Friday, May 15, 2015

Solving Distractions and Getting Your Book Ready - Case Study 02

Solving Distractions and Getting Your Book Ready - selling books online
(Artwork: Birger King)

You have to handle distractions to finish getting your book(s) ready for publishing.

It's not just the social media. It's life itself.

I've gone over the successful action of working in batches, of having a proven assembly line, of lining everything up by spreadsheet to make it efficient.

But the bottom line is: You Have to Get Things Done.

Happens to me regularly, and this Case Study was no different. I'm at fault, usually (blaming me is easier to solve, than why others do what they do.)

Of course, I live on a working farm. Certain seasons require a lot of physical labor and then rest. Don't expect to maintain any sort of inspiration level if you're tired all the time.

Right now, we are also renovating the main house here - which started last spring and is only now wrapping up (I'm doing the wrapping.)

I told everyone recently, "Look I've got three full-time Jobs right now: This farm, this house, and my books. Please don't ask me to do anything else."

And pretty much, they've understood.

I know if I don't push my own bliss, I can get very cranky - and that bliss is books. So I work on this daily - even if it's just getting out a blog post (explaining why I don't have the next book ready or published - or what I just found out about how to do this easier or better.)

Compartment Your Time

That's easy to say, and the discipline of keeping it in is even harder.

I've always liked Stephen King's approach of writing in the morning, answering mail in the afternoon, reading in the evening. Other authors had similar schedules, depending on when they felt most inspired.

King also held himself to 2,000 words each day. Maybe more, never less.

With three jobs, I do at least two of them every day. Farming everyday, so the book writing/editing/publishing/marketing might get pushed to a small piece - or
even put off for a couple of days, if I was hitting up against a deadline on house renovations.

If its really rainy or extremely cold, I'll do what I have to do for chores and then get back inside. Cold days have been great for publishing, as it's been too cold to work on the house as well. Januaries and Februaries usually get a lot of book-work done.

Pressures of visiting family will push the house up in the schedule and minimize other things.

Eventually, I'll get the old house done. With all the leftover wood and parts, it's also telling me that there's some other things that ought to get fixed as well. Barns, outbuildings, making basements usable, fences, gates, gardens...

Inspiration as a distraction

"Look a squirrel!" That can happen to the best of us.

My publishing is in four main areas, one of these being natural living. There are tons of books in the public domain about farming which are crying out to be recovered.

Some months ago, I found an old book which was going to take some work. It was all about fruit and nut trees as crops (that matches a subject called silva-pasture, which is about grazing our cattle in between trees). But there were no good versions of it which wouldn't take at least a week to get into shape. So I put it off.

Recently, I found another book on how to grow trees from seed which was in good shape - suddenly I had an answer to making this farm more profitable. With some finagling, I got a decent copy of that other book - and simply cranked out a good version of each, published them through Lulu (so I'd get a proof copy to read and correct) and then parked them in Calibre on a library of books to wrap up.

That distraction kept me from doing anything on these picture-book series.

I brought it on myself.  The point to learn is to keep on the point of finishing things up. (Note that I parked those two books for later publishing and marketing work.)

Note that these tree books aren't fully published. I switched the sequence around so that I'd have the hardcopy books available. The ebooks are there, they just aren't published fully to all the distributors.

That brings us back to our sequence of actions.

The Spreadsheet of Actions

When I decided to make this particular batch a Case Study, I knew we needed to do things right, and to finally follow every step I've been recommending (but haven't applied in every case.)

The strategy here is simple:
Collect a series of books and then publish and market them as a batch.

This follows the generally proved concepts of
  • Follow Your Bliss
  • Deep backbench
  • Multiple eyeballs

Marketing is to follow on these, which then gives you
  • Caring Sharing
  • Velvet Rope
  • Friends Fly, Too.
(Yes, I've explained these before - but these phrases [mnemonics] are an easy way to remember the whole strategy.)

The trick was to get this long list finalized into one place, as I've revised this several times.  I did get it on a spreadsheet, but want to give you the long list here, so you can do it yourself (I'll link my spreadsheet for you, once I'm fully happy with it, which will be as this Case Study wraps up.)

The Publishing/Marketing Action List:

For each book title...

Landing Page

    PDF,   epub,   mobi
    epub,   PDF,   tradepb,   GlobalReach
    Sellfy,   Payhip,   Google,   iTunes,   Nook,   Kobo,   Espresso BM
Amazon Edition

Landing Page Update

    Audio,   Presentation,   Video
Synnd Campaigns
    Video,   Bookmarking,   Social News,   Twitter
    Slideshare,   Scribd,   Doc-Stoc,   Issuu,   Gdrive (public)
Audio,,   Soundcloud
Cover Art
    Pinterest,   Flickr,   G+ (public)
Book Sites
    OpenLibrary,   Library Thing,   Goodreads
Other Promotion,  
    Bittorrent Bundle,  

Affiliate Sales Bundles (under testing)
Distribly,   Scubbly,   JVZoo,   MyCommerce,   PaySpree,   Click2Sell,   DigiResults,   BlueSnap

(The bold face are the main categories of action, the plain face are sub-steps or sites.)

Yes, that's a lot of work. A lot of details. That's why I recommend a spreadsheet - so you don't omit any steps on any book.

What it does is to set up your books on their own little network of sites which all interact and help the search engines let other people discover your work.

I'll detail all these steps as I go - the reason for making this Case Study - so you have the documentation (ultimately in book form) to follow along and improve on.


That's enough for this morning. Thought to get this out to you before I had to go do chores (bottle feed a calf, fix some fences the cows went through yesterday, mow some lawn, put some more trim on the house, etc.)

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