For those who don’t read the column regularly, last year I put on iTunes an audiobook that I recorded chapter by chapter, releasing it every few weeks as a podcast. I decided that I wanted to put myself out there, and I guess in that way it is no different to those that have self published.
I’d had a few email comments on my website asking whether I was going to release the podcast as a book or an e-book so people could read the story too. And I began thinking, what have I got to lose? The novel is unpublishable anyway as it has already been available for free in the public domain and with the arrival of e-books it seemed like a great way to self publish without having to do an expensive print on demand option.
I guess I’m using the e-book as another test, a way to work out how good my writing is, and whether people like what I’m writing. I’m trying to build up that thick skin again and hope that any comments I get will help me with my future projects. It isn’t as nerve wracking having the novel it in print as it was in on the audiobook. Most of the people who listened and left feedback liked my story – they just didn’t necessarily like my reading of it! And having it in print rather than my own voice is much less cringey and personal.
Now, publishing the e-book is never going to make me rich. But if I sell it via the Amazon Kindle store then I can get 70% royalties for it. Let’s do the maths before I get too overexcited… I have to sell it for a minimum of £1.49 and I wouldn’t want to sell it for more than that. I know that I wouldn’t pay more than that to read an unpublished author (yes I know, I’m tight). Plus, I haven’t had it professionally edited or had agents or publishers invest time on it, so I don’t feel I could charge as much as a properly published e-book.
But even at £1.49 it would mean that for every book I sold I’d get about £1 back. Which I think would be quite a nice little return. Now I know I’m not going to sell a million copies, but I might sell enough to, say, pay for my annual website charges, or if I was being less sensible a nice bottle of bubbles!
What do you think, would you pay to download an unknown author’s book? Or have you self published an e-book? I’d love to know about your experiences with e-books!