Saturday, May 11, 2013

Fun with epub

So I decided to get back into self-publishing some eBooks. This was spurred by several concurrent factors:

  1. I'm working on a novel and I need a break from time to time.
  2. I was reading about it on some writing forums and I was like, "Oh yeah! Electronic self-publishing!"
  3. Most importantly, as I mentioned in my last post, I heard an entrepreneur speak the other night, and something he said struck me. He was talking about how people don't think the Chinese have money (I'm not sure why anyone would think this; I don't think this; but in any case), and he said, "If you make something, you have money." This made me think about all the stories I have sitting in my trunk, and I thought: "That could be money!"
Although (3) was a source of inspiration, I don't actually think of self-publishing as very money-generating. I have made a lot more money selling stories to magazines. It was actually something else the guy said that cemented it: so, 4. You have nothing to lose.

I don't know why I never thought of it that way before. Before,  I always thought that self-publishing could cause me to suffer if it wasn't done right. And I know I'm not the only one. There's definitely a stigma, and that creates fear.

But I guess I'm over that fear. I'm confident in nearly everything I write. And those stories could be money. And self-publishing might or might not hinder or boost my career. Who's to say? But there's things I've created with potential value.

And it's a pretty fun way to kill some time...

The covers

Anyway, we all know the most fun thing about eBooks is making covers. What's really interesting for me is to see how far I've come in two years. I first self-published in April 2011, right around the time I started my current job in communications and marketing. Since then, I must have worked on at least two dozen graphic design projects (although I'm not the designer myself). To see what effect this has had, here are the 2011 and 2013 versions of the cover for my short story "What the Market Will Bear." Guess which one is new!

(I just noticed that there is some kind of error on one of those E's. CURSES.)

Next steps

I've got plans to do a five story collection. I wanted to make it six and make that a tradition, so I could call them "six packs," but then I thought about how much a douchebag that would make me. Today Ben and tomorrow Ben don't always agree.  So, five it is.

Also, the main thing is not to get too obsessed. I tend towards utter disregard and total obsession. I'd really like to mostly stick with my novel; the point is just to have a valve to let off steam.


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