One Giant Leap. Celebrating E-Book Milestones.

This blogs comes with a warning! It’s about my leap from wannabe writer to published author………

This week my first ever e-book Minnie Moo The Extraordinary Adventures of an Ordinary Cat hit the virtual bookstores and is now available to buy in several formats; PDF for PC and Mac, I-Pad, Nook, E-Book Readers and Kindle format.

At this point distribution is via and Amazon for Kindle. By the middle of August it’ll be available from IBookStore, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, Reader Store and Google E Book Store.

All good things take time. One of the key lessons – just because files have been converted and submitted it doesn’t mean overnight display on virtual bookshelves. In my case, with the exception of Amazon and, Barnes and Noble it’s a 2-3 week wait.

First step is getting your Word Doc or PDF file converted. Knowing my easy-to-push frustration buttons, I decided to leave the conversion and formatting to the experts. The last thing I wanted was to collapse inconsolable in a formatting nightmare. As one of many who follow Sarah Wilson’s blog in a recent post she’d given the thumbs up to I thought well, if it worked for her, I’d give them a try. For a small investment they were tasked with the cover design and file conversions. I’m chuffed with the result.

A few days later and, after all the checks a message landed in my inbox; ‘your book has been converted and is now for sale…..’ I was on my feet doing my happy dance before sitting back down to click on the link. Awestruck. My e-book was real. There was my name typed in a fun font for all to see. Digging deep out came my credit card as I paid my US$4.99. I’d just bought a copy of my own book. Now Minnie Moo, The Extraordinary Adventures of an Ordinary Cat, sits proudly on my i-pad book shelf. For the next 45 minutes I blissfully swiped from page to page.

Wow! I really enjoyed my story about a cat who along with his buddies went on a courageous mission to ask the mean old hawk family to change their ways. Scared of living in fear all they wanted was to live in peace and harmony in their beloved Little Village. With a message, it’s ok to do the right thing, it’s never ok to be meanie, the story resonates with hope and inspiration.

I was tempted to pop open a bottle of something sparkling before realizing reading my own book was my way of celebrating. Now before you all lament ‘but you’re such a wet blanket’ hear me out.

As I swiped the final page a million and one questions flashed in neon before me. What was my plan to sell loads of copies? Who would buy my book? Why would anyone part with their hard earned dollars to buy my book? How would they find it? Was the book fairy real? Can she really wave her wand and magical sales appear?

Unlike Father Christmas I don’t think I’ll create mass upset by declaring – the book fairy doesn’t exist. Unless you’re a best selling author, books aren’t going to fly off the shelves. Marketing, Promotion/PR is needed to get any financial action happening at the check out. With real time reporting tracking the number of books sold, to get from zero to sales, selling is definitely required. And, if you’re like me, a one person band; writer, marketer, PR person, seller and cheer-leader, selling is doubly required!

So, instead of basking in the afterglow of writing I’ve knuckled down to get some savvy marketing underway. I have a plan outlined, it’ll no doubt morph into the shape it’s meant to take. Already knocking on the social media door, it’s only the first step of many. There’s marketing to do and my second book to finish. It’s busy and I’m loving it. Someone asked me today what I do for a living, I smiled ‘I’m a writer.’ Boy it felt good.

Five snapshots I learned to get to base one, publishing my first e-book:

  1. Visualize what your book will look like before you begin.
  2. Find a good editor. I used a retired English Teacher, she’s great, keen and has time.
  3. Dont’ be precious. Delete. I started out with 13,000 words, end result 9,800.
  4. Check, check and double check. Get another set of eyes reading your work. Grammar errors pop up everywhere.
  5. If you’re a rookie like me be a sponge. Listen, research and join as many webinars as possible. There are many experienced professional people and best selling authors who are willing to share their expertise and knowledge.

My life my way takeaway for One Giant Leap. Celebrating Milestones. “Back yourself every step of the way.”
If you love my Minnie Moo book please share the love.

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