This Might Be A Terrible Idea Publishing Resources

shutupI’m launching the 2nd edition of Let’s Get Digital next week and today I’m going to try and answer all your questions.

Most have surrounded something I’ve hinted at over the last few months. I’m doing something pretty cool and different with this launch. Or maybe crazy is a better word.

In short: I’m giving it away free to all purchasers of the old edition. More on that below…

When is the 2nd edition out?

It’s officially launching next Wednesday, September 17, and I’ll be posting again then. As always, subscribers to my New Release Mailing List will get an exclusive for a day or two before that, so if you are desperately impatient to get your mitts on Digital 2, sign up here.

Isn’t that later than planned?

Yup, sorry about that. It is for good reasons though. I’m told that new editions generally have around 25% new content with a new intro slapped on the front. Digital 2 will have tons more fresh content than that. Off the top of my head, I’d say about 60% of it is brand new, and almost everything else was revised or updated in some way.

So what has changed then?

Too much to give you a comprehensive list right now, but, by reader request, I’ll be publishing some type of change-log here next week, so you will have a guide to everything that has been added and updated, and can skip to the bits you want to read.

The basic structure remains the same, but each section is jam-packed with new stuff. The first part still covers the digital revolution, and how it has disrupted publishing and created fantastic opportunities for writers, but it was fascinating taking a step back and charting what has changed over the last three years.

For example, there’s extended information on the agent-publisher phenomenon (including some juicy quotes from an anonymous agent), an extended look at the effect piracy has had on publishing (predominantly the fear of piracy and the dumb actions publishers took), and brand new stuff on various publishing scams and predatory “service” companies (with Author Solutions and its various partners in traditional publishing featuring heavily).

The second part still covers all the steps needed to publish your work and get sales going, but everything was updated and huge chunks are completely brand new. The marketing chapters in particular were totally re-written from scratch, and there is much clearer demarcation between the kinds of things that fiction writers should be doing (and not doing) versus non-fiction authors, and so forth.

And the third part still contains those inspiring success stories, but lots of them have been updated and it’s fascinating to see what those writers are up to three years later. I also have a new contributor from a genre not covered last time (erotica).

Then there’s all sorts of extras based on reader feedback: info on print editions (and why you really should have them), advice on how to get a mailing list started (and how to grow it), a self-publishing checklist that you can easily refer to when publishing, more detailed advice on the optimal layout of e-books to boost sales (and reviews and mailing list sign-ups), and more options for those publishing on a tighter budget.

And that’s just for starters…

Is it true I won’t be able to buy the 2nd edition if I already purchased the old version?

Yes. I’m uploading the 2nd edition directly over the 1st edition, so if you have purchased it already you won’t be able to purchase it again. However, you will be able to download it for free.

If you purchased it from Amazon, you will be able to download the new edition, from September 17, via Manage Your Content & Devices (formerly known as Manage My Kindle) in your account settings. READ END OF POST FOR UPDATE ON AMAZON. Smashwords also lets you download updates at any time, as does Apple. Kobo doesn’t yet have this facility, but they will be providing a free coupon for all purchasers of the 1st edition. There will be more detailed instructions on all of that next week.

I haven’t figured out yet how it works on Nook, but if there are any Nook owners, please let me know in the comments if there is a facility where you can download updates. At worst, I’ll sort that out manually (and anyone else who is having issues).

And, I’ll explain why I’m doing this below.

What if I have a problem downloading the update?

I’ll be testing this before launch, but this is a bit of a leap into the unknown, so there could be issues. Please let me know in the comments of this post (or the book launch post next week), rather than emailing. It will be much easier for me, and I’ll be able to resolve your issue quicker. Whatever the problem is, I’ll make sure you get your free update one way or another.

I prefer reading non-fiction on paper. When is the print edition out?

My print formatter (the excellent Heather Adkins at Cyberwitch Press) is primed and ready to go, and I’ll be sending her the final file over the next day or two. Between formatting, getting approval at Createspace, and checking the proof, I expect it to be maybe two weeks. But it will be as fast as possible, and I’ll let you know as soon as it’s available. Note: I’ll be pulling down the 1st edition paperback when the 2nd edition e-book comes out. I don’t want someone shelling out for what they think is the new edition.

But I bought the first edition in paperback. Do I miss out on the freebie?

Not at all. I’ll be making Digital 2 free through Amazon’s Matchbook program, so you will be able to download it for free if you bought it there. If you bought the paperback elsewhere… I’ll figure something out. Maybe email me a pic of you holding the paperback and I’ll send you the e-book by reply. Does that work?

It’s cool that you are giving us the 2nd edition for free, but I want to buy it. I want to support you and/or the book.

I’ve been hearing this a lot, which is cool, it really is. I genuinely appreciate the sentiment. This book has been a consistent seller over the last three years, and that’s all down to you guys recommending it to others. I’m hugely grateful for that and I don’t want or need anything in return.

If you still want to support me and/or the book in some way, there will be a very, very cool Top Secret way that you will be able to do that next month. I can’t say anything else about that right now, but will announce as soon as I’m able – which will likely be late October. If you can’t wait that long, sharing news about the new release would be greatly appreciated. I’ll have some easy ways you can do that in next week’s post.

Why are you doing this? Wouldn’t you make more publishing this as a brand new book?

Well, yeah. Probably. But there are other considerations. The first edition of Digital has over 200+ reviews on Amazon US and 300+ ratings on Goodreads, and I’d hate to lose all that. Because the review score has been high, Digital has consistently ranked well on various Top Rated lists on Amazon, which has been a decent driver of sales. On top of all that, there are innumerable links pointing at the book from all sorts of writing/publishing blogs, and a brand new book with a new ASIN would lose all of that too.

Now, I would probably make up that ground pretty quickly with a fresh book, but I also wanted to do something to thank the readers who supported me over the last three years. Maybe giving them the 2nd edition for free will result in some extra social media noise during launch week. Maybe I’ll end up reaching more new readers as a result. Maybe, just maybe, that could ultimately earn me more than publishing it as a separate book.

Or maybe that’s wishful thinking.

As I type out the “rationale” behind what I’m doing, it sounds kind of crazy. And perhaps that’s because it is crazy. I’ve sold 12,000 copies of the 1st edition. I also gave away around 30,000 more copies on Amazon during a free run a couple of years ago.

I don’t know how many of those readers would buy the 2nd edition, if given the opportunity, but it’s a number higher than zero. So it’s highly likely that I’ll be leaving money on the table in the short term, given that 42,000 readers won’t actually be able to buy it.

But, over the long term… investing in reader karma is never a bad thing. Will it end up being a net win or a major loss? I have absolutely no idea, but I do know it’s going to be fun finding out!

*grabs whiskey bottle*

UPDATE:

I’ll be posting about this in more detail later, but it appears I was misinformed. It’s a major screw-up. The version Amazon is letting you download from Manage My Content & Devices is the OLD version (despite the new cover).

While I’m getting that fixed at Amazon’s end, to get the new version, there are three options:

1. Call Amazon and they will push the actual 2nd edition out to your device. Here are the numbers (toll free in US & Canada): US: 866-216-1072 Canada: 866-321-8851 UK: (0203) 356 6212 International: +1-206-266-2992.

2. Email Amazon and request same (but phoning is probably better to avoid successive rounds of emails and/or delays).

3. I’ll send you the mobi and you can sideload it.

The way you can tell if you have the first or second edition is simple. Look at the copyright page, the 2nd ed. should have “Second edition published September 2014″ in bold on the front. The old one doesn’t. Also, in the 1st ed. the first chapter is called “Challenges Facing The Publishing Industry”. In the 2nd ed. it’s called “Appetite for Disruption”

Sorry for the trouble. I’ll update the post above. And I’ll have more news in my post later.

–Dave

David Gaughran

Born in Ireland, he now lives in a little fishing village in Portugal, although this hasn’t increased the time spent outside. He writes novels under another name, has helped thousands of authors build a readership with his books, blogs, workshops, and courses, and has created marketing campaigns for some of the biggest self-publishers on the planet. Friend to all dogs.