Right, last year I wrote a novella called Crack, about a tragic death in a Northern council estate that leads to riots and violence. I had some help editing the book from UKA Press, and it’s now ready for the spongy eyes of the Great British Public.
Since most traditional publishers aren’t interested in novellas, I turned to the web instead. I entered Crack in the Contact Publishing Page Turner prize, where it was praised and shortlisted, but I just missed out on first place and that golden publication egg.
So, I’ve decided to take a step I’ve thought about for some time – self-publishing Crack as an ebook. Every day you hear about some fifteen-year-old who cobbled together a vampire romance novel and now makes £500,000 a week by selling it on Amazon’s Kindle store. And we’ve all heard about Barry Eisler, who turned down a $500,000 publishing contract and put out his novel as an ebook instead.
“Freaking nut case” seems to be most people’s response – like in Deal Or No Deal, where the gormless contestant turns down a £32,000 offer from the banker, and ends up a teary suicidal wreck when they finally win a quid. But when you dig a little deeper and discover that ebook authors can earn royalties up to 70%, compared to the usual 10% through traditional publishers, it suddenly makes a lot more sense. Add into that the greater control an author has over the finished product, and it’s almost a no-brainer.
Problem is, you hear successful ebook authors harp on about how easy it is, but they never give out a step-by-step guide on how to do it. Therefore, I’m going to fully document my experience of creating, publishing and marketing Crack as an ebook. Hopefully my fumbling, clueless efforts will be of some use to other prospective e-authors, or at least be mildly entertaining.
First step, turn a Word document into an ebook!