I like to think I'm pretty savvy about the writing business. Lord knows, I've been at it long enough. And I didn't spent the last ten years sitting on my butt writing books in a vacuum. Nope, I've been out there reading and researching and learning and studying and improving and... Well, you get the gist.
Still, this first leap into self-publishing has been a learning experience. I thought today I'd share with you a few things I didn't know beforehand that I know now.
1) If a reader borrows a book through Kindle Unlimited, the author doesn't actually get credit for it until the reader reads at least 10% of the book.
2) Cover art can take what seems like forever. (I kinda knew this a little, so I budgeted plenty of time, but still...)
3) Scrivener has ways to convert a manuscript into various formats for different ereaders, so in theory, you don't have to do it by hand or pay someone else.
4) Where I was using ellipses, 90% of the time I should've been using emdashes.
5) You capitalize directional places when you're talking about them as a specific locale - like Northern Wisconsin or Eastern Colorado - but not in general (i.e. "They drove north and then east.)
6) If you gift someone a book through Amazon, they don't have to actually get the book you gave them. It's more like a mini-gift-certificate they can use for anything on the site.
7) You can return ebooks. This one totally floors me every time I think about it. I shudder to think about how the unethical could potentially screw authors. Lucky there aren't that many unethical people in the reading world. (Yes, I am Pollyanna. I like to think readers are a better breed of people. Don't harsh my happy place.)
8) All these years hanging out and making friends with other writers was worth more than just hanging out and making friends, because while I am a debut author, I didn't send my book out into an unfeeling world where no one would ever know I was there - because my friends have been awesome about talking about my book to their friends.
And in the interest of disclosure, as of this morning, I have 23 sales. I'm not breaking any records, but I'm way ahead of some people I've seen haunting the KDP forums who didn't get any sales their first week. Right now, I owe that to you - my friends and my followers, the ones who've been with me through a lot of this beforehand stuff. Because no one else has had a chance to know me and love my writing but you. This weekend, though, a person totally unknown to me said she was halfway through Dying Embers and was loving it. Which is totally cool.