Last night I submitted updated files for Any Tomorrow: The Calling to Amazon and Smashwords. It was a surprisingly simple process for both distributors, however after almost 24 hours I am #932 in the queue for processing at Smashwords. It takes time, but I’m okay with that. After all it is a free service from which I have the potential to gain, so while I wish it was instantaneous, I’ll just have to go with the flow.
The updates I made to the eBook were minor changes in format and a typo or two. No big deal, they just kind of bugged me. In one instance, Word’s autocorrect function made a simple typo worse:
“Because I am a member of the Deutsche Studentenschaft, the German Student’s Association.” Replied Reinhardt.
Did you catch it? This isn’t the first time the autocorrect function has tried to snag me. I’m turning it off. I might have let the period, an almost forgivable error, slip by, but the capital ‘R’ called attention to it and that was too much for me.
Hopefully the changes I made represent an improvement. Of course, if I was really concerned I could actually pay someone to edit and format my eBooks. I could also hire someone to create cover art for me. Smashwords has a list of formatters and cover artists for hire. You can request a copy of “Mark’s List” by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Professional editing services are available elsewhere.
Reviews, reportedly essential to eBook success, can also be purchased. I received a comment from Damian Lawrence, who belongs to the LinkedIn Ebooks, Ebook Readers, Digital Books and Digital Content Publishing group, suggesting that I use a paid review program such as Kirkus Indie Reviews ($425 standard service, $575 express service). His review looks good, but is a paid review as good as one from an independent reviewer?
Perhaps my perspective is wrong, but the idea of paying for all these services sort of defeats the purpose of self-publishing. I can, perhaps, understand paying for support services, like cover art. Not everyone is good at all things. But the paid review, especially, just seems wrong to me, almost demeaning. It’s bad enough if I can’t get anyone to read my book, but to pay someone to read it is too much to even consider.
A local writer’s group sponsors a convention that includes the opportunity to pay for a few minutes face time with an agent. I have a problem with that, too. I just seems wrong to pay someone to talk to me when they stand to profit from my work.
For now my eBooks will just have to stand on their own and I’ll have to rely on fate to bring readers and reviewers from their world to mine.
As always, if you have any comments, questions, or concerns about this post or any of my posts, please let me know. I would really appreciate your feedback. Thanks.