In honor of Memorial Day, starting at 9am, A Sour Chord will be on sale through iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kindle, Smashwords and Google Play.  Get your copy today while it’s 75% off the regular price.

For just .99 cents, you can get your own copy!

Today’s the fifth day since A Sour Chord went on sale.  It was finally approved to all of the publishing websites on Monday at around 8:30am EST.

The response has been bigger than I expected — not that much in terms of sales, but moreso in engagement.  Through my primitive marketing skills and efforts, in the course of this week, I’ve managed to:

Increase Twitter followers by 31%
Increase Facebook Likes by over 150% (not that I had many to start with!)
Have my Facebook posts seen by 2,478.6% more people than the previous week.

In addition to that, I’ve also sold a total of 9 copies, which is much more than I thought I’d sell during the first few days.  Nine may not seem like a whole heck of a lot to you, but I’m really really happy with that number.  I had set out a silent and internal goal of selling 100 copies in total, so starting with 9 in the first week is definitely a positive for me.

My hope is that over the coming weeks, those 9 people will rate and review the book and that’ll help with other people wanting to read it.  I think, like with much anything in life, no one wants to be the first to do something.

I’ve learned an incredible amount of things this week about the publishing process, including how amazingly frustrating some of the tools are (which I’ll detail more in a complaining post over the weekend), and I’m just incredibly proud of myself for seeing this all the way through.  That’s something I’ve struggled with my entire life and this book represents a new me, figuratively speaking.

If you’ve bought or downloaded a copy of the book, thank you.  I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing, editing, and publishing it!

The culmination of a total of 440 days of work has finally come to an end.  The write, edit, and publish journey has come to an end.  What started way back on March 5th of 2013 has finally come to a close as of this morning.

I’m fully published on Amazon, iBooks and Barnes & Noble as of this morning.  You can find the links to those specific providers on the A Sour Chord page.

What took so long? I’m glad you asked.

The first draft took me 17 days (looking back at my daily word counts is sort of astounding. I wrote just shy of 80,000 words in just over two weeks). I wrote another thousand words after reading the first draft over a few times, then handed it off to my buddy Austin for a first pass edit.

That process took close to three months to complete, at which point I hired Lauren to do my real edit.  That took way longer than both of us anticipated, and we didn’t get that complete until mid-February.

At that point, I contracted Scott Pond to do the artwork for the cover artwork.  After a few rounds of back and forth and a handful of iterations, we had the final artwork done last week.

Then the process of compiling the eBook, formatting to the specific publisher’s specifications and getting it through their review process took exactly a week (I submitted it to all 3 of the publishing platforms last Monday morning). And here we are, 440 days later.

I told my first copy last night through Barnes & Noble, and I’ve never in my life been more proud to make a $2.65 commission.

If you buy a copy — even if you hate it — please review a review on whatever service you bought from.  That’d be appreciated immensely!

Phase one is now over.  Phase two is marketing, selling, and re-marketing.  And then I’ll get back to My Last Days and go through this whole thing again.  Once I get some sleep.  Thanks for coming along on this journey with me, dear reader.  Without you this wouldn’t be worth it.

Part of this whole “I’m writing a book” process has been to educate myself about how it works from start to finish — what it’s like to write a book, edit a book, have artwork designed, and finally publish the book.

I’ve been rolling with the proverbial punches since I started this journey in March of 2013.  I haven’t been frustrated at all, despite many parts of the process taking much longer than I wanted.  Until this week.

I was finally done with everything. Artwork done, book compiled into eBook format, ready to publish and start marketing myself and the book.

I uploaded the book to Barnes & Noble first, typed in a few bits of information, uploaded my file and had a button that said “Publish” in a matter of minutes.

Amazon’s process was similar — ready to publish in just a few minutes.

Apple’s process has been frustrating and confusing, to say the least.

I found out that you need their own proprietary publishing software, called iTunes Producer. After downloading 3.0 (the latest version), I had nothing but problems. Even on my brand new Mac Pro (one of the most powerful computers on earth), it just kept freezing.

Google suggested that it was the same for most people who’d upgraded. So I found an older version and used that.

After two, or maybe it was three, hours of confusing unhelpful error messages, I finally got the book to compile into their iBooks format, and started the upload process.

My 1mb file took ten minutes to upload. Ten minutes!

Once that completed I was happy. I was ready to go!

Wrong.  Then Apple’s “review process” began.  They, much like apps submitted to their store, review your book for quality — though it’s unclear what they’re looking for.

This was Monday morning, around 10am.  Cut to Friday, they finally approved my book and made it for sale immediately.

I wasn’t ready to be on sale yet, so I went in and turned off the “Cleared for Sale” option on the United States store, which then triggered an error message in their system.  It eventually fixed itself, but now I see a big error of “Not available in 51 stores” on my book’s management page.  I filled out the contact form yesterday asking for help, but I imagine it’ll be a few days before I hear back.

While the book was up for sale, the “Sample” file that was provided (which may have been my fault), was the entire book, not just a sample.  Clearly no one’s going to buy the book if they can get it for free through the sample.

I’m hoping I can get all of these issues cleared up next week and finally be on sale.

I do have to say, though, seeing the book on an iBooks page and in the iBooks app made me feel an extreme sense of accomplishment.  Even if no one buys it and no one cares about it or likes the story, I did it. And that’s the most important thing for me.

As of around 24 hours ago, I’ve uploaded A Sour Chord to Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Apple.

Amazon and Barnes & Noble were quick and painless.  After mucking around with my eBook format a few times and testing it on their preview systems, I got it right and had it queued up, selected what countries I wanted to sell in, and set my price.  All I have left to do there is click the Publish button on both platforms.

Apple, on the other hand, has a review process built into their system.  I won’t even get into what a pain it is to upload your book to their service if you’ve never done it before — they have their own proprietary app that only runs on OS X (not a big deal, I’m a Mac user), which the current version doesn’t work properly — but I managed to get that all sorted out.

I couldn’t find anywhere in their membership agreement, or documentation when I signed up that they can take up to 30 days to approve your book.  Apparently it’s the same review process that apps for the App Store go through.  I’m not sure if that means I have to wait for someone to actually read the book, or if they just download it, scan through it, and then approve it.

At this point, I’m at the mercy of the might fruit company.  My plan is that once they approve the book, I’ll flip the switch on all three services and be for sale all at once.  Then I’ll have some updating to do here on the website, including publishing the book details, updating the navigation menu, adding buy links, etc.  My task manager app is brimming with things I’ll need to do once I go live.

In case you’re curious, I settled on $3.99 for my initial price and will play with that over time.  It’s surprising how much of that money the companies selling for you take.  For example, of that $3.99, Amazon will give me $1.40.  That’s 35% if you wanted to do the math.

It varies by country, but given that most of my sales will be US based, I’ll get $1.40 per copy sold.

I’m hoping for, and will consider this endeavor a success, if I can sell 100 copies.  Fingers crossed!  Once this waiting game is over, it’s game on.  I don’t want to say that I’ll have to start pimping myself out, but it almost feels that way.