June 14 2014 Editor Assistance Newsletter
Many of us have talked about small publishers vs self publishing with the pros and cons. I wanted to share some insight on potential challenges with a self-publisher.
Back in 2002 I was approached by a publisher to write a trio of books on weddings & courtships traditions within 3 months. They found me due to my romanceclass.com website. I agreed and wrote them. Six months later the publisher went through changes and paid me a $500 kill fee. I then shopped the books around and signed up with a new publisher in 2003. The new publisher was gung ho about them … but disorganized. It dragged on to 2006. Their covers were AWFUL and I had a friend do fresh ones for me. Finally in August 2006 the books went live.
Once they were live they became “stuck”. The publisher wouldn’t make ANY changes to them. The world changed around us, as it always does, and the covers weren’t ebook-friendly or online sales-friendly. The content in the books became out of date (I had URLs in there and such). I was frustrated that I was simply stuck with these old versions that reflected poorly on me.
In October 2012 the publisher recreated themselves under a new name and had a fresh energy. They wanted to redo my books with new covers and content. I was thrilled. I began actively planning –but again they went away. They didn’t answer emails. On July 7 2013 they wrote to say they were giving up and all rights reverted back to us authors. I was sad for them but happy for me.
Now, my dilemma though. I had originally sent them my Word document and all I’d gotten back from them over the years was a PDF file. I would have to manually go through my original Word document and compare it page by page with my lone remaining copy of my Ireland book. Blech. I kept putting it off.
Finally today I did my research. Aha! I paid Adobe the $20 for a year’s subscription to their convert-PDF-to-Word service.
Voila!! I now have a complete Word version of the latest version of my own book.
Here’s my plan.
PART 1: There is an existing entry on Amazon for this book. http://www.amazon.com/dp/1590921003/ It’s only got 2 reviews on it, but still, it’s deep in search engines. This page is “owned” by the publisher (now long gone) so I can’t directly edit it. However, there is a “submit changes” option that I can use. So to begin with I will create a book in CreateSpace which has this content. It’ll be the exact copy of the original book. It’ll let me, fairly quickly, print out a few copies to replenish my supplies and be able to list them as used. Right now used copies are going for $45 each so I can at least get that down to something reasonable. It’ll start sales flowing again while I work on Part 2. I don’t want to do *too* much with this stage because that old content is old. I don’t want to make a Kindle version, for example. Just a few copies to fulfill sales on that old entry as they come in.
Part 2: I then do a full editing job on the book in CreateSpace. It gets a new cover and new content. That CreateSpace entry does display in Amazon so at some point it “changes” to have the new cover and new content available, plus an ebook version. Once that happens I go back into this original version and edit its description to point people at the newer version. Sort of like what they do with textbooks. I also start offering the newer version for sale in the old book’s marketplace area. I post a Kindle version. It's now live everywhere in its new format.
Then I repeat for the books on France and Italy.
Let me know if you have any questions or comments!
If you have any book content in PDF-only format, feel free to send it along to me and I’ll send you back a Word DOC version so you can make progress with it!
Lisa Shea, owner
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