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E-Pubbing Tips and Tricks


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#1 RC Lewis

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 11:15 PM

We had a very busy, full, and informative chat tonight. Dear jwmstudio was kind enough to handle copy/paste duties, and I've cleaned out the "so-and-so has entered/left the chatroom" to make it a little more readable. :wink: Hope it's helpful.

If you have follow-up questions or thoughts, feel free to post them here.

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#2 bigblackcat97

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 06:51 AM

Wow - excellent! Thanks to jwm, I know what a lot of distracting work the cut and paste duty is.

BBC had no internet. That made BBC a sad kitty.

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#3 mwsinclair

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 07:50 AM

You guys just made my day and it's not even 9 am!

#4 Dorothy

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 08:30 AM

Just reading the paste up. Thanks for that! Most interesting.
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#5 jwmstudio

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 08:32 AM

There's a hole in the middle, dear Liza. I didn't scroll fast enough but it should be 90% complete. Thanks for cleaning it up RC and for modding. It was a very informative chat. With so many people and so many subtopics maybe we could break it into pieces and do it again. Having Ruth and Cali and Patricia there was great.
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#6 RC Lewis

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 08:50 AM

JWM, as I was going through cleaning it up, I didn't notice any breaks in continuity. (Granted, I was skimming, not nit-picky reading, but it all seemed to flow.) In fact, there were overlaps where it went back and duplicated portions you'd already done (which I cleared out), but I didn't see anything that seemed to be missing.

Thanks again for doing it. It is definitely a pain to stay on top of. :blush:

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#7 Dorothy

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 08:51 AM

Even if these successful writers are the 'exception' I found it insipiring.I love following our e-pubbaneers from the start.
GDE

#8 Pete Morin

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 09:17 AM

Thanks, whoever did the C&P - that was interesting reading.
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#9 Patricia k

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 02:45 PM

Thanks again to Katie who invited me to the chat. I do encourage all members of the AQ community to consider chats as an amazing opportunity to listen and learn. RC did an excellent job keeping us going in one direction which is often difficult with so many excellent voices. Cali and Ruth, I have a little way to go to reach your accomplishments but for all of us we need to seek those who are steps ahead of us. I apologize for being unaware but I would like to know for myself and others how we find out when chats are available. I am pleased to know the e-Pubbing chat is a weekly happening!! Again thank you for an amazing first time experience and what a pleasure it is to have met all of you. Patricia
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#10 AQCrew

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 03:44 PM

We'd like to thank moderators RC. Lewis, C. Taylor, and J. Lea Lopez for organizing and running last night's chat session on e-publishing as well as all the participating and lurking AQC members.

We'd also like to thank special guest, Ruth Cardello, a self-pubbed romance author who is currently pursuing the e-publishing route with substantial success. Her recent release, MAID FOR THE BILLIONAIRE -- which is selling for free on Amazon -- has received over 200K downloads since April 2011. And her second book -- priced on Amazon for $2.99 -- is making her $400 a day.

You can read more about Ruth's books and e-publishing journey here: http://www.fromthewr...e-inspired.html

We'd also like to congratulate our own AQC mod, C. Taylor on being one of the first AQC pioneers in the e-publishing space. Her first release VIRIDIS -- which is selling for free on Amazon -- has already received 16K downloads since September 2011. And she plans to soon release her second book in the series for $2.99 on Amazon.

Regarding the AQ E-Publishing chat, it was a very extensive discussion. Unfortunately, the chat format is usually best for starting these kinds of discussions, but not always the best at expounding on them.

For this reason, we are posting a small excerpt of the chat session in order to encourage follow-up questions both by members who participated, and/or members who have more questions.

This will also give mods RC, CT, and J Lo the opportunity to field questions on an ongoing basis.

Like we said, there's a lot of pithy information within the chat and follow-up questions can certainly clarify some of the murkier issues. But one crucial point that we'd like to point out is that Amazon does not actually let you sell your book for free on Amazon. The ladies are using a very interesting trick-of-the-trade to "game" the Amazon system in their favor, and force Amazon to list their books for free.

Very smart and savvy -- and a perfect example of how there's no true road map in this arena and you have to be willing to experiment as part of the adventure.

Here are a few of the helpful formatting links that were mentioned in the chat:

http://agentquery.co...h_an_ebook.aspx

http://www.fromthewr...ight-tools.html

http://cameronchapma...he-easy-way.htm


CHAT TRANSCRIPT EXCERPT:


10/20/2011 , 08:07 PM RC Lewis THE CHAT HAS BEGUN!

10/20/2011 , 08:07 PM RC Lewis (REMINDER, NO MORE GREETING PEOPLE WHO COME IN--THERE ARE TOO MANY OF US, AND IT CLOGS UP THE CHAT)

10/20/2011 , 08:07 PM RC Lewis OKAY, TONIGHT'S TOPIC (OBVIOUSLY) IS E-PUBLISHING

10/20/2011 , 08:07 PM jwmstudio Can Ruth go first because of the baby thing?

10/20/2011 , 08:07 PM RC Lewis WE HAVE A FEW PEOPLE IN THE ROOM WHO'VE BEEN THERE, DONE THAT.

10/20/2011 , 08:08 PM RC Lewis RUTH HAS A COUPLE OF ROMANCES OUT, CTAY RECENTLY RELEASED HER STEAMPUNK ROMANCE NOVEL, AND I BELIEVE PATRICIA K HAS A BOOK OUT, TOO.
10/20/2011 , 08:08 PM katieg And thank you to Ruth and Patricia for joining in. And you, too, Cali.


10/20/2011 , 08:08 PM RuthCardello yw


10/20/2011 , 08:08 PM C. Taylor happy to!


10/20/2011 , 08:08 PM RC Lewis RUTH CAN DEFINITELY GO FIRST, BECAUSE IT'S RATHER IMPRESSIVE.


10/20/2011 , 08:08 PM Patricia k Happy to answer questions.


10/20/2011 , 08:08 PM C. Taylor Def. impressive!!


10/20/2011 , 08:09 PM RuthCardello I'll help however you'd like


10/20/2011 , 08:09 PM A.M.Supinger *impressed*

10/20/2011 , 08:09 PM RuthCardello my experience has been short but what a great ride so far

10/20/2011 , 08:09 PM RC Lewis THERE'S MORE DETAIL IN AN INTERVIEW ON FROM THE WRITE ANGLE (WHICH CALI LINKED TO EARLIER ... GOT THAT HANDY STILL?)


10/20/2011 , 08:09 PM C. Taylor http://www.fromthewr...e-inspired.html

10/20/2011 , 08:09 PM RC Lewis IN SHORT, RUTH HAS SUCCESSFULLY WORKED THE "FIRST BOOK FREE AS BAIT" ANGLE.

10/20/2011 , 08:09 PM C. Taylor Can you give us your current numbers so far ruthie?


10/20/2011 , 08:09 PM RuthCardello I put my first book up for FREE on Smashwords (to make it free on Amazon) back in April


10/20/2011 , 08:10 PM RuthCardello I'm still making about $400 a day on my book...but my Amazon numbers fluctuate so I'm counting my itunes


10/20/2011 , 08:10 PM Patricia k My book Gentleman Companion One came out in May. I just published a trade paperback version. I am working on the second book of the series.

10/20/2011 , 08:10 PM RuthCardello Free has definitely been good for me financially


10/20/2011 , 08:11 PM RuthCardello Of course it fluctuates


10/20/2011 , 08:11 PM DC Rich How does free = $400 a day?


10/20/2011 , 08:11 PM RC Lewis (TO CLARIFY FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN'T READ THE BLOG YET, HER 2ND BOOK IS *NOT* FREE)


10/20/2011 , 08:11 PM Lori S. Lori S. has entered the room


10/20/2011 , 08:11 PM RC Lewis (THAT'S WHAT I MEANT BY 1ST BOOK FREE AS "BAIT")


10/20/2011 , 08:11 PM RuthCardello first book is free (the lure) second book is 2.99


10/20/2011 , 08:11 PM C. Taylor DC, you hook them with the first free book, and then they don't mind purchasing the 2nd


10/20/2011 , 08:11 PM DC Rich Will a third be 3.99?

10/20/2011 , 08:11 PM sweetlemon What have your sales been on book2?

10/20/2011 , 08:11 PM Skyval Skyval has entered the room

10/20/2011 , 08:11 PM RuthCardello 2.99 gives you 75% profit via Amazon

10/20/2011 , 08:12 PM RuthCardello 60% profit via Smashwords/itunes

10/20/2011 , 08:12 PM RC Lewis THE IDEA IS THAT A SELF-PUBLISHED, UNKNOWN AUTHOR IS A RISK. "FREE" MEANS NOTHING RISKED OTHER THAN TIME.

10/20/2011 , 08:12 PM TBruce how does itunes fit into this?

10/20/2011 , 08:12 PM DC Rich 400 a day must be a lot of downloads!

10/20/2011 , 08:12 PM RuthCardello at the lower .99 you only get 35%

10/20/2011 , 08:12 PM RC Lewis ONCE THEY DECIDE THEY LIKE YOU, THEY'RE WILLING TO SHELL OUT FOR FUTURE WORK.

10/20/2011 , 08:12 PM RuthCardello Yes :)

10/20/2011 , 08:12 PM C. Taylor exactly, RC!

10/20/2011 , 08:12 PM RC Lewis ITUNES SELLS BOOKS (THE IBOOKSTORE) FOR IPAD, ETC.

10/20/2011 , 08:13 PM AuthorPhoenix89 Good to know.

10/20/2011 , 08:13 PM RuthCardello I average on Amazon 150 a day right now

10/20/2011 , 08:13 PM RuthCardello and itunes is trickier to figure

10/20/2011 , 08:13 PM sweetlemon Ruth, what did u do to market ur first?

10/20/2011 , 08:13 PM RuthCardello but I haven't left the top 10 yet

10/20/2011 , 08:13 PM DC Rich The second book does not need to be a sequel, just another good read?

10/20/2011 , 08:13 PM C. Taylor Keep in mind though that Amazon won't let you put your book out for free. You have to do some maneuvering.

10/20/2011 , 08:13 PM RuthCardello On Amazon I'm lower (300+)

10/20/2011 , 08:13 PM RC Lewis I CAN'T REMEMBER IF RUTH'S IS A SEQUEL...

10/20/2011 , 08:13 PM RuthCardello Cali, you had a whole system

10/20/2011 , 08:13 PM AuthorPhoenix89 And what kind of maneuvering is that?

10/20/2011 , 08:13 PM RuthCardello and you just succeeded!

10/20/2011 , 08:14 PM C. Taylor yes, a series

10/20/2011 , 08:14 PM katieg Wait. I thought it was free on Amazon?

10/20/2011 , 08:14 PM RC Lewis IT HAS TO BE OFFERED FREE ELSEWHERE, AND GET REPORTED TO AMAZON AS BEING FREE ELSEWHERE, TO A CERTAIN DEGREE... THEN THEY'LL AUTO-LOWER IT.

10/20/2011 , 08:14 PM RC Lewis (IS THAT ROUGHLY ACCURATE?)

10/20/2011 , 08:14 PM AuthorPhoenix89 Mk.

10/20/2011 , 08:14 PM RuthCardello DC, I don't know, but I would think if your writing was s trong people would look for you


10/20/2011 , 08:14 PM C. Taylor I sort of did, for going free, and for me the key was using smashwords to go free on B&N and itunes

10/20/2011 , 08:14 PM TBruce ruth: is your book self-published or through a publishing company?

10/20/2011 , 08:15 PM RuthCardello I'm self pubbed

10/20/2011 , 08:15 PM DC Rich itunes is another format?


10/20/2011 , 08:15 PM RC Lewis ITUNES IS A STORE

10/20/2011 , 08:15 PM C. Taylor it's books for ipads

10/20/2011 , 08:15 PM RC Lewis IT'S THE EPUB FORMAT, SAME AS B&N

10/20/2011 , 08:15 PM DC Rich oh.

10/20/2011 , 08:15 PM TBruce and even self-pubbed authors don't get to set their own price on Amazon?

10/20/2011 , 08:15 PM RC Lewis YES, TERRI, THEY DO, BUT "FREE" ISN'T AN OPTION GIVEN.

10/20/2011 , 08:15 PM RuthCardello Tb, they do about 99 cents

10/20/2011 , 08:15 PM J. Lea Lopez you can set your price, tbruce. just not free on amazon

10/20/2011 , 08:15 PM C. Taylor They do, but the min. is .99

10/20/2011 , 08:15 PM RuthCardello above

10/20/2011 , 08:16 PM TBruce LOL

10/20/2011 , 08:16 PM C. Taylor So you have to force their hand.

10/20/2011 , 08:16 PM TBruce so they have a floor on what the author can set it as

10/20/2011 , 08:16 PM RuthCardello they try to reserve the FREE option as a promotional perk for big authors

10/20/2011 , 08:16 PM RuthCardello yes, they don't want everyone putting free books up

10/20/2011 , 08:16 PM DC Rich So we have stores: Amazon, itunes, B&N. And we have pricing: Free .99 - what 3.99? Then we have platforms, Kindle, nook, iPad. Does that about cover things?

10/20/2011 , 08:17 PM C. Taylor to whatever you want... no limit on the max

10/20/2011 , 08:17 PM TBruce publishers: Createspace, smashwords, lulu, iuniverse...

10/20/2011 , 08:17 PM RC Lewis WHICH MAKES SENSE ... THEY WANT TO MAKE SOME MONEY ON IT.

10/20/2011 , 08:17 PM RuthCardello pretty much...except that as you learn more you'll become more savvy about which route you take to publish

10/20/2011 , 08:17 PM jwmstudio Other than telling them you are free elsewhere, does anyone know how Amazon decides who gets to be free?

10/20/2011 , 08:17 PM TBruce amendment to my statement: (self) publishers

10/20/2011 , 08:17 PM C. Taylor Those aren't actually ebooks, but rather self pubing paper

10/20/2011 , 08:17 PM RC Lewis OTHER THAN SMASHWORDS

10/20/2011 , 08:17 PM RC Lewis CREATESPACE, LULU, AND IUNIVERSE ARE ALL DEAD-TREE-BOOK SELF-PUBBERS

10/20/2011 , 08:17 PM RuthCardello For example, I sell to itunes via Smashwords....benefit..exposure, ease, support

10/20/2011 , 08:18 PM DC Rich Smashwords = self pub e-book?

10/20/2011 , 08:18 PM RC Lewis JWM, I IMAGINE THE ONLY OTHER REASON THEY DO IT IS IF IT'S A BENEFIT TO THEM

10/20/2011 , 08:18 PM TBruce what is the e-self-pubbing for kindle through Amazon entity called them if it's not createspace?

10/20/2011 , 08:18 PM C. Taylor Who knows as far as going free, but I found that soon after going free on b&N I went free on Amazon

10/20/2011 , 08:18 PM RuthCardello negative of not going directly through itunes -- waiting longer to know your sales, longer wait for payout

10/20/2011 , 08:18 PM RC Lewis DEAN, HANG ONTO THAT--I WANT TO TALK MORE IN-DEPTH ABOUT SMASH IN A MINUTE

10/20/2011 , 08:18 PM J. Lea Lopez kindle direct publishing, tbruce

10/20/2011 , 08:18 PM RC Lewis KINDLE DIRECT PUBLISHING, TERRI

10/20/2011 , 08:18 PM A.M.Supinger if you self-publish one book, do you have less chance of getting an agent for traditional publishing?

10/20/2011 , 08:18 PM C. Taylor Granted, I also harrassed them constantly with the tell us of a lower price button

10/20/2011 , 08:19 PM RC Lewis AM, THAT VARIES GINORMOUSLY

10/20/2011 , 08:19 PM Patricia k I wanted to add BookBaby. Giant expansion to multiple countries now for ebooks

10/20/2011 , 08:19 PM RuthCardello AM, I am approached by agents and publicists

10/20/2011 , 08:19 PM RuthCardello I've even had Apple come looking for my second book

10/20/2011 , 08:19 PM C. Taylor AM, not with that book

10/20/2011 , 08:19 PM RC Lewis BOOKBABY IS A LITTLE DIFFERENT KIND OF SERVICE, AND WE'LL TALK ABOUT THAT SHORTLY

10/20/2011 , 08:19 PM AuthorPhoenix89 wow

10/20/2011 , 08:19 PM TBruce patrick: what is bookbaby (vendor, publisher?)

10/20/2011 , 08:19 PM RuthCardello one you are out there...it's all a numbers game

10/20/2011 , 08:19 PM C. Taylor That's cause your numbers are crazy!

10/20/2011 , 08:19 PM TBruce nm

10/20/2011 , 08:19 PM A.M.Supinger *traditionally publishing another book

10/20/2011 , 08:19 PM RuthCardello can you get noticed and how much do they think you will make for them

10/20/2011 , 08:20 PM RuthCardello I had a publisher ask me if I was interested and I asked if she could pay what I'm making

10/20/2011 , 08:20 PM RC Lewis BOOKBABY ISN'T A PUBLISHER. THEY'RE A SERVICE PROVIDER.

10/20/2011 , 08:20 PM RuthCardello she couldn't

10/20/2011 , 08:20 PM Jennie Jennie has entered the room

10/20/2011 , 08:20 PM jwmstudio How cool Ruth!

10/20/2011 , 08:20 PM RuthCardello so sometimes it doesn't make sense to go to a publisher after you self-pub

10/20/2011 , 08:20 PM C. Taylor Nice position to be in!

10/20/2011 , 08:20 PM A.M.Supinger very cool, Ruth

10/20/2011 , 08:20 PM RC Lewis IT'S ONE STEP TO BE SUCCESSFUL ENOUGH TO HAVE THE OPTION OF GOING TRADITIONAL.

10/20/2011 , 08:21 PM TBruce Ruth: so I assume this means your book is of a very high/professional quality.

10/20/2011 , 08:21 PM RC Lewis THEN IT'S ANOTHER STEP TO DECIDE IF GOING TRADITIONAL CAN BENEFIT YOU

10/20/2011 , 08:21 PM RuthCardello I'm working with several traditionally pubbed authors who want to make more money

10/20/2011 , 08:21 PM DC Rich Somehow I think Ruth's story is more of an exception than the rule.

10/20/2011 , 08:21 PM TBruce did you get professional editing? professional cover art? professional layout help? Etc. Can you talk a bit about that, how much you invested up front money wise, etc.

10/20/2011 , 08:21 PM jwmstudio Ruth's first book is very good.

10/20/2011 , 08:21 PM RC Lewis TRULY, EVERY BIG SUCCESS STORY IS SOMETHING OF AN EXCEPTION.

10/20/2011 , 08:21 PM RuthCardello TB, it represents it's genre well...it won't change the world, but it is what it promised to be

10/20/2011 , 08:21 PM Skyval What was the ramp up time to see some real numbers as far as reads?

10/20/2011 , 08:22 PM RuthCardello TB, I advocate having an editor.....no question. But I have three kids and went on without one. Just used friends to edit. Not the best route, but if it's all you can do a really good story will survive some errors.

10/20/2011 , 08:22 PM sweetlemon How did you get ur name out there?

10/20/2011 , 08:23 PM RuthCardello I networked via Twitter, Facebook, contests...blogs

10/20/2011 , 08:23 PM RuthCardello I read a lot of Joe Konrath to see what he thought was a waste of time

10/20/2011 , 08:23 PM DC Rich How many followers on twitter, and your blog?

10/20/2011 , 08:23 PM sweetlemon How long did it take to build a good following?

10/20/2011 , 08:23 PM RC Lewis PRETTY MUCH THE SAME WAY ANY OF US TRY TO GET OUR NAMES OUT THERE.

10/20/2011 , 08:23 PM RuthCardello I'm actually now working on youtube commercials

10/20/2011 , 08:24 PM RC Lewis SO BOOK TRAILERS?

10/20/2011 , 08:24 PM RuthCardello my blog is pathetic

10/20/2011 , 08:24 PM DC Rich Ok, no blog, how many followers on twitter?

10/20/2011 , 08:24 PM Whimsical_Werecat Whimsical_Werecat has entered the room

10/20/2011 , 08:24 PM RuthCardello no, but I am doing book trailer/commercials as part of a contest

10/20/2011 , 08:24 PM DC Rich Ruth, contact Tansy Ragwort, she does video work.

10/20/2011 , 08:25 PM RuthCardello I'm making a website of videos people can download.....interviews with authors, interviews with epubbed people, techie people

10/20/2011 , 08:25 PM Skyval No publicist?

10/20/2011 , 08:25 PM RuthCardello DC, thanks

10/20/2011 , 08:25 PM RuthCardello Skyval, the st range thing is I get a lot of phonecalls from publicists..and they ask me how I'm doing it...because they want to learn

10/20/2011 , 08:26 PM sweetlemon Nice.

10/20/2011 , 08:26 PM RuthCardello they are on the same wave of change...trying to keep up right along with the writers

10/20/2011 , 08:26 PM Skyval Cool, Ruth. A new world for them no, too.

10/20/2011 , 08:26 PM RC Lewis BOOKS ARE SUCH A WORD-OF-MOUTH BUSINESS

10/20/2011 , 08:26 PM C. Taylor So true, RC!

10/20/2011 , 08:26 PM RC Lewis YOU JUST NEED TO REACH A CERTAIN CRITICAL MASS OF "INITIAL READERS" TO SPREAD THE FIRE

10/20/2011 , 08:26 PM RuthCardello yes, that's why there has never been a better time to jump in

10/20/2011 , 08:26 PM DC Rich Ruth - sounds like you may have budding consulting business in the making

10/20/2011 , 08:26 PM RuthCardello IF you are ready

10/20/2011 , 08:26 PM C. Taylor Here's hoping!

10/20/2011 , 08:26 PM RC Lewis (WHAT THAT MAGIC NUMBER IS, I DON'T KNOW ... AND THE PRODUCT HAS TO BE GOOD ENOUGH TO SUSTAIN THAT "FIRE")

10/20/2011 , 08:26 PM Skyval Wondering if the sucess rate differs depending on the genre.


10/20/2011 , 08:27 PM C. Taylor I think it does, Skyval.

10/20/2011 , 08:27 PM RC Lewis I'M SURE IT DOES, SKY

10/20/2011 , 08:27 PM RuthCardello DC, at least a cheap info website....I figure people will pay 99 cents a video....but really the goal is more traffic

10/20/2011 , 08:27 PM Skyval C.Tay, did you epub?

10/20/2011 , 08:27 PM RuthCardello because I don't care about consulting....just writing

10/20/2011 , 08:27 PM C. Taylor I did on 9/1

10/20/2011 , 08:27 PM DC Rich genre would be a factor.

10/20/2011 , 08:27 PM RC Lewis I THINK GENRES IN GENERAL DO BETTER THAN, SAY, LITERARY

10/20/2011 , 08:27 PM C. Taylor Went free just over a week ago!

10/20/2011 , 08:27 PM Skyval It's Viridis, right? Gonna buy it!

10/20/2011 , 08:27 PM RC Lewis IT REALLY ALMOST FEELS LIKE A RETURN TO THE IDEA OF PULP FICTION

10/20/2011 , 08:27 PM RuthCardello Cali has been doing great..with a few bumps

10/20/2011 , 08:28 PM Jennie Jennie has left the room

10/20/2011 , 08:28 PM C. Taylor Cool, Sky! And thanks!

10/20/2011 , 08:28 PM RC Lewis OKAY, GUYS, I'M GOING TO CUT IN.

10/20/2011 , 08:28 PM C. Taylor Thanks, ruthie. yeah.. a few bumps. lol.

10/20/2011 , 08:28 PM RC Lewis I KNOW SOME OF YOU HAVE TECHNICAL QUESTIONS, TOO, SO I WANT TO MAKE SURE WE ADDRESS SOME OF THOSE.

10/20/2011 , 08:28 PM RC Lewis ONE QUESTION WAS ABOUT FORMATS.

10/20/2011 , 08:29 PM RC Lewis THE TWO MAJOR FORMATS ARE KINDLE (.AZW, I THINK, WHICH IS JUST A VARIANT OF .MOBI) AND .EPUB

10/20/2011 , 08:29 PM J. Lea Lopez here's a good link on formats: http://en.wikipedia...._e-book_formats

10/20/2011 , 08:30 PM J. Lea Lopez there's a nice handy chart about 2/3 of the way down the page

10/20/2011 , 08:30 PM J. Lea Lopez you're welcome :)

10/20/2011 , 08:30 PM RC Lewis A BIG QUESTION FOR PEOPLE THINKING OF E-PUBBING IS WHETHER THEY WANT/CAN DO THE FORMATTING THEMSELVES

10/20/2011 , 08:30 PM RuthCardello If you're going to format your own stuff...start with the Smashwords formatting free book

10/20/2011 , 08:30 PM RuthCardello then you have a clean doc you can adjust to Kindle

10/20/2011 , 08:30 PM C. Taylor The AQ method of saving it is a web format and then throwing it into calibre worked for me.

10/20/2011 , 08:30 PM RC Lewis OPINIONS ACTUALLY VARY A LITTLE ON THAT, SO I'M GOING TO DISAGREE WITH RUTH.

10/20/2011 , 08:30 PM RuthCardello it's a matter of carefully following directions


10/20/2011 , 08:31 PM RC Lewis YES, I PREFER AQCREW'S INSTRUCTIONS, TOO.

10/20/2011 , 08:31 PM RC Lewis PARTICULARLY IF YOU'RE NOT THAT TECH-SAVVY

10/20/2011 , 08:31 PM RuthCardello Cali, I think Smashwords does the same

10/20/2011 , 08:31 PM J. Lea Lopez i think it depends on your technical ability and understanding lol

10/20/2011 , 08:31 PM RuthCardello I think Kindle just meant adding page breaks

10/20/2011 , 08:31 PM RC Lewis PERSONALLY, I'M NOT A FAN OF THE SMASHWORDS "MEAT-GRINDER" AND I'VE SEEN A *LOT* OF ERRORS COME OUT OF IT. BUT THAT'S ME, AND EVERYONE NEEDS TO FIGURE OUT WHAT WORKS FOR THEM.

10/20/2011 , 08:31 PM C. Taylor Ruthie, they probably do. You upload a .doc file for them

10/20/2011 , 08:32 PM RuthCardello and then putting it through the mobi book whatever...lol

10/20/2011 , 08:32 PM C. Taylor I used Calibre

10/20/2011 , 08:32 PM RuthCardello Please, I am a formatting novice

10/20/2011 , 08:32 PM RC Lewis THERE ARE MANY, MANY WAYS TO DO IT

10/20/2011 , 08:32 PM RuthCardello I'll take good advice on the matter

10/20/2011 , 08:32 PM Jemi Jemi has entered the room

10/20/2011 , 08:33 PM RC Lewis HERE'S ONE LINK FOR THOSE WHO ARE A *LITTLE* COMFORTABLE USING COMPUTERS:

10/20/2011 , 08:33 PM RC Lewis http://cameronchapma...he-easy-way.htm

10/20/2011 , 08:33 PM RuthCardello RC, you brought up a good point about the meatgrinder


10/20/2011 , 08:33 PM Michelle4Laughs Michelle4Laughs has entered the room

10/20/2011 , 08:33 PM RuthCardello but that isn't the part I suggested

10/20/2011 , 08:33 PM RuthCardello I suggested their book

10/20/2011 , 08:34 PM RuthCardello I uploaded directly to Kindle because I'd heard the same stories about the meatgrinder

10/20/2011 , 08:34 PM RuthCardello ooooh there is my baby

10/20/2011 , 08:34 PM RC Lewis I KNOW, RUTH, BUT I ALSO DIDN'T LIKE THE RESULTS I GOT FROM FOLLOWING THEIR SUGGESTIONS COMPARED TO WHAT I GOT DOING MORE NITTY-GRITTY MYSELF

10/20/2011 , 08:34 PM C. Taylor For smashwords, I just uploaded a page#/header/footer free .doc and it was fine

10/20/2011 , 08:34 PM RuthCardello hey! gotta run! Cali knows as much as I do! Hope it was helpful to have me here. Good luck everyone!

10/20/2011 , 08:34 PM RC Lewis (UNDERSTAND, I'M A CONTROL FREAK *AND* A PERFECTIONIST)

10/20/2011 , 08:34 PM C. Taylor Bye ruthie!

10/20/2011 , 08:34 PM RC Lewis THANKS, RUTH, FOR JOINING US. GOOD NIGHT!

10/20/2011 , 08:34 PM Skyval A trillion thanks, Ruth

10/20/2011 , 08:35 PM Lori S. Thanks, Ruth!

10/20/2011 , 08:35 PM RC Lewis THE LINK I GAVE ABOVE ALLOWS YOU A LOT OF CONTROL AND TAILORING OF THE END PRODUCT.

10/20/2011 , 08:35 PM C. Taylor I can probably answer any other questions you may have had for Ruthie, since I sort of know what she's been doing.

10/20/2011 , 08:35 PM katieg Thanks, Ruth!

10/20/2011 , 08:35 PM RC Lewis IF YOU'RE NOT COMFORTABLE WITH THAT, AND IF EVEN THE SMASHWORDS INSTRUCTIONS SCARE YOU, A SERVICE LIKE BOOKBABY MAY WELL BE WORTH IT

10/20/2011 , 08:35 PM RC Lewis (SIDE NOTE: BOOKBABY DOES *ALL* THE FORMATTING FOR VARIOUS VENDORS--A REAL HUMAN BEING, NOT A MEAT-GRINDER--AND DISTRIBUTING ... I'VE HEARD THEY GET INTO PLACES LIKE ITUNES MORE DIRECTLY/EFFICIENTLY THAN SMASH ... AQCREW RECOMMENDS)

10/20/2011 , 08:36 PM RC Lewis (OR THE COMPANY PETE MORIN USED ... DRAT, FORGOT TO LOOK UP THE NAME!)

10/20/2011 , 08:36 PM C. Taylor I found it very simple.

10/20/2011 , 08:36 PM jwmstudio Cali what do your numbers look like so far (if you don't mind sharing)

10/20/2011 , 08:36 PM katieg I think Patricia is still here, as well.

10/20/2011 , 08:36 PM C. Taylor I don't mind. Are we ready to move on from formats

10/20/2011 , 08:36 PM RC Lewis ARE THERE FURTHER QUESTIONS ABOUT FORMATS AND FORMATTING?

10/20/2011 , 08:37 PM RuthCardello RuthCardello has left the room

10/20/2011 , 08:37 PM RC Lewis TELL US BRIEFLY ABOUT YOUR NUMBERS, CALI, THEN MAYBE WE'LL TALK COVERS.

10/20/2011 , 08:38 PM C. Taylor Do you want the summary from the start or just current numbers

10/20/2011 , 08:38 PM Lori S. I'd love a summary

10/20/2011 , 08:38 PM RC Lewis GO FOR IT. :)

10/20/2011 , 08:39 PM C. Taylor Started free on SW, was .99 on A. Within a month I'd had about 800 downloads on SW and about 80 on Amazon

10/20/2011 , 08:39 PM Dr Anne Dr Anne has entered the room

10/20/2011 , 08:39 PM C. Taylor Then I went free on Amazon, and the numbers skyrocketed

10/20/2011 , 08:40 PM DC Rich bookbaby is almost like an agent?

10/20/2011 , 08:40 PM Patricia k no not at all

10/20/2011 , 08:40 PM C. Taylor It's been just over a week since I went free on A, and I'm now at about 16K on Amazon

10/20/2011 , 08:40 PM RC Lewis (NO, BOOKBABY IS A SERVICE PROVIDER. THEY DO FILE PREPARATION AND DISTRIBUTION.)


10/20/2011 , 08:40 PM Skyval 16k? Damn!

10/20/2011 , 08:40 PM C. Taylor Don't know numbers for B&N or itunes

10/20/2011 , 08:41 PM TBruce I just can't believe that a) that there are that many people reading e-books!

10/20/2011 , 08:41 PM C. Taylor There was a huge spike when I first went free, and now the numbers are slowing

10/20/2011 , 08:41 PM Skyval Where do you see your numbers?

10/20/2011 , 08:41 PM TBruce and b) that a .99 cent difference makes...well, such a difference!

10/20/2011 , 08:41 PM DC Rich Ctay, 16K vs free, you have another book, or is that .99 cents?

10/20/2011 , 08:41 PM C. Taylor Via the KDP website

10/20/2011 , 08:41 PM RC Lewis ONE THING TO REMEMBER IS THAT DOWNLOADS DOESN'T *NECESSARILY* EQUAL READERS.

10/20/2011 , 08:41 PM C. Taylor The next book will be 2.99

10/20/2011 , 08:41 PM RC Lewis A LOT OF PEOPLE DOWNLOAD A BUNCH OF FREE BOOKS ON KINDLE AND ONLY READ A SMALL FRACTION.

10/20/2011 , 08:42 PM RC Lewis BUT EVEN A FRACTION OF 16K IS PRETTY GOOD-LOOKING

10/20/2011 , 08:42 PM C. Taylor No, it doesn't. I think ruthie's 3's are about 20%

10/20/2011 , 08:42 PM C. Taylor oops! #'s are about 20^

10/20/2011 , 08:42 PM C. Taylor sheesh i can't type 20%

10/20/2011 , 08:42 PM Skyval Lost ctay, what do you mean 20%?

10/20/2011 , 08:43 PM RC Lewis BOOK THAT COSTS MONEY HAS ABOUT 20% AS MANY SALES/DOWNLOADS AS FREE BOOK

10/20/2011 , 08:43 PM RC Lewis RIGHT?

10/20/2011 , 08:43 PM C. Taylor So she's found that 20% of those that downloaded the free book bought book 2, so far

10/20/2011 , 08:43 PM C. Taylor yes

10/20/2011 , 08:43 PM TBruce interesting

10/20/2011 , 08:43 PM Skyval Ah! way cool. Nice return rate.

10/20/2011 , 08:43 PM DC Rich KDP? I'm getting lost in the alphabit.

10/20/2011 , 08:44 PM C. Taylor Granted, her numbers have been crazy good from the beginning, so I don't think I'll do quite that amount

10/20/2011 , 08:44 PM C. Taylor KDP is the amazon epub group

10/20/2011 , 08:44 PM RC Lewis KINDLE DIRECT PUBLISHING = KDP

10/20/2011 , 08:44 PM jwmstudio But those of us who download and don't always read right away can come back in a year when we've read her book and buy the second. It can go on forever.

10/20/2011 , 08:44 PM RC Lewis ANOTHER GOOD POST ON E-PUBBING:


10/20/2011 , 08:44 PM RC Lewis http://www.fromthewr...ight-tools.html

10/20/2011 , 08:44 PM C. Taylor Ruthie didn't get to her numbers, but her first free book has had over 200K downloads

10/20/2011 , 08:45 PM Michelle4Laughs Michelle4Laughs has left the room

10/20/2011 , 08:45 PM C. Taylor That's since april

10/20/2011 , 08:45 PM Whimsical_Werecat Wow!

10/20/2011 , 08:45 PM Lori S. wow

10/20/2011 , 08:45 PM RC Lewis YES, JWM, BUT I KNOW OF PEOPLE WHO LITERALLY DOWNLOAD HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS ... MORE BOOKS THAN THEY COULD READ IN TEN OR TWENTY YEARS, LIKELY. 10/20/2011 , 08:45 PM C. Taylor yeah.. wow!

10/20/2011 , 08:45 PM Skyval Freakin' A. At 200,000, if only 10% actually read the free download you've got 20k readers.

10/20/2011 , 08:45 PM Jemi Ruthie's become a phenomenon - I don't think many people will get her kinds of numbers! They're incredible!!!

10/20/2011 , 08:46 PM RC Lewis (THAT LINK I GAVE IS FROM AQC MEMBER PETE MORIN, WHO JUST RECENTLY LAUNCHED HIS BOOK ... WITH GUIDANCE FROM HIS AGENT!)

10/20/2011 , 08:46 PM C. Taylor I think part of getting around the download but don't read is having an intriguing cover

10/20/2011 , 08:46 PM RC Lewis I THINK ANOTHER PART IS THAT WORD-OF-MOUTH BUZZ.

10/20/2011 , 08:46 PM Michelle4Laughs Michelle4Laughs has entered the room

10/20/2011 , 08:46 PM RC Lewis IF IT'S A BOOK YOU'VE HEARD PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT, YOU WANT TO SEE *WHAT THE BIG DEAL IS*

10/20/2011 , 08:46 PM DC Rich So agents are still needed with e-pub?

10/20/2011 , 08:46 PM C. Taylor yes, but that's harder to get than a good cover. lol

10/20/2011 , 08:46 PM RC Lewis NOT NECESSARILY, DEAN

10/20/2011 , 08:47 PM RC Lewis PETE HAS HIS AGENT, SHOPPED HIS MS AROUND, BUT DIDN'T GET ANY BITES FROM PUBLISHERS

10/20/2011 , 08:47 PM Whimsical_Werecat Covers are definitely important.

10/20/2011 , 08:47 PM RC Lewis SO HIS AGENT SUGGESTED E-PUBLISHING HIMSELF TO BUILD AN AUDIENCE, ETC.

10/20/2011 , 08:47 PM DC Rich I can see I've got a LOT of research to do on this particular aspect.

10/20/2011 , 08:47 PM C. Taylor Although... Ruthie's first cover? holy crap!! It was HORRIBLE!! And I say that with love, since I gave her first cover a make over. lol.

10/20/2011 , 08:47 PM RC Lewis PETE'S AGENT IS VERY FORWARD-THINKING

10/20/2011 , 08:47 PM C. Taylor But she still had a TON of downloads

10/20/2011 , 08:47 PM Skyval So excited to follow your journey ctay.

10/20/2011 , 08:47 PM C. Taylor Thanks, Sky!

10/20/2011 , 08:48 PM DC Rich You can't judge a book by its cover

10/20/2011 , 08:48 PM jwmstudio I don't see covers on my kindle unless I look for them. Joe K suggested putting a back cover blurb in the front of you r book so if people like me click it open we can immediately remember why we downloaded it.

10/20/2011 , 08:48 PM RC Lewis DECENT COVER (GREAT COVER IS BETTER), TIGHT & COMPELLING DESCRIPTION/BLURB, AND GOOD STUFF ON THE INSIDE

10/20/2011 , 08:48 PM TBruce so pete is self-pubbing? Does his agent still get a cut?

10/20/2011 , 08:48 PM C. Taylor Actually, for a while, she was scared to get rid of the bad cover because she thought she'd jinx her good numbers

10/20/2011 , 08:48 PM RC Lewis HE *DID* SELF-PUB ... THE BOOK IS OUT.

10/20/2011 , 08:49 PM RC Lewis I THINK HE MADE SOME ARRANGEMENT WITH HIS AGENT, BUT SINCE I CAN'T REMEMBER DETAILS, I WON'T GUESS.

10/20/2011 , 08:49 PM C. Taylor I actually put my cover IN my doc, so the first page is still the cover

10/20/2011 , 08:49 PM A.M.Supinger A.M.Supinger has left the room

10/20/2011 , 08:49 PM Skyval Where is he tonight? Wonder how his numbers are going?

10/20/2011 , 08:49 PM Lori S. that's a GREAT idea, ctay

10/20/2011 , 08:49 PM DC Rich I like that idea Ctay!

10/20/2011 , 08:49 PM jwmstudio CTay that's a great idea!

10/20/2011 , 08:49 PM C. Taylor He's not doing the free book thing, though. He's going a dif. route

10/20/2011 , 08:49 PM Skyval How did you format so the first page is the cover ctay?

10/20/2011 , 08:49 PM C. Taylor Thanks!

10/20/2011 , 08:50 PM C. Taylor I think I just did the add a pic in word, and it worked

10/20/2011 , 08:50 PM Whimsical_Werecat Nice! lol

10/20/2011 , 08:50 PM J. Lea Lopez J. Lea Lopez has left the room

10/20/2011 , 08:50 PM RC Lewis BUT IF YOU INSERT IN WORD, IT SHOULD DEFAULT TO THAT ANYWAY

10/20/2011 , 08:50 PM C. Taylor A whaaa?

10/20/2011 , 08:51 PM katieg Did you put the back cover blurb on page 2, Cali?

10/20/2011 , 08:51 PM C. Taylor no, I didn't.


10/20/2011 , 08:51 PM RC Lewis BUT IN CALI'S CASE, THE COVER ITSELF SAYS ENOUGH

10/20/2011 , 08:51 PM katieg Did you include it anywhere?

10/20/2011 , 08:51 PM C. Taylor Aw, thanks rc!

10/20/2011 , 08:51 PM Skyval How many words for the blurb with epubbing?

10/20/2011 , 08:51 PM RC Lewis YOU'VE GOT THAT LITTLE "TAG-LINE" ON THE COVER

10/20/2011 , 08:52 PM RC Lewis I DON'T KNOW THAT THERE'S A LIMIT, SKY. I RECOMMEND SOMETHING TIGHT LIKE YOU'D WANT ON THE BACK COVER.

10/20/2011 , 08:52 PM C. Taylor No katie, I didn't, and after my amazon disaster a few days ago, I'm not uploading a new version unless I have to. lol

10/20/2011 , 08:52 PM RC Lewis A LITTLE SHORTER AND MORE "TEASER-Y" THAN A QUERY

10/20/2011 , 08:52 PM Jemi And Cali's cover looks great on the Kindle and on my ipod


10/20/2011 , 08:52 PM RC Lewis (THAT'S MY OWN TASTE)


10/20/2011 , 08:52 PM C. Taylor Yay! so glad to hear it jemi

10/20/2011 , 08:52 PM Skyval Buying myself a kindle fire for christmas.


10/20/2011 , 08:52 PM Lori S. what disaster on amazon?

10/20/2011 , 08:53 PM Jemi SKy - I'm jealous! :)

10/20/2011 , 08:53 PM RC Lewis LITTLE TECHNICAL SNAFU, WASN'T IT?

10/20/2011 , 08:53 PM C. Taylor The cover also has a small blurb though, so there's that, and since the cover is the first thing they see, it's not so bad

10/20/2011 , 08:53 PM C. Taylor I don't know... uploaded a new version after they needed it uploaded and POOF!! book no longer available for 8 HOURS!

10/20/2011 , 08:54 PM C. Taylor Killed my rankings

10/20/2011 , 08:54 PM Lori S. yeesh

#11 Lori Sjoberg

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 04:34 PM

That was a great chat last night. Thanks for posting the transcript! :smile:

#12 Robin Breyer

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 05:03 PM

Damn, I missed a good chat. That always seems to happen to me. But even the transcript was very informative.

Like Cali, I will be doing the covers and formatting myself. I've been doing that sort of stuff for years. My brother-in-law is a DJ and I've been doing his mix-CD covers for years. He provides the artistic input, I do all the editing. Usually they only take an evening do and the last ones have been pretty complex.

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#13 AQCrew

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 05:16 PM

Boy, you ladies are good. Didn't even see this until we posted our own version of the chat transcript: http://agentquerycon...d-follow-up-qs/

Great chat last night. Lots of pithy goodness.

For those of you who missed it, we condensed some of the key issues within our chat transcript post (see above).

#14 C. Taylor

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 06:07 PM

A huge thanks to Ruthie for stopping by last night, and also for being so open with her adventure and her strategies!! : ) And also, thanks for the shout out, Crew! Would NEVER have gotten this far if not for AQC and all my aqc peeps. :wub:

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#15 jwmstudio

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 06:21 PM

Thanks Ruth and CT for taking time to answer questions last night. I've thoroughly enjoyed both of your books. Getting your book on Amazon for free is an amazing way to tap into the economy of scale. Aside from offering it for free on Smashwords and other sites and then reporting it to Amazon, is there anything else you've done or heard about to improve your chances of Amazon dropping your price? CT you said you worked hard to build an on-line platform (tweeted your a$$ off.) In light of your numbers after going free, do you think it was worth the time or is there a better place to focus that energy? Thanks for taking the time to answer and thanks Crew for providing a place for the discussion. :happy:
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#16 RuthCardello

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 06:27 PM

Cali,

I was glad to join the conversation and sad that I had to run off just when the fun was starting. Ah, the life of a mother...lol I went back and read the transcript and have to say that I laughed out loud when I read your comment on my "horrible" cover. It really was..lol

I think the reason my book still got noticed was the title and the blurb convinced people to overlook the cover. It was free and it sounded just like what it was....a category romance. People (like me) read them like candy, so a free one is always tempting. I'll download almost anything that has the word "Sheik" in the title.

I still have so much to learn, but the one thing I'm sure of is that you have to be proactive to get noticed. Once you're known, maybe you can sit back a little because you have your following, but the rest of us have to learn about self-promotion and social media. The hardest part is deciding which ones are worth putting time into. I'm still figuring that out.
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#17 J. Lea Lopez

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 06:29 PM

Well I didn't do much of anything, really, but you're welcome Crew! :-) Unfortunately I had to bow out early so I could get up at work at 4:30am lol. But I always enjoy these types of discussions, especially with people willing to share their experience (thanks Cali and Ruth!)

#18 C. Taylor

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 06:41 PM

Ruthie... I'm so sorry... but it really was!!! Then again, you know I'm pretty darn anal and picky when it comes to covers, so there's that to take into consideration. lol. Love ya lots, though!! :wub: And completely agree that it screamed category romance, and with the bright cover, it couldn't be missed. In some ways it was a great marketing tool, because it got noticed, and it was also true to its genre-- and that's really important when trying to pull in YOUR reader. And yeah... the title's perfect too. : )

Jwm, Ruthie managed to go free by having amazing numbers on Amazon, and being free elsewhere (I think everywhere but B&N). Since I didn't have her numbers, I felt like I had to make sure I went free everywhere else, and then make sure I kept bugging amazon. I think the key was going free on B&N. Here's the tricky part with that-- B&N is like amazon in that they only let you sell your book at a min. of .99. BUT if you post your book as free on SW, and then have SW post your book to b&N, then it actually gets posted for free! : )

As for promoting, I think it helps to keep that going, so that your numbers sort of keep going, however, all the tweeting and FB, etc. brings in miniscule sales/downloads compared to going free. But then once your free? Twitter and FB are definitely useful in getting the word out.

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#19 jwmstudio

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Posted 21 October 2011 - 06:51 PM

I think the key was going free on B&N. Here's the tricky part with that-- B&N is like amazon in that they only let you sell your book at a min. of .99. BUT if you post your book as free on SW, and then have SW post your book to b&N, then it actually gets posted for free! : )

Great tip!
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#20 DC Rich

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 09:20 AM

I tried to copy paste, but it was turning into a mess. Glad we've got this thread. I'll post some questions when I've got more time. The chat was fantastic and there is a lot of info to go back and digest.

Thanks everyone!

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