Monday, 15 March 2010

Learning From Mistakes

Ok, enough of the Twitter, time to blog. As a writer, sometimes you take a chance on enhancing your resume and creating a body of work you think might be a success. I recently wrote a book on two-way radios and placed it on a Print on Demand site. Since the site would print and ship the books as the orders came in, it would save me a lot of time and effort in trying to find a publisher. This self-publishing avenue was, I thought, a good move.

I ordered several copies of the book for myself and was disappointed that the text was missing headings and was very poorly formatted, even though I followed all formatting and PDF conversion requirements for the site. It was not their fault, but my own, in working with my software programs. Now, I could spend the next several weeks or months trying to figure out what went wrong and redo everything all over again. When writing, you do have to crank out the product to keep productive, keep in the public eye, and keep the money coming in. What should I do?

To answer my question, I bit the bullet, removed the book from the POD site, and am now selling he book as an Ebook on my site. Click the PayPal button and once I get the order from them, bang, sent over as an email attachment, perfectly formatted and ready to read in PDF. Cheaper for the customer, less crap for me to deal with, and it let's me put this fiasco behind me and move on to other things.

In trying to save time and money (and I will NOT pay a vanity publisher to produce the book) for myself, and present a traditional product to my readers, I made a mistake and am not going to fret about it. If someone wants the book, they can get it in PDF. If they want the traditionally bound physical book, sorry, but I'm not wasting time in trying to figure out what went wrong. The product is still available, is niche enough that traditional publishers won't touch it, and I have other things to write.

If you're a writer, take this to heart. Whatever you write, fiction, nonfiction, or that epic poem, remember that if you want it published, either from a traditional publisher or through self-publishing, it's a business product you're producing. Not a baby, not a thing to be coveted from outsiders, but a simple product of your creativity. If things work out, great. If not, then move on. You must continue to write, not worry over why this story or novel got rejected or why your book is screwed up all to hell. Chalk it up to experience, and learn from the mistake.

Any more books that I decide to self-publish, will be in PDF. If they sell, great, if they don't, then that's fine to. As long as keep writing, I keep my desires alive.