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Feb 25 13 5:35 AM

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I hope everyone enjoyed my interview with Ryan Littrell. It's always helpful to learn from writer's who have been through the process and can share their insights. If you have any questions leave them here, Ryan will be in the forum this week to answer your questions. 

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#1 [url]

Feb 25 13 11:23 AM

Wow, I really learned a lot from reading the interview and then getting the Kindle sample of Reunion, which I plan to continue reading.  

I love the layout of the book, the personal narrative mingled with the actual discoveries.  I'm sort of dong the same thing, so I was impressed with this style and got some good ideas.

As far as the self publishing part, I'm pretty good with editing, having worked in that capacity several times, and then with court reporting for 15 years, so I think I can do the editing with maybe a couple of my reporter friends proofreading for me. 

Question:  I've planned to use CreateSpace for a while now.  Ryan, did you look into this route?  What do you think about pursuing this option?  I realize putting together an ebook is hard.  I've done a real small one.  But I value your opinion on this because your book is so professionally put together.

Bettyann Schmidt rhinegirl.blogspot.cim

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#2 [url]

Feb 25 13 4:58 PM

First off, thanks to Lynn for all the great questions! I hope my answers were helpful, and I look forward to hearing from everyone--please feel free to ask me anything about my book Reunion, about family history, or about writing and publishing in general, and I'll do my best to help.

Bettyann, thanks for the kind words! I'm glad to hear that you like Reunion so far, and I hope you like the rest of it just as much. It's nice to hear that the book has given you some ideas. And with court reporters doing your proofreading, I'm sure you'll be in great shape on the editing front.

To answer your question: Yes, I've used CreateSpace as the printer/distributor for the print version of my book on Amazon. For those who don't know about CreateSpace, it's a print-on-demand company that is owned by Amazon; when a reader goes to your book's Amazon page and orders the print version (as compared to the e-book version), CreateSpace fulfills the order on Amazon's behalf and ships the book to the customer. The author doesn't have to pay any large sums of money upfront to have the book stocked at Amazon, because copies of the book aren't printed up until an order comes in.

One of the chief advantages of CreateSpace is that your book will always show as "In Stock" at Amazon--so you don't have to worry about losing those readers who hate waiting days or weeks for the book to be shipped. And I've found CreateSpace to be very user-friendly, so I certainly recommend it if you plan on putting your print book on Amazon.

Now, when it comes to selling print books outside of Amazon, it's a bit more complicated. CreateSpace has an option (called "the Expanded Distribution Channel") that permits you to sell your book through Barnes and Noble's website, and to have your book made available to the distributors from whom bricks-and-mortar bookstores order their books. However, there's another print-on-demand company, called Lightning Source, that you might want to consider for purposes of getting your print book onto and bricks-and-mortar stores. Lightning Source is owned by Ingram, which, I believe, is the biggest distributor of books to bookstores in the United States, and perhaps the world--so if you use Lightning Source, your book will be placed into the Ingram catalog, and that means most bookstores will be able to order it, if they choose to.

There are authors who choose CreateSpace, and there are those who choose Lightning Source, and then there are some who choose to use both (that is, use CreateSpace for Amazon, but use Lightning Source for everywhere else). A number of websites and blogs discuss these issues in a lot more detail, so you definitely should read through them. But, hopefully, this has helped!

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#3 [url]

Feb 26 13 5:07 AM

Thanks for coming to the forum Ryan. Here's a question I didn't ask in our interview. How did you know when you were ready to let go of Reunion? It can be a scary step to know when and if your book is ready for public eyes. How did you know when it was time? How many revisions did you go through before for arriving at the final product? 

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#4 [url]

Feb 26 13 9:38 AM

This helped a lot, Ryan!  I've been on Lightening Source's site and agree that with Ingram your  book would be way more widely read.  

I do plan to have the book on Amazon, so using CreateSpace makes sense to me, especially considering finances.  I'm glad you used it and validate my choice.  I don't know yet if I'll use Lightening Source.  Depends on how much I think the book needs that much exposure.

Since I'm highlighting an historic area of a city and trying to concentrate as much as possible on the sense of "place," I'm thinking of having a few books placed in some of the Cincinnati local bookstores--maybe small ones.  Going to talk to the library to see  if they want a copy.  This all depends on what I do in the revision, because it needs a lot more editing.  

I was so happy to hear it took you six years.  I'm into my third year and thought I was really lagging.  So do my cousins.  I keep hearing, "Is the book done yet?"  Hard to explain to them.

Thanks again for so much help.

Bettyann Schmidt rhinegirl.blogspot.cim

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#5 [url]

Feb 26 13 7:21 PM

Bettyann, I'm glad I was able to help. I think it's a great idea to work with local bookstores, but do keep in mind that a book about one particular place can have a wide appeal--and not just among people who have roots there. You might be surprised at how many people want to read a book about a place they've never even been to. I can certainly imagine being interested in a story about a Cincinnati family, even though I've never stepped foot there.

Lynn, that's a good question: How exactly do you know when it's time to "let go" of a book you're writing, and let it out into the world? The answer, for me at least, is that you never really know. There's always that sneaking suspicion that you should do one more round of editing, there's always one more way to write this or that sentence. And maybe you could make the book even better by stepping away from it for a while, and coming back with fresh eyes. With Reunion, I got to the point where it just didn't seem like it needed any more changes, and that's when I sent it to the printer. Hopefully, I got it right.

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