This is long, but may be help for those who consider writing their own books
I have so far written two books, both self published using createspace.com, an Amazon subsidiary. The first one was a retrospective on my art work and the second a story about an eight year trip around the world. Now working on the third, and planning a forth. I did not expect to make a whole lot of money, just to add another low cost product to offer when showing my art work or a once in a while sale
for a few bucks.
Using createspace.com, you have to do ALL the formatting, editing, photo
color correction, etc, yourself, because they provide NONE of these services. Advantage is that it costs not one penny until you order a "proof" of the finished work prior to releasing it. The proof comes as a fully publish ready, professionally bound book, for a fraction of the cost of the ink it takes to print it on your own printer. Proofs for my first two books cost $7 for one and $14 for the other. Once you release it for publication, you can buy any quantity from one up at about the same cost as the proof, AND they are automatically made available online through both Amazon.com and direct from the publisher in quantities of one or more. You can provide a link to order online. Createspace takes their cut, Amazon takes their cut, and you are left with a few bucks for each copy, about the same as royalties from traditional publishing, but without the thousands of dollars upfront costs.
This has been a great advantage to me in several ways;
1. I am now a "published artist" and it is easier to get fair prices on my work.
2. I have a professional looking portfolio, which helps get jobs and commissions.
3. People love receiving copies as very personalized gifts.
4. Once in a while, out of the blue with no effort on my part, someone hands me $20 or $35, and I get a nice meal or some spare cash to buy a friend a beer
5. Now I have self publishing skills to use for other projects.
6. Slowly, very slowly, more people get to know my work and the possibility of ongoing sales over time may increase.
Now, I maintain an annual catalogue of art work I currently have available, not for public release, but as an aid to doing art shows and a way to show people my work without having to drag it all out of a locker on the boat. I update it every year and print out about 4 "proofs" at a cost of about $6 each (24-35 pages, full color LOTS of photos). VERY valuable asset for a practising artist.
The two projects in progress are the third book of a trilogy, of which the first two are the first two.
documentary on refitting S.V. Mystique, my CT-41 Ketch
. I do not expect to sell a lot of these, but there will no doubt be two major advantages to publishing this.
1. By the time I am done with the refit
, I will have a detailed "Operations Manual", recording all the work done along with equipment
specs, electrical wiring
details, etc., which will prove very valuable in upkeep of the boat, evidence for insurance
, and if the need arises to have someone else work on my boat, cut time and cost of them needing to figure out things because they can just look it up in the manual.
2. After I am done refitting my boat and out in the world of cruising, where I will NEED to constantly find work, I will have a nice, professional portfolio showing my skills to find work on YOUR boat.
If this interests you, my current
books available online can be found at the top link on my website, attached to my signature. A very rough ongoing blog that will be refined into the book on my boat is found on the same web site under the link below called Mystique Blog
Hope some of you find this of value.