It’s all Mark Wheaton’s fault.
I just had no clue about the digital publishing revolution until I read that article.
You can self-publish on legitimate sites like Amazon? For free? And you can actually make money doing it? As in, they’ll pay you directly?
About then, my head exploded.
After cleaning up the mess I resumed thinking about it. I fired off a couple questions to Mark and he was kind enough to respond with encouragement.
And so I began to formulate The Master Plan. (I also wrung my hands a bit, and practiced my evil laugh.)
I was getting into the “Mark Wheaton business” as he puts it in his article, defining a business that doesn’t really make much, if any, money.
But I tried to learn from his experience, and also put my own spin on it just for the challenge of doing so.
Mark dug himself a bit of a financial hole by paying for stuff he wasn’t comfortable doing himself, namely ebook formatting and covers, and later POD.
While I could afford to do the same, I decided to start from scratch. $0 to spend. On the positive side, that meant my first sale would put me into profit. Some would consider the down side as all details that needed to be learned in regards to formatting e-books. But being something of a tech-nerd anyway, I don’t mind that, even enjoy it so no problem there. So early steps were learing the best methods of formatting ebooks, how to create covers for free, and how to do basic marketing (resulting in this site.)
I had a little nest-egg of fiction that had already been published and gone quickly out of print as is the norm for genre short fiction to get me started. I’d already been paid for it, so there was nothing to lose republishing it online for others to see.
I also added e-zines into the plan for new stories. In the past I never submitted stories to electronic-only markets. I wanted a paper magazine or book to hold in my hand, more than the token payment actually since I like working in the software industry and writing is just a hobby. I never even consided the e-zines. But I was going electronic anyway so my old snobbery needed to go away. More research there (and surprise, electronic submissions are awesome), and any sales would go into The Master Plan’s treasury.
The treasury, once built, would be there to expand my digital empire—perhaps with better cover art from a paid stock image site, or with a print-on-demand edition of a book.
And then, of course, without getting ahead of myself, the goal of world domination.
Ah yes, The Master Plan was complete.
But first, start with nothing, learn everything, and maybe make something.