What Makes Self-Publishing Fun

Alert: for the second time this week, this post is not about producing ebooks.

It’s not my habit to use this blog to promote books. I’m not big on marketing and promotion. I do urge my friends to read books all the time, sometimes to the point of obnoxiousness and sometimes will resort to gifting them books from Amazon so they HAVE to read whatever I’m excited about. But other than an occasional tweet or talking about books on my other blog (which I haven’t done enough of lately) I rarely do that with strangers.

Today, though, I want you to buy a book.

It’s a short story and it’s only .99 cents on Amazon. It’s about zombies, so it may not appeal to everybody. Maybe you could gift it to a friend. Or give it a tweet or a mention on Goodreads or whatever it is you happen to do. You could even read it and review it.

Junk_Mail_CoverLet me tell you why.

I get emails from folks who solved a problem or learned a new trick from reading this blog. They say thank you. I’ve had emails from folks who’ve dipped their toes in self-publishing waters and found out the water is just fine, and they say they got up the nerve to try because this blog encouraged them to do so. They say thank you. I’ve made friends who’ve helped me and I help them and there are thank you’s all around. I look at the search queries that bring visitors to this blog and it gives me a good feeling knowing they are finding some answers. It makes me feel useful and for that I feel thankful.

None of this would happened without one person. If you’ve learned something or felt inspired to self-publish or to make more beautiful ebooks or striven to meet new challenges because of something you’ve read on this blog, you should thank Marina Bridges.

I met Marina many moons ago on the eBay blogs. Our senses of humor clicked. When I found out that not only was Marina funny as could be, but that she wrote, too, I started bugging her for stories. When I began looking at self-publishing. I asked Marina if she’d be interested in being the “test” case, so to speak. She said yes and that’s how it started. We bought Kindles. We got hooked. I started the process of learning how to produce an ebook. Marina trusted me to get better. That’s a terrific quality in a friend, by the way. I’d propose something nutty and she’d say, “Um… okay,” and then I’d scamper off to do the nutty thing. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t, but she always had faith that I’d figure it out.

She’s still my biggest supporter. Most days the chat box is open and she gets to “hear” me bitching about my computer or railing against my own idiocy when I screw something up. Whenever I figure something out or produce something nifty, I send her screenshots and she listens while I crow. It must bore her to tears when I’m problem-solving “out loud” about formatting issues, but she never says it does. She listens. When I’m feeling down, she writes stories and sends me snippets to make me laugh. (somehow, ahem, always forgetting to issue a spew alert)

She is the number one reason book production and self-publishing is fun for me. She doesn’t let me get too serious–she mocks me heartily when I do. She encourages me when I feel stupid and out of my league. She’s always ready to say, “Oh go ahead, you can do that.” She keeps it real and she keeps it fun.

There is no Thank You in the world big enough for that.

So. If you have ever felt the urge to say thank you to me for this blog, the very best way you can do that is to thank Marina and buy her short story. It’s a little thing, but it would mean the world to me.

Junk Mail, a Kindle short story, on Amazon.

How Do YOU Buy Ebooks?

This isn’t about formatting, but it is about ebooks. Thought you all might like to see how one book buying decision was made…

(transcript of a google chat on November 6)

ME: ah
the old man is really grumpy today and trying to pick a fight with me
I wish he would go to work
I can FEEL him glowering from here
MARINA: what is he so grumpy about
ME: I have no idea
that time of the month or something
MARINA: all of that and a penis, too. what a lucky girl YOU are
ME: no shit
lucky… lucky… lucky
I need a book to read while I’m standing in line to vote
any suggestions?
MARINA: well, if the line is long, A Game Of Thrones. I think I’ll be reading that for the rest of my life.
ME: heh
I guess I could try War and Peace again
maybe I can make it through on my kindle
MARINA: or not. are you looking for something new?
ME: yep
MARINA: well, joe has this, but I don’t think you are so crazy about him. http://www.amazon.com/Inheritance-ebook/dp/B009PN36Z4/ref=kinw_dp_ke
I haven’t read it, myself
ME: sounds heavy
I want something that makes me laugh
MARINA: expensive, but funny. http://www.amazon.com/Southern-Ladies-Gentlemen-ebook/dp/B007PRZLT6/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1352217627&sr=1-1&keywords=southern+ladies+and+gentlemen
ME: that’s a possible
not funny, but a burke book I haven’t read.
MARINA: I love this, but it’s long long long. and none of these books are new. http://www.amazon.com/Short-History-Small-Place-ebook/dp/B002J05GRG/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1352217687&sr=1-1&keywords=a+short+history+of+small+place
ME: also expensive
MARINA: I’m pretty over burke
ME: http://www.amazon.com/Warwolf-ebook/dp/B0058TUNRS/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1
MARINA: I am getting a bit Game Of Thrones burned out. maybe I should switch over to Martin’s book for a while. but I so hate not finishing a book before I start another. except for john books
ME: check the Look Inside on the last link I sent and read the first paragraph
can I resist?
MARINA: holy SHIT, I’m going to get that
ME: me, too
MARINA: holy SHIT, it’s bert
ME: okay, have a book
now to boot the old man
MARINA: get him some tampons
ME: for both ends
grumpy old man

The formatting is less than stellar, but it starts funny and keeps getting funnier and a damned good mystery, too.

How you do you make book buying decisions?