Things I wish I knew before I rushed into writing books

Updated: Oct 2, 2020

Writing is a beautiful experience, and there are few things in life comparable to the excitement of authoring and publishing your first book. In these days with the popularity of e books, the common usage of ghost writers (Those who will write a story that your orate for them, and allow you to sell the book that results in exchange for a fee), the major demands in marketplaces such as Amazon... all these create a high-energy atmosphere where expectations seem to reach the ceiling. However, of course just as any pursuit worthy of effort in life, there were serious hurdles for me that came up suddenly because of a lack of prior investigation in regards to publishing. Accordingly, I think that a large part of the challenge of life is to learn how to patiently and gracefully handle set-backs, especially when they are back-to-back and in a context where it seems just about everyone else seems to have things go their way. These hurdles mostly revolved around vendor rules, and unexpected needs of advertising.

Regarding vendor rules, the first obstacle came in the form of capitalization rules. After uploading my manuscripts to Draft2Digital, looking at the screen reading "Publishing.." and assuming things were going fine, I was feeling great. Then came the "Issues to be resolved". Essentially I had made the mistake of making my Cover page and my book title in ALL CAPS. Originally my first series was titled: "AN OBSERVATIONAL COMMENTARY ON SOCIAL ATHEISM", and all the subtitles were in full caps also. You can see an example of the message I received in the image.

After this, more tribulations awaited. Amazon had some very specific rules about not mentioning the names of vendors in the document, which occurred with a particular reference to their platform I had made in most of my books, in one of the copy-paste portions at the end of the book. Featured in it was a little segment that read "Please consider giving my book a good review on Amazon and the other platforms if you liked it!" Amazon's system detected that text and responded by blocking my book's ISBN number.

Well, once your book's ISBN number is blocked by Amazon, that's it. It is not going on Amazon, and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it from what I've gathered. That happened to at least three of my books. Regarding one book and the box set in particular, some things are uncertain. That was a hard lesson learned, because of course every enthusiastic independent author wishes to have an e book on Amazon available through kindle. It is one of the largest platforms of all time, and features the broadest range of readers, arguably. It is high-visibility, high-profitability. Nevertheless for those works at least the venue was cut off. The moral of the story is the value of doing that type of research ahead of time, or having a friend or connection who has "braved the waters" before you to make a way.

#publish #steps #checklist

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