I’m either really brave or really, incredibly stupid. I don’t know which.
Since I “won” NaNoWriMo, I had five free books from three different independent publishers that I could burn off–two from Blurb, one fromFastPencil and two from CreateSpace. So I picked out two friends, the widow of my favorite teacher and my Grey-Eyed Monster.
Of course, that didn’t come without problems.
I don’t think I’ve used Blurb before, but they use very, very familiar software–software that is very annoying and difficult to use. I was willing to give it another shot, but nothing has changed in the intervening years.
FastPencil seemed good…easy to navigate, easy to prepare my books for printing…but they charge $9.99 to keep your book private. $9.99? WHO DOES THAT?! Self-publishers usually charge you if you don’t want to keep your book to yourself, not the other way around! With free books, a $9.99 “distribution fee” and $1.50 shipping/handling, it should’ve been $11.49; but they wanted to charge me $12.51! Customer service said, “I don’t know how that would happen. Can you send me a screenshot?” No, I can’t. Not when you’re charging me ten fucking dollars to keep it to myself and then your “cart” can’t even add. Keep your book…I’ll go find something cheaper!
The only one that worked was CreateSpace. As usual, Amazon was no fuss, no muss (pardon the cliché). Any size I wanted, two copies (even if they were of pre-existing works of mine), pay the shipping cost, the end. That was two copies of Barefoot on the Couch, my most expensive book. (The one that was $23, but they made me jack it up to $32.23, so they could sell it for $28.29. Ugh.)
So that left me hanging with two books and four readers. Gleep.
Enter Lulu. These guys should really get more attention, because they do paperback and hardcover, ebooks and calendars and CDs (or used to) and…I haven’t tried everything, but SERIOUSLY!
Oh and their cover designer is less stress-inducing. And you can upload individual documents–perfect if you separate out your chapters like me. Plus, they don’t artificially inflate the price–they give you a base price that’s (usually) lower than Amazon and they’ll show you how much you’ll make in royalties based on how much of a markup you apply.
I’ve never sold anything on Lulu (at least when I had things on the market there), but I sure love them for cheap author’s copies. Two “un-fancy” paperback copies of Early One Morning for $8.86. And that was with shipping! (I also think their shipping has gotten faster. It used to be closer to the far end of five to fifteen days if you went cheap, but this time, it seemed like it only took about a week.)
(I took so long to write this entry that I lost my train of thought, so I’m just going to cut to the chase.)
Four books, four people…but only two copies of each and three people wanting Early One Morning. So I had to get creative. (Okay, two people said they wanted copies of EoM, but I wanted to give Gem a copy too, so I was in a twist.)
The twist was easily resolved…I told Michelle and Rosie to pick a number between one and twenty and the closest would get a physical copy of the book. I don’t remember what their numbers were, but mine was 17 (of course), so Michelle got the actual copy and I sent a Word version to Rosie. They’ll review after finishing, as time allows. (Rosie is a manager and Michelle has an insane life.) I probably owe Rosie an autographed something or other, since I autographed the inside cover of Michelle’s book. (With my precious silver autograph pen, of course. ^_^)
They say an author is her own worst critic. If I’m my own worst critic, then strangers are the second worst. That’s why giving out books is both a happiness and fear-inducing activity.
I gave my Pagan-loving, man-mooning poetry anthology to a woman I’ve only met once. A nice Christian lady, as I’m sure you could tell by the message I reposted from Facebook the other day. I gave the same book to Gem, but at least I don’t have to worry about him misconstruing any of the romantic poetry–I clearly stated that the book was published in 2012, before I went crazy for him.
Maybe the bigger worry is how he’ll feel about Early One Morning.
As I told Michelle this morning, Early One Morning is basically a love letter to my Grey-Eyed Monster, doused liberally with rape and “I hate you!” [Spoiler–highlight if you want to read] Pontius Pilatus tells Julia Severide he loves her, but only after raping her once, having semi-consensual sex the second time and exiling her! [/Spoiler] Not even ’til the end of the trilogy does Julia admit [Spoiler] she loves him at least a little. But that’s after he’s raped her again, forced her into marriage and the emperor condemns him to death. [/Spoiler] Yow!
Part of me says he thinks I'm absolutely loco to begin with, so this shouldn't be so different…but the rest of it says that I'm taking it way too far.
It scarcely matters, though. The box left Heathrow at 8:14a this morning (1:14p BT). He'll certainly have it tomorrow–especially since I imagine England isn't in the midst of a blizzard!
No full video this time…just music and lyrics.