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Myrtle Beach Author Publishes New Wild Novel

Updated on January 29, 2014
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Lesson Learned

The first book I self published cost me plenty of time and money. I was in it for several reasons. Every author has to decide why they want to write a book and for who it is intended. Deciding whether to write a book sounds like an easy decision but in reality, there are many decisions to make before you ever get to the publishing stage.

I have a passion to write so writing a book was an easy decision for me. In Myrtle Beach, we have a long off season so I had plenty of time. Once the book was drafted, the real work for me began. Editing was the worst part of the process. Every time I read and reread the manuscript, I found something to change. I had several friends and family also help with the editing. I thought how hard could it be. I learned that the hard way.

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My Reasons for Writing My First Book

Getting back to the reasons to write and publish.

• As a limo driver, I've had a large number of my passengers ask me to tell them crazy stories.

• I, like many people, always said one day I'd right a book. Most never do and I wanted to be one who said I did it.

• Make money was another reason. Hindsight being what it is, I learned all the costs to self publish and market a book. The break even was huge vs. the measly royalties paid for book sales.

• A part of my ego played into the accomplishment of writing a book.

• I thought it would be a great marketing memento for all future clients.

• By writing this book I could get closer to being noticed and respected by a traditional publisher down the road.

Limo Adventures in Myrtle Beach

Limo Adventures in Myrtle Beach
Limo Adventures in Myrtle Beach | Source

I created a title that represented a fun time in Myrtle Beach by my passengers. It is a combination of 53 short stories in prose. I know, not the normal poetry anyone reads but it gave me a simple way to tell some stories.

No names are used to protect the guilty and the innocent. Just storytelling. It was cool because locally, I was interviewed on TV, the radio and did a couple of book signings. Most of all, I offered the autographed books to many of my clients and it increased my return business generating more revenue than if I had sold the books in a book store, on Amazon or Kindle.

Traditional Publishing vs. Self Publishing

Deciding on publishing methods wasn't much of a choice. To get a book traditionally published, you need an agent for starters. As a first novelist author, getting a response was impossible. I didn't feel like it was one of my best things I've ever written but it was fun to do. So self publishing here I come.

One more thing I learned is through a traditional publisher, you give up some rights to your book and it could take as many as 2 years to get published. You have control of rights and when you want to publish.

I spent days researching over 30 different companies. There were way too many emails, sign ups, downloads and stuff. Cost varied at every decision. From Book Cover design, interior, ISBN choices, book size, marketing packages, where it will get published, buying copies for myself, initial copies to start, volume vs. individual copy prices, pricing of the book, press releases, uploading the cover and the interior, font choices and other decisions like which publishing package made sense to me and from whom, I had my work cut out for me. Whew!

I made the conscious decision I wanted to write more books going forward and I was going to learn the best method and was willing to pay to learn and do it right with the hopes of being more economical in the future. It turned out to be a smart decision and I'll explain why later.

Limo Bill the Sarcastic Assassin
Limo Bill the Sarcastic Assassin | Source

Fast Forward from Lessons Learned

I've had an idea for a novel since the day I finished the last book. I wanted to write a novel. As any good businessman, I listened to my readers and limo clients who unanimously requested a much spicier book than the first one. It was pretty much a plain Jane type book.

With another offseason in Myrtle Beach, I wrote for 23 days writing 8-10 hours a day and completed my novel. Limo Bill the Sarcastic Assassin by Lord Dangerfield. I wrote this book under my pseudonym because I got on such a roll and the book took on a life of its own. The spice everyone asked for turned into an erotica version. Those who like that, loved the draft they read and even after it was published received a few good reviews but it's not for everyone.

I realized I couldn't offer it to all my clients in the limo. It would be inappropriate for many. I wanted it to stand on it's own merits so it was published exactly as it was written. I had an idea on how to please more readers.

Limo Bill the Sarcastic Assassin Book Trailer

Limo Bill the Undercover Assassin
Limo Bill the Undercover Assassin | Source

A New Book is Born

The issue was the sex content. I rewrote the sex scenes to a more NC-17/R version and completely removed about 10 pages, added a new limo story and kept the integrity of the many stories in place. I also created a new book cover for both Amazon and Kindle with a new title. Now I had 3 books I could distribute to my regular limo clientele giving them options.

The book is titled "Limo Bill the Undercover Assassin" by Bill Ames. I put my name on this cover for easier search reasons for Amazon and Kindle sales. I now had options for my readers and I added another book to my portfolio. The one drawback, it requires a whole new set of marketing platforms.

What I Learned from the First Published Book

Here's what I learned from my first experience as a self publisher. I chose CreateSpace as my publisher. They are a division of Amazon. Here is a list of some of my lessons.

• The book cover for CreateSpace, front, back and spine, can be produced by graphic artists for $45 or less at Fiverr.com. The Kindle cover can be produced from $5 to $15.

• The Cover and Interior can be formatted and uploaded through Fiverr.com for $5 each.

• Editing is still costly and time consuming. I edited it 10 time between myself and friends. I still find something I could reword everytime I read it.

• I designed my own press release and sent it to every local media outlet and hired someone on Fiverr to send out 100 emails for $5.

• Since the first book, I became a trained copywriter and learned how to write marketing letters, advertising, call to action, build websites and more. Major savings vs. paid services. Not that I won't use them as well..

I spent $3,000 on the first book for the package to do it all. My costs this time around have been around $120 total and I have 2 new books published on Amazon and 2 new ebooks on Kindle.

I chose CreateSpace for one nice reason. To buy books for myself to use for giving or selling locally, the cost is a flat price whether you buy one or 1,000 copies. Shipping will vary by volume. Other factors in determining price is size of the book, # of pages, and color if any. I could not find any other publisher who could match this. One more factor is you have the option to use their ISBN for the paperback and ASIN for KIndle. You have to spend $125 for just one or get the package deal of 10 for $250.

There is a cost for time most authors have to factor in. For me, it's the offseason and time is the one thing I have to follow my passion with. I spend my time using google to find new ways and places to market my book. Places like Goodreads, Facebook and Kindle clubs to mention a few..

That may be another article for another day.


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