Publishing chapters, so far, has been a very interesting experience. Being an author of chapters, not an entire book, i feel the two are very different. Interestingly enough, i have been able to do all of my publishing for free so far, however that cannot last!
Firstly, the ISBN’s i use have been free. Blurb.com has allowed me this and currently, their “Reflowable Conversion” is in beta, and thus, is free to use, so using their program ‘Book Wright’ to copy everything from my notebooks, into the program, have so far been pretty easy.
Publishing chapters is not for my own gain, other than presence. The sole publisher, Amazon, takes 75% of a cut of every sale, while i receive 25%, minus a 13% tax threshold. As i am selling each chapter for 0.99$, my profit for each sale, which i have incurred none, will be under a quarter, which, in the grand scheme of publishing without the internet’s self-publishing ability, brought by Amazon and others, is actually a very nice start. Those that have no real idea of the publishing process will think this is bad, but for those that do, i hope you can see the value in this.
Furthermore, the very idea of publishing chapters, rather than books, seems completely outlandish and in ‘meta’, is. However, when there are authors on the platform, Amazon, who are selling books, they only receive 1 sale per book, but with selling the chapters, we can break that 1 book sale down into many different sales and the value in that, is pretty obvious.. However, to an author, the idea of publishing chapters may very well be outlandish, but to the consumer, this is completely and utterly alien. To be completely honest, i do not think anyone will buy my chapters, which is why i have them for free, through kindle plus, but regardless, marketing chapters is an absolute nightmare, since it is so alien to the consumer, at least right now.
I say right now, because i do not believe the process of authoring the book itself will last. Society is now moving at such a pace, that taking the time to write the entire book, is becoming less and less feasible. Capitalizing on what is important RIGHT NOW and having reactivity to the things that society perceives are important is very, very important and a great example of that is Twitter and Facebook. Consider publishing a chapter, similar to creating a tweet about something.. Sure, the reactivity is not as fast as an instant tweet sent from your mobile device, but it sure beats the hell out of sitting down for a month at a time. With the proper resources and capital, the author can publish a chapter, easily, in 24 hours and even further so if the resources through your publisher, are aligned with that same context, where if your chapter comes in, somebody’s book must take a side line to publishing yours, since the essence of the effectiveness of the chapter, lies in time.
Time, this is the main reason i have engaged in this activity. Minimum of 10 years, it will take, to become even a remotely recognized name. By publishing chapters, i am hoping to kick start that clock and currently lacking the resources to do that, i have kind of found myself in an important time, where i am able to get these products out for free, which, as i have stated, will not last. Needing no investment to get the product out, it is a no-brainer that this is a win, regardless of the time involved.
Publishing my content, i have not focused on what is important to society, but rather, what is important to me and this is a little counter-intuitive to the process of actually publishing the chapter, but i feel much of my content will be timeless, or at least relevant for the foreseeable future.
Is this a worthy endeavor of your time? Probably not.. Right now, anyways. Getting at the head of this movement is important for me, and i do not even know if i am at the head of it! The idea is so completely outlandish and crazy that i doubt anyone has ever tried it before or simply scoffed at the idea, but again, i find myself in a precarious position, where i am able to do it for free, at least for now and so i figured, like most things i do, “Fuck it, why not!”
Hopefully this piece will get your gears moving a little bit, understanding that the process of being an author has changed, is still changing and will continue to change, without question. Is this the way it is going in? I doubt it. I really do, but we all gotta start somewhere and if that place is mars, rather than earth, than so be it, i’m starting on mars.