Impressions of Egypt has been around since November of 2010, hasn’t it? Why re-release it in paperback?
Yes, it has been around. Almost 3 years now… as a free pdf download from my website and prior to that as a blog post. I decided to re-release it in paperback as a test run on the PoD (Print on Demand) platform, Pothi. So now, it’s entirely self-published and entirely in my control with regard to availability, distribution.
Is that a good thing? I mean, how does self-publishing, taking control of distribution compare with a normal channels of publication?
Well, depends on your angle. Financially, it is a good thing as compared to Indie-publishing. Otherwise, self-publishing is looked down upon – and I guess that’s a by-product of the system – since self-publishing is open to anyone with Microsoft Word, and an internet connection, it has led to some pretty horrible works being published. So people have a mind-set that self-published books are not worth it. That should change.
How will that change come about?
Hmmm. I’d say, by getting the work reviewed. If your work speaks for itself – and I’ve always believed it should – then the impression of the work will change and people will stop looking at ‘Oh, is it self-published’ and rather look at ‘Whatever the channel, it’s good.’
Look at Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing – there have been some pretty good success stories there. I believe a change is coming about. Yes, the ocean of content just got multiplied by a large factor – but there’s all kinds of reports and rating systems in place that will ensure only the good works get sifted out.
Would you recommend self-publishing?
As a starting point, yes. I think eventually most authors want to attain the best-seller status. I hope self-publishing enables me to reach there. Then again, it will work for some, it won’t work for others. There’s a lot of work on the author – editing, formatting and these aren’t really very easy to do.
Are you satisfied with the services from pothi.com?
Yes, I am. I’ve just ordered the Extended Online Distribution. I think that will reduce any disparity from the first two books distribution. Most of the sales for Secret of the Scribe and Haunted came from online stores.
Anything else you tried differently with Impressions?
I’ve also made it a full fledged Kindle book. I like the transparency in the reports on both Amazon KDP and pothi.com. The promotional features on KDP are a very good way to get visibility. Amazon is pushing strongly for eBooks; so I hope it eventually turns out to be a solid, reputable platform with great enablers for people with a good story to tell.
You mentioned earlier that Impressions of Egypt was a test-run. Does that mean there’s more to come?
Definitely. Now that I used pothi and KDP for a 43-page travelogue, I’m planning to release my next full length thriller through these platforms. I’m quite excited about it, actually.