The NormalNess Podcast – Episode 2 – Self Publishing
I wanted to talk about why I chose to publish 4 books at once earlier this year. And the short answer is, I wanted to. The longer answer is that I don’t like doing only one thing at once, I resent social expectations of doing only one thing at once, and who am I harming, anyway?
I also cover some practical tips – including where I publish, why I chose them, and some pros and cons that I’ve experienced so far.
You can listen below, or subscribe in iTunes.
Links mentioned in the episode/further reading:
(Please note, I use AI software to transcribe, so it’s as close to verbatim as I can get, but it will not be 100% perfect because robots are not our all knowing overlords yet!)
Welcome to Episode Two of the NormalNess Podcast. I am here today for just a quick chat about doing things the way you want to in your whatever it is you do: your creative work, business life, whatever it may be.
As some of you may know, in June this year, I decided to publish some books. One of them I’ve been working on for about three years, on and off, definitely not consistently working on it. But it was something that I wanted to get out there. I had a lot of internal debate about what the book needed to “be”. And then all of a sudden, I got to that point, my brain just goes, you know, finish it. So I finished it. And I had some people look at it for me, they gave me suggestions and proved it. And then it was time to publish it.
But I was feeling really uncertain and blocked. And I didn’t know what to do. It didn’t feel quite right. The book is called Fuck Should. And it’s about pretty much saying fuck that to only imaginary or socially expected shoulds. It’s not about doing things that harm others. It’s about ignoring things that don’t suit you and your needs. And nothing actually bad happens if you ignore the shoulds.
I was always going to release a second version of the book. Without the word fuck in it because some people don’t like it. So I chose to do that. And it was going to be called Llama Should because I think llama is a word that we don’t get to see very often. And it sounds funny.
I felt weirdly, like just uncertain of why I’m releasing this particular one. And it just didn’t feel right. And I can’t explain it to you much better than that. I was just sitting on it going, “Yeah, it’s done. Yeah, I’m happy with it.” I think the books book covers a lot of things. But there was something missing.
So what I decided to do was to go back through my giant list of books, ebooks, novels, notes, offers and many, many things. And I decided to then also look at my website and what I already offer. And I remember that I had two blogging ebooks that had been published quite a while ago, I don’t even remember when. And I thought, what am I actually take a look at them. So one of them was actually an eCourse. And the other one was an eBook. I took the course and edited it a lot and turned it into a book. And then I also updated the one that was already existing as an eBook, and turned it basically just into an updated version, removed them both from sale from the original site and launched them all on the same day.
When I realized that I had permission to release as many books as I want, on the same day, it felt great. It finally felt like I was releasing the right things. Why that mattered? I don’t know. But it really mattered to me.
I don’t think it would be advice that people would tell you, or recommend. It’s everything’s always do one thing at once. But if doing one thing at once doesn’t suit you then just do multiple things at once. Like it’s not a big deal. Who cares?
Not not in a mean way. Who cares? But just in a guess in this in much the same way. As you know, I wrote the book, fuck should people be like, oh, for this one book retire was like, What am I damaging by releasing forward to time? What’s the negative? Absolutely nothing. I’m sure someone will pop up or think who say, oh, you’re in the marketing one at a time. He’s going to speak about one thing at a time. That’s like, well, in marketing theory, I’m sure that that is an absolutely correct statement. But I didn’t talk about one thing all the time.
Anyway,one of the reasons it’s taken me two weeks to record a second episode of this podcast is that I keep jumping around in my brain about 10 million different ideas talk about so it’s just not me to talk about. So in the same way, just do what works for you. That’s my point here. It doesn’t matter if it’s breaking an imaginary rule that harms no one, just Just
What’s gonna happen, literally, what’s the worst gonna happen? And in terms of publishing in a book, you know, I think it’s pretty low risk. Unless your book is for slander, or something away, go, then I just stand risk. Just do what suits you. And that’s what’s more important.
On perhaps a more helpful topic, I wanted to talk about a couple of things I learned from publishing my books. One of them is check which time zone your publish date applies to, I didn’t even think to do that. And I’m thinking, Oh, this is my publish date. Wait, why am I seeing it? Oh, it’s in America. I’m going to America, I’m in Australia. So just check that, it’s a handy thing. I just didn’t even think of it. I just assume everything defaulted to my time zone, double check time zone of your published age.
The other suggestion is to publish in advance of when you want it to promote as a publication date. And that just gives you a little bit of leeway to make sure that all the publication sites actually have the book. I had an issue with one of my covers. Amazon, I think it might have been, didn’t like that the cover for Fuck Should and Llama Should, they were going to be the same but that apparently that breaks their rules. So at the last minute, I had to change the cover for Llama Should not a big deal. But again, just one of those things that if I had been planning some massive launch around it, it would have derailed it a little. So just do things ahead of time because then you don’t have to react and panic when some small thing crops up.
I found the tax form to do my tax as you know, with US distributors really annoying. Filled in incorrectly every time and then it took about four tries before it actually worked. I still don’t understand what happened. But it worked. And it said yeah, yeah, I’m good. I’m, I don’t even know what the point of it was. So they don’t withhold more tax. Give yourself some time and patience for that, because as to anything to do with tax, it will stop.
I’m just trying to think what else I learned… a few people asking me where I’m distributing my books. So I chose to go with a distributor called draft to digital. And their website is draft the number two, and then digital. And I chose that because I didn’t want to do the manual work of creating a log in for every single store, checking every single store for this and that and of course, there’s there is a downside, they take a small cut. But honestly, when you’re releasing a couple of dollar cost ebooks to a small audience, like I have, this is not a get rich quick scheme. It’s an I think I’ve had $1 of royalties. So I just, I wanted the simplicity. And I was happy to have them take whatever it is, 10 or 15%.
Go to them for the simplicity, that I didn’t have to spend a lot of time on this. But it might not be something that suits you. And that’s absolutely fine. One of the reasons I decided to go with a distributor was actually a friend of mine, who I know from my live journal days (if that dates me and how long I’ve been online) she said that a lot of her books actually come from book sales come from obscure little publishers that she would have never submitted to on her own. And I thought, That’s really interesting. I like that idea. You know, get yourself out there as wide
as possible. Another reason I chose the distribution model.
The reason I chose draft 2 digital specifically is because they have a free formatting tool. And I despise formatting and editing and all of that stuff. It is not my forte, it is not my skill set! My skill set
is having a lot of ideas and not having follow through.
So I did not want to have to read a book on how to format it for a distributor, it just was not going to happen. Because I would never publish anything if I had to format it. And the other really good reason that I chose draft to digital is that when you’ve got the different formats, so I think it’s epub and mobi, and the main two reading formats, they actually permit you to use those files elsewhere. So you probably noticed if you’ve ever been on my sales page that you can buy from your preferred store. And that takes you to a link to a draft to digital page where you can select Apple books, I books, or Geez, I can’t remember all the details.
Actually, I just selected all the distribution sites and I can’t even remember what they are. So it’s available from Kindle, Amazon, Nook, Kobo, scribe 24, symbols placed at indigo and Angus and Robertson. I hadn’t even heard of all of them.
And then the other thing I did was to upload this format onto a direct sales site. I chose to use Gumroad. Just in case people, you know, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to publish on Amazon because ethically, I think they’re a bit dicey. But they are a big store. So I chose to publish on Gumroad so that people have the option to buy direct and I used the PDF, a pub and mobi format, from the draft to digital conversion tool. So that was all free, it gives people another option.
The biggest downside to using Gumroad though, is that they don’t pay out until you reach $10. And I do have a bit of an issue with minimum payouts like he doesn’t cost anything to pay it digitally transfer money these days, I feel like it’s a hangover from the days of checks, with check fees and stuff like that. So I do find it a little irritating that, especially if you’re someone like me with a small audience, that someone thinks they’ve got the right to hang on to money. I think that’s a flaw in the system. And I don’t know if I’ll continue using Gumroad for that option. But at the same time, I don’t have a reason not to. It’s just one of those things that doesn’t sit quite right with me.
And I’ll just see how I go with it. Make a decision in the future if I want to stick with it. Anyway, that’s about all I’ve got right now. So I hope that’s helpful and talking about books and what you want to do and publishing. If there’s anything else that you would like to hear about along these lines or specific question I can answer in more detail or as detailed as I get, I guess. Feel free to send me an email the best one is normal ness firstname.lastname@example.org.