Psychic Awakening

Congratulations. You’ve stumbled upon a new blog I created to discuss Psychic Awakening, my first fiction book and my first attempt at self-publishing.

Writing the book was effortless and enjoyable. Deciding what to do with the finished manuscript was not. Most of the authors I know publish through small independent companies that specialise in specific genres.

Judging from the standard of editing and proofreading, these micro-publishers are probably one-woman businesses that do little more than commission a cover, convert the manuscript into digital format, and then feature the new book on their website—for a week or two, until the next batch of new books comes along.

Psychic Awakening has no shape shifters, dragon-slayers, BDSM, or hardcore erotica. It wouldn’t fit into any of the standard micro-publishing niches.

I considered Smashwords, but discovered that, with the exception of romance, they are no longer accepting author submissions, only those from literary agents. That leaves me out.

Kindle Digital Publishing I also investigated. By the time I’d filled in several pages of declarations for the US Tax Office, the system had decided it would have to withhold 30% of my earnings, even though I’m not a US citizen. I presume that 30% is over and above Amazon’s standard 30% royalty. No thank you.

Which is when I discovered a small Vancouver outfit called Leanpub and watched a YouTube video of one of the founders explaining their business model. I liked their ideas, but what clinched the deal was Leanpub’s generous attitude towards authors publishing with other companies.

So far the Leanpub workflow has been smooth and trouble-free. My only reservations are the use of limited markdown that doesn’t give consistent results across different ebook readers, and the dominance of computer textbooks in the Leanpub catalogue.

That’s not likely to change any time soon, so leaving my book with Leanpub is placing it in a niche within a niche. The book has no chance of selling unless I mount an aggressive word-of-mouth campaign, sufficient to lift Psychic Awakening into the Best Selling category, where it will get more exposure.

Psychic Awakening was uploaded to Leanpub about two weeks ago and far from breathing a sigh of relief and moving on to another project, I find myself chipping and polishing away at the text, removing a word here, changing a word there.

This flexibility takes a great weight off an author’s shoulders. I can remember the distress I felt back in the days of typeset paper publishing, when I found a careless mistake after the publisher had run off a few thousand copies.

I’d like to use this blog to update readers on changes I make to Psychic Awakening, and from time to time I’ll introduce some of the characters and episodes that never made it to the super-slim final version.

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