All good things come to an end, don’t they? ~ N. E. White
(Yes, I just quoted myself.)
I am now closing out my promotional push for The End – Visions of Apocalypse (TEVA). This is the last you’ll have to read my harping about the “little anthology that could”. We may do another round when our second anthology comes out later this year, but for now, we are putting this baby to rest.
But before promising no more posts about the anthology, I wanted to share with you all a few things I learned since December, 2012. Nothing will shock you, and none of it is new. But please continue to read, if nothing else but to reinforce those lessons. We all think we can skimp on things, thinking no one will notice, but, gentle readers, know this: they will.
The world didn’t end on 12/21/12. Imagine that? And I managed to publish the anthology before that deadline. On the 9th of December, 2012, I e-published TEVA on Smashwords.
How awesome is that?
Not only did I manage to corral twelve authors, two editorial assistants, and two artists, but I think I did it all without yelling at anyone. Not even my husband. Okay, maybe the dog, but not my husband. Yes, there was gnashing of teeth, and even a bit of hair pulling, but overall I went through the process in a professional manner (except one, more on that later).
With the help of a few volunteers; primarily Chris Mitchell, Wilson Geiger, and Michael J. Sullivan; I self-published the entire thing. What a mistake. I should have delegated more. I should have PAID for more. I knew Hugh Howey‘s and Michael J. Sullivan’s contributions would boost the anthology’s exposure, but I had no idea it would stay at the top of Amazon’s list for free anthologies – for over two months. We just got knocked off of our perch by none other than J. A. Konrath (self-publisher extraordinaire). I honestly never thought we’d get this much exposure.
And let me tell you, when you have that many eyes on your baby, pretty much every mistake is gonna get noticed.
Do NOT experiment with formatting the first time you e-publish something.
Tristis Ward’s wonderful Mother and Child short story is a piece of word-art I have not seen anywhere else. I’m sure there are others that have tried it, but her blend of comic book panels with no graphics, just words or word graphics, really makes me want to read more comics – like hers! I love the way she literally plays with the words on a page. I am a huge fan of hers. But, her work is primarily designed for print – not for e-books. Regardless, I thought I could make it work. Well, it didn’t. Why I thought I could figure it out is beyond me. I did get her page images to come out fairly well on my iPhone (not my Nook, and apparently, nor the Kindle) so I thought that was good enough.
LESSON #1 – Something can never be “just good enough” in regards to formatting. If something is glitchy, fix it. It will not miraculously fix itself once you upload it to Smashwords, Amazon, or where ever you distribute your e-book. As a matter fact, it will probably get worse.
Edit, edit, edit, edit, then edit some more.
Don’t you hate it when someone points out there’s a hair hanging out of your nose? Ug, didn’t your mother teach you to groom yourself before leaving the house!
Even though I had several eyes on the manuscript before publishing, I should have had one more. There are a few mistakes, obvious mistakes, that I should have caught, but I just didn’t. I know, it is impossible to catch everything, but I also know I felt a little rushed with this project and one thing I’ve realized is that…
LESSON #2 – You can’t rush editing. Take your time to properly edit the manuscript. Give your copy editors and proofreaders time (and/or money) to do it right. Have them spend the days, or weeks, needed to slowly go through it. Believe me, you’ll thank them. Because, yes, we all know the difference between hurdled and hurtled, but our readers might not know we do.
Upload the right cover image! Not the earlier version.
Yes, I did that. I still have to fix it. I plan on doing it this weekend. A sad, sad case when the title of your book is The End – Visions of Apocalypse and your book cover says The End – Visions of the Apocalypse.
LESSON #3 – Label all your files appropriately. Especially the ‘final’.
Above, when I said I corralled two artists, that’s not entirely true. I left one in the lurched. Mr. Adam Burn, whose lovely digital illustration graces our cover, had not been notified when I published the anthology. Yes, yes, we got his permission, but I failed to speak to him directly and keep him in the loop. As such, there was a small misunderstanding between us. We have that all cleared up now (thank you for your understanding, Mr. Burn), but here’s the final lesson:
LESSON #4 – Check and double-check your permissions contracts with each contributor.
Phew! Now that part is over, let’s get to the fun stuff – statistics! (Oooooh, look at all the pretty numbers…)
Since we offered the anthology for free, I don’t have too many sales numbers to report, but I do have downloads. Check it out:
Yeah, sorry, crappy screen shot. Oh, if I could meld Google Docs with WordPress I would be a happy camper… You can click on the picture to zoom in, or you can just read the numbers here:
- Total to date sold from Smashwords: 4
- Total to date sold from Amazon: 210
- Total to date downloaded from Smashwords: 817
- Total to date downloaded from Amazon: 17,714
Again, the anthology is technically free, so I’m not entirely sure where the sold copies at Amazon are coming from, but rest assured, any monies collected will go to charity (if I can figure out how to get paid…).
At the moment, we have a whooping 31 customer reviews on Amazon. Thirty one. Three tens, then one. Here’s the current run down:
An average of 3.5 out of 5 stars from 31 reviews. We got six (6) 5-star ratings, fourteen (14) 4-star ratings, six (6) 3-star ratings, one (1) 2-star rating, and four (4) 1-star rating.
I am staggered by the numbers. I know that doesn’t seem like much when you compare it to your average book, but for a self-published noobie like me, this is amazing. Who would have thunk it? I guess I put my eggs in the right basket, eh? (Thank you, Hugh and Michael – we are not worthy!)
The End’s Blog Tour Posts
- Blog Tour: The End (nilaewhite.wordpress.com)
- The End: Visions of Apocalypse – FREE short stories (riyria.blogspot.com)
- Blog Tour: The End – Visions of Apocalypse (www.wilsongeiger.com)
- Touring Blogs (chrismitchelltheauthor.blogspot.com)
- The End tour (thelostwords.com)
- The Magical Apocalyptical Tour (dailyrichblog.wordpress.com)
- Norman Gray on The End: Visions of Apocalypse (sffworld.com)
- THE END: VISIONS OF APOCALYPSE (gllathian.com)
P.S. Yes, the gang over on SFFWorld.com will be doing another anthology this year. I’ll keep you all posted!