Mar 3, 2014

By Hook Or By Ebook

As you can tell, I've changed some things.

In preparation for my self-publishing venture, I wanted to update my blog to make it brighter and more inviting. After a lot of research, I discovered that something like 70% of people preferred brighter webpages to darker ones. Trivial in the scope of epubing, I know. But every little bit counts. I think it will be interesting to see if my daily page views increase. Either way, I'll keep you posted.

For those who don't know, the title of the work I'm going to epub is My Best Friend Death. Below is a brief summary of the novel for those interested (This is also a subtle attempt at marketing, but don't tell anyone).

Damien Crown dedicates his life to being his little brother's superman. Like all superheroes, he's constantly at war with a formidable adversary: his brother's depression. Instead of going out in a climatic battle as the comics suggests, Damien dies at the screech of tires and the blare of a car horn. Sadly, it's in his last moments that he realizes he hadn't quite gotten around to taking off the cape and living his own life. 
But all that changes when he meets Death. 
Waking up in someone else's body is...odd, but having Death volunteer to be his life-coach takes the prize for the world's screwiest conundrum. Given one year to make the most of life as a new kid in his old school, Damien seizes the opportunity to shed his superhero persona and live among the ordinary. With Death guiding the way, he discovers a new side to life among a zany and lovable group of friends.  
At least, until his brother comes to school with bandaged wrists and bruises. 
Damien wants to don his cape once again, but Death warns that the laws of nature forbid him to make contact with his old family. Stuck between living his new life and fixing his old one, Damien has a choice to make: put on his cape and die for his brother, or hang it up and live for himself.

Along with my manuscript, the above pitch was entered into Amazon's ABNA contest. Self-publishing is still my plan A (because I have terrible luck with contests) so I'm going to proceed accordingly. My goal is to publish just before Query Kombat (so mid to late May). Blog traffic will be high so that means more potential readers. Genius right :o)

Back to the subject at hand:

Self-publishing takes time and money. How much time? I'm still not sure, but I clocked about twenty hours last week (I'll get into that more later). How much money? Conservative estimates: $200 for ebook cover design, $500-1000 for editorial services, and $20 for a domain name. That's all the expenses I've discovered so far. If I find more, I'll let you know.

Time: Redesigning my blog took a lot of time, a lot of trial and error, and a lot of Googling. I'm not a web designer so everything I've learned about HTML and CSS code are the product of extreme dedication. EXTREME. I spent about four hours on this blog. It may not look like it, but the few things I added (header, updated contact page and bio, social icons (I have RSS now!), larger profile image, etc) were time consuming. That doesn't even take into account the things I tried to do but failed at. My Google-fu was no match for my high hopes.

My website (which I will reveal when it's finished) took about twelve hours. Going the cheap route, I purchased a domain name and redirected it to second blog (And ho-ly shit. Redirecting is way more complicated than it needs to be).

I'm currently in the process of completely restructuring my second blog so that it resembles a regular website. Is it hard? Sort of. Is it time consuming? Yes. Is it worth it? I don't know. I think epubing is a game of luck and preparation. If I'm going to dive into this pool, I'm going to prepare as much as possible, and pray that lady luck is on my side.

More next week.

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