Lesson Learned

Also known as “I didn’t think about that“, “Well shucks“, or the perennial favorite: “Oops!”.

The Amazon Life

I’m sure someone, or several someones, will read this and nod knowingly. However, this blog is for the good, the bad, and the ugly things I run into trying to learn to be an author, editor, and marketing executive all at once. I’ve previously thought about creating a paperback “print on demand” version of Orchids Ablaze. I haven’t done so for a few reasons, not the least of which is the requirement to assign a minimum age group to the work. I don’t have children and don’t know that many people with young-ish children. Also, while I have lots of experience reading paperbacks, I know next to nothing about the actual format and printing of such. Luckily Google and Amazon have some handy guides.

The Print Life

As much as I enjoy reading actual print books, I still managed to fall into the trap of the digital bandwagon. When this became an obvious “oops!” was when I turned to marketing. A comics store I frequent agreed to let me put some business cards and possibly counter advertising in their store. This is a good thing, thought I! And it is, except I forgot a very important concept –

Walk a mile in the other person’s shoes.

Shoulda Thought About That!

What I failed completely to consider was the best payback to the store owner for their largesse, Just dropping cards into bags or putting up a stand-up with the book cover and link might help me, but it doesn’t help them. For them it’s about (hopefully) bringing more people into the store through activities like book signings. They are effectively providing me advertising space free of charge and they need to get more than just my continued business out of the deal. My agreement with Amazon, however, means that I can’t sell copies of the book on my own.

And signing a digital book is a tricky business…

Thus, my priorities have shifted – again. The next essential activity is creating a paperback version from Amazon’s template (or any other template I can borrow). Ideally I could accomplish this before the holiday shopping season is over. Realistically I’m afraid I’ve already missed that train. There isn’t enough time to get it done well, determine what date/time works best for the store, and get everything in order before shopping gives way to festivities.

Insert heavy sigh.

Thus, this post for is anyone that may be reading and considering their own foray into self-publishing. Learning from my mistake will help me with subsequent works, but maybe it can also help prevent the same “Wish I had thought about that” moment for someone else.


Written by D. D. Wolf

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I'm on my 5th or 6th career depending on how you count them, but ideally this one will be my last with the kind help of our readers. I've traveled to several states across the U.S., but the Appalachian Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina will always be where I'm most comfortable. I've been an avid reader of comics for more years than I'm going to mention, but I return time after time to the old pulps. Obviously the Doc Savage books have been a tremendous influence. There's just something about seeing and hearing those characters in your mind's eye, just the way YOU, as the reader, think they should be.. I've been writing poems, lyrics and stories of varying quality since I was in my teens, which means most of my archives are on paper in three-ring binders! I've been creating characters in various RPG systems for at least that long. I've always thought characters made the story: good characters can live on through story after story. It wasn't until the last 6 or 7 years that I felt I could write characters well enough to be engaging. You'll have to let me know how I'm doing.

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