Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

Bottom dollar


Oh, another thing about this Fascination project: It cost me not one dime in pre-publication expenses. Sure, time is money, and I spent quite a bit of time figuring out the best way to do this. Also finding the best free stock photos I could dig up and designing my cover. But none of it cost any money.

I fear that self-publishing will tack back toward the exploitative business that vanity publishing once was. (See this cautionary post by David Gaughran.) Writers will, or have already, become more like the gold miners of California after ‘49 — they won’t make any money, but the people who serve them will. Back then it was Levi sellers, today it’s ebook formatters, cover designers, and promotional companies. They say you have to spend money to make money, but it’s pretty ridiculous that you have to spend hundreds, if not thousands of dollars (if you factor in editing, proofreading, and design) on a book that will never reap a tenth of it.

Bottom line? The only money I’m spending to get Fascination into the hands of readers is the minute PayPal fee on each sale. Small price to pay for convenience, so no biggie.

No doubt in my mind that this isn’t the best way to sell all indie books. Maybe very few indie books. But if you have something different that you want to run up the flagpole but don’t want to drop a lot of cash on the project, here’s a way to get your work in front of some eyeballs.

Who knows? The response might be positive enough to justify the expenses of the usual self-publishing vehicles.

Buy Fascination today and participate in the experiment!

12 comments on “Bottom dollar

  1. Pamela Beckford
    August 11, 2016

    My only comment would be that selling directly is good, but no pictures. Many of us avid readers use a traditional Kindle/Nook and not the tablet format that is required for books with pictures. It also keeps the size down. Obviously this doesn’t apply if you are writing a children’s picture book though. I personally don’t care if I buy from Amazon or directly from an author because it is easy enough to import onto my device.

    • Kevin Brennan
      August 11, 2016

      Yes, the pics are definitely part of the experiment, and they aren’t optimal on black-and-white devices. I think I smell a text-only edition in the future for those who prefer that.

      Buying directly from the author is also unconventional. Some readers might like it, some don’t care, some want the interaction, and others just want to read the book.

      I’ll be following up with you too … Thanks for your thoughts.

  2. islandeditions
    August 11, 2016

    I’m with you, Kevin, and we’ll never know whether these new ideas will work unless we try them. Good that it doesn’t cost anything to try! I’m sure that every new innovation in this industry was laughed at or frowned upon initially. Some of those innovations worked, however, and who’s laughing now? You just never know until you buck the system and try something new.

    • Kevin Brennan
      August 11, 2016

      So true. There was a time when the paperback was outlandish …

      • islandeditions
        August 11, 2016

        Even the printing press in it day. Think of all those poor scribing monks it put out of work …

  3. Audrey Driscoll
    August 11, 2016

    Authors who don’t depend on selling their writing to make a living are free to experiment. But most of us can’t spend big bucks on publishing/marketing. That “Good, fast, cheap — pick two!” thing definitely applies. I splurged on my Herbert West Series book covers, but just now I’m fooling around with Canva, making a cover image for a story I’m planning to publish soon. It’s cheap (like $1); I’m not sure about good, even though the result looks fine to me. And definitely not fast.
    BTW, Fascination looks fine on my Sony ereader, pictures and all (in b&w, of course).

    • Kevin Brennan
      August 11, 2016

      So glad to hear you got a successful upload to a Sony e-reader! Booyah!

      I used Canva to do the Fascination cover. You can do a lot with it for free or very little $$.

      BTW, I love that “Good, fast, cheap — pick two!” Says it all!

  4. Pingback: Kevin Brennan – update on a new novel and introducing a new way of publishing! | Reading Recommendations

  5. 1WriteWay
    August 21, 2016

    There’s so many different devices out there, you’ll always run into someone who would prefer this over that. Fascination is an experiment and one that I’m happy to participate in. I also learned something new about my Kindle — something that made me go ‘duh’ once I figured it out. At this point in my reading, I am preferring the Kindle. The print is larger on my iPad and the photos are (of course) in color, but reading too long on my iPad still fries my eyes. For the sake of creating a smaller file, you might eschew the color photos next time. Although I do enjoy them … 🙂

    • Kevin Brennan
      August 21, 2016

      Yes, vis-a-vis the images, I just wanted to see if there was a way to put pics in a book affordably. Now I know! It’ll be interesting to see how people react to them, especially since so many will be reading the book on a black-and-white Kindle.

      • 1WriteWay
        August 22, 2016

        Color is fun, but I think the pics look fine on the Kindle.

      • Kevin Brennan
        August 22, 2016

        Good to know. Some of them look especially good in B&W. Moodier.

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This entry was posted on August 11, 2016 by in Publishing and tagged , , , , , , .
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