Friday, December 16, 2011

What I learned compiling an anthology

Wow, putting the "Campaigner Challenges 2011" together as eBook and POD book was more work than I had anticipated. So far, I've sold 14 eBook copies on Smashwords, 37 eBook copies on Amazon, and 35 POD copies through Createspace/Amazon. With that, we raised roughly 180,-USD so far (there is a bug in Smashword's spreadsheet so I can't see the exact royalties yet. I hope they'll solve that soon).
I learned several things through this.
  • I'm not good at line editing; I missed too many mistakes. That means for me, I'll have to hire an editor for my own books.

  • People, no matter how willing, don't follow guidelines. I don't think there is anything I can do about this though.

  • PoD books sell just as well as eBooks. Therefore, I will publish "Urchin King" as a PoD book soon.

  • Putting together an eBook in a day is easy if you know what to do. I recommend following Guido Henkel's eBook formatting guidelines. Once you've created a clean HTML file, you can easily turn it back into a Smashwords compatible word-document (see below if you're interested in the details)

  • People are generous. I've had 81 participants donate 176 stories in total. An amazing number. Thank you!

  • I love doing this. If I find the time to participate next year, I might do it again – but then with another person who's good at line-editing.

Regardless the obstacles, I am proud of the result. Of course, I wouldn't mind more sales. After all, Harry Moseley's cancer research charity is a worthy course, but every dollar counts. I'm grateful for the support I got from my fellow writers and other people, which is a gain for me too. Next step is to put CC2011 up on rabmad, and return to my regular revision.

I'll do that after Christmas. Enjoy the season,

P.S.: Cross posted on both of my blogs
P.S.S.: Instructions on how to turn the HTML-file into a document with MS-word:
  • Open the HTML-file with a normal text editor (e.g. notepad if you're using Windows).

  • Add the following in the first line of the HTML-file

    < html xmlns:o="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" xmlns:w="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:word" xmlns="" >

  • delete this expression < html >, save the file, and close it.

  • Open the file in word.

  • Use the menu item "File" -> "Save As…"

  • Select "doc" as file-type and save the file.

  • If you now select "View" "Page Layout" (or something like that), you will see what the file will look like as a "normal" Wordfile

I hope this helped.


Michael Offutt, Supra-Genius said...

Good of you to do this though. And people don't follow directions because directions are hard. LOL.

Cat said...

*grin* That's why I'm so glad I'm not an agent.