of hibernating are easily detectable: first, restlessness. The second … absence of pleasure. That is all. It appears like an innocuous illness. Monotony, boredom, death. Millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it. They work in offices. They drive a car. They picnic with their families. They raise children. And then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them and saves them from death.’

Best Fiction and Writing Blogs

I’ve reached a milestone! This blogger M.C. Tuggle whose site is solid and excellent has curated me onto a list of resources to help people become literary superstars!

Blogger M.C. Tuggle whose site is solid and excellent has curated me onto a list of resources to help people become literary superstars.

Blogger M.C. Tuggle whose site is solid and excellent has curated me onto a list of resources to help people become literary superstars.

Deeply chuffed and yet I can measure up to the task too, there is  no vanity there. I am like the lady at the beginning of Fame from the 80’s saying ‘You gotta pay, in sweat’.

The best thing? The list is great, check out Cindy Harris 8 tips for editing a manuscripts and Nihar Pradhan’s lovely scientific take on writing, which I find oddly comforting.

Best Fiction and Writing Blogs.

It Takes a Village to Raise an Ebook

A fellow blogger and self-publisher to be asked me some very relevant questions.

Q. Is there a synopsis of Gnaw anywhere on here?
A. There is! I have just completed my Amazon Author Page see: Jen’s Amazon Author Page. You can get the synopsis, or what is called ‘Product Description’ here.

My Amazon Author Page, surprisingly easy to set up. Better to have it than not as most people searching books don't know you, your blog, your work.

My Amazon Author Page, surprisingly easy to set up. Better to have it than not as most people searching books don’t know you, your blog, your work.

Q. Is there a project plan/timetable that I can scrounge?
A. What I love about this community? A spade is a spade with bloggers. We are definitely a sharing community. So fellow bloggers and non-bloggers too or just interested persons…here is the best I can do… a handy free PDF printable and screen guide ‘Pre-Conversion Schedule and Checklist’. It’s the first of several I’ll put up as I find my way through the desert of project managing, well, myself!

Instructions on how to download/view the PDF

  1. Click here to open the file.
  2. This link will bring you directly to the PDF.
  3. The PDF will automatically open in your browser.
  4.  View on screen as is or download PDF for printing or keeping.

Just in case it’s not obvious how to download or print the PDF here’s how:

How to Download PDF from browser

Download tools on PDF. This icon will appear when you scroll down. Click the round one with the arrow and the rectangle (computer icon) and it should download to wherever you need it to go.

  1. On a Mac: Point cursor to the bottom of a page in the PDF.
  2. An icon will appear as per the image to the right inserted in this post to give you a visual of it.
  3. See the icon on the far right? The circle icon with a downward arrow and a rectangle? Well, click on this and the PDF will download to wherever you have specified your downloads to go!
  4. On a PC?  I use a Mac, so let me ask one of my PC pals but I’m sure it’s intuitive.

BUT bear in mind, when you are the author as well as everything else? You WILL thwart this plan!!!

Here is the thing — I learnt it’s almost impossible to be all roles and stay on deadline! Which is why publishers exist in the first place I suppose? They say it takes a village to raise a child, well, so too for books. Publishers get people like me, or you (author) prise the work off them for a fee (commissioning editor), improve the sense of it (development editor) craft and produce it (Editorial/Production/Design/Typesetting) then launch and distribute it (sales/marketing, warehousing/distribution/customer service/finance). So you are now 14 roles in one, 15 if you count the fact that you may be also the only reader after all of that heft. So let’s face facts, publishers are very useful villages indeed to produce books. How and ever, you for whatever reason, are crazy enough to do this yourself, so expect delays. All 15 roles will struggle for supremacy. The dominant role shall win.

ebook schedule for pre-conversion

Don’t know where to start? Print this out. It will give a bit of shape to the schedule where it can often feel daunting. This is a four page PDF document that outlines the steps and milestones preferable to take as you prepare your writing for ebooking!

I surprised myself. In the real world, the producer in me would stay firm on the deadline, usually because there’s money riding on it, a print date not honoured incurs fees, loss of publicity. In the ebook world Amazon will close rank if you put a title up for pre-order and then don’t supply by the agreed date. In my indie ‘Gnaw’ ebook, however, I let the author in me take priority. The writing simply wasn’t there yet by the appointed date! I even had it copy-edited and peer read. All I got from both actions was that I needed to clarify, tighten, cut. Producer and Author battled for time and the author won. In this case, from a production POV? Who was really waiting for this title? Me, I was, Production ego was, so after the Writer me explained that to the Production me we decided that it was a sensible luxury to break the rules in this case. My business, my decision. But I in no way would truck with this now that the title is on pre-order, it’s full steam ahead for 30 June. And under no circumstances would I recommend delaying if you were publishing another’s work and had money riding on it. But let’s assume your writing is finished and you are happy with your manuscript? Then handy free printout could help you on your way to organising your first indie ebook!

Q. I expect there’s some other stuff to do as well, like formatting, something called HTML?
A. There is. Too long to go into in this post. I feel another free printable guide sheet coming on. Check back here soon.

Q. SEO?
A. More on that in forthcoming posts.

Image

Need Help with Your ebook Production?

Pre-Conversion Schedule and Checklist for Making Your Own Ebook

ebook schedule for pre-conversion

Don’t know where to start? Print this out. It will give a bit of shape to the schedule where it can often feel daunting. This is a four page PDF document that outlines the steps and milestones preferable to take as you prepare your writing for ebooking!

Instructions on how to download/view the PDF

  1. Click here to open the file
  2. This link will bring you directly to the PDF.
  3. The PDF will automatically open in your browser.
  4. View on screen as is or download PDF for printing or keeping.

Just in case it’s not obvious how to download or print the PDF here’s how:

  1. On a Mac: Point cursor to the bottom of a page in the PDF.
  2. An icon will appear as per the image to the right inserted in this post to give you a visual of it.
  3. See the icon on the far right? The circle icon with a downward arrow and a rectangle? Well, click on this and the PDF will download to wherever you have specified your downloads to go!
  4. On a PC?  I use a Mac, so let me ask one of my PC pals but I’m sure it’s intuitive.