The Kindle Experiment
One of my personal goals for the time I would spend in New Zealand was to get a novel published. I did and for the first time it was self-published. I put my Young Adult novel Heartland on Kindle for $2.99.
I believe it is well past the time where self-publishing is the same as vanity publishing, Although vanity publish is still around, many authors I admire have published on Kindle. It might not be the smartest thing to publish on a new platform while I am half the world away from home but, for me, I decided it would be part of my adventure.
I knew the story was good. It was a finalist in the 2010 Young Adult Novel Discovery sponsored by the Gotham Writers Workshop. Literary Agent Regina Brooks was very helpful and comments made by the judges zeroed in on some things I needed to change. Thanks to everyone who judged the contest.
I tried to follow the directions on direct publishing with Kindle. I did not find the exact screen to set margins and indentations so attempted to do an indentation for each paragraph by hand.
Living in a university town I thought it would be easy to find a WiFi café where I could check my work before it went into final form. No joy. The university has a wireless system, but it did not allow anything as frivolous as a Kindle download.
Christchurch lost many businesses during the earthquakes. Some have reopened but had to move. Finding out where they are now is not easy. Websites have not always been updated. Information cannot keep up with changing conditions.
In the time I had I was not able to check my work before it went up. Afterward I discovered that the local McDonald’s has a WiFi café that is open 18 hours per day.
The indentations I made disappeared. And the colors of the cover I made could have been brighter, but all in all I would say it was a good experiment and I learned from it.
Preparing for my next upload, I finally discovered the page that allowed me to set margins and paragraph indentations. Tramping through the help pages so I could figure out how to check later work I planned to post, I discovered how to change work that was already posted. I was able to download, correct and re-upload the book. As far as I can tell the indentations worked this time. Having no access to outside help I’ve learned to do more things on my own.
And a small publisher contacted me. We are negotiating a paperback version.
My experiment was a success.