Awhile back I entered Lulu.com’s short story contest (results still pending), and wrote a little 600 word piece of fiction for it. Part of the contest meant self-publishing that story through Lulu. I went through the process, set the price as free (seeing as it was only 600 words) and hit ‘publish.’
Nothing really came of it.
I do not refer to the contest, as I said, the results are still pending. What bugged me about Lulu was people told me they downloaded my ebook, but I had no record of it – I can only assume because it was set to free. I wanted to know how many got downloaded, dang it! That’s half the fun.
Then I stumbled upon Kindle Direct Publishing. I hesitated. Looked into it. Had to make sure I still owned the rights to ‘A Chant in the Dark’. Turns out I do, so I decided to go for it. What was the harm? Publishers would already consider this ‘previously published’ anyways, might as well go for the gold.
So I went through the process of uploading ‘A Chant in the Dark’ to KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing – which means it’s in ebook form only, no print). There were some highs and lows along the way. I had to redo the cover – as I never really had rights to the black background I used before. That was quite entertaining. As simple as the new cover is, it took me hours – mostly just trying to find free (for commercial use) background images I could use, and then fonts, etc.
After that, I took another look at my story, made sure I hadn’t missed any typos or spelling mistakes and such.
And I hit publish.
Amazon takes a bit longer for the story to go through than Lulu. But it feels more…concrete. My only quibble with KDP is that I couldn’t set my book price to ‘free’ as I had on Lulu.com. I had to set my story at a minimum of $0.99. Is 600 words worth $0.99? That’s about $0.06 cents a word, which is about average for pro-paying establishments – so not bad. Especially considering I only get about $0.35 of the price.
But enough about money. I’m here to say ‘A Chant in the Dark’ has gone live on Amazon to be downloaded on Kindles. This is my experiment with the self-publishing world. I’m already eying my stories and trying to decide if a lengthier one is worth it. I’ll let you know how this turns out.
~Alexis A. Hunter