Tag Archives: publish

Michael M. McConaughey’s New Author Website

16 Jun
Blog, then book, and now author's website. Take that, J.K.Rowling! En garde!

Blog, then book, and now author’s website. Take that, J.K.Rowling! En garde!

Well, didn’t my “all-inclusive” package with FriesenPress.com include them setting me up with my very own author’s website. I’ll have to get Mom to Google it a thousand times or so, as this is about the limit of my knowledge of search engine optimization (SEO). I don’t dare reblog my own post about it, as I may get caught in an infinite loop SEO event horizon and freeze time.

Plus, that would be gauche.

To help guide the FriesenPress.com marketing expert in setting up a website that I would like, they had a questionnaire for me to fill out. Due to the workload involved in leaving the RCAF and starting a new job / 2nd career–or 3rd, if you count the one time that the brass pole broke under my not-inconsiderable weight–, I’d lost track of the questionnaire and had to hurry to get it done.

Regarding author websites that appealed to me and why, what I included:

1. Mary Yerkes (Classic look, simple, book will look great with simple B&W theme.)

2. Dan Brown (Scroll down to the very bottom – powerful symbolism, which I love. The Mirror uses this in its cover art very effectively, as narcissistic mirroring is a core theme. Somehow, distorted mirroring live the cover design has to be incorporated.)

3. Website attributes I am looking for: Simple, uncluttered, powerful, symbolism, easy-to-find information.

The FriesenPress.com marketing expert thought that MichaelMcConaughey.com would be better than MichaelMMcConaughey.com (i.e., no middle initial “M.”)

I also had to chose five words from a group of descriptive adjectives that characterized the book and my “author image.” (I could add to the list, if required.) I chose: dark (somewhat); personable; mysterious; controversial; and revelatory.

I had him use my WordPress avatar instead of an author photo, so that I didn’t run afoul of a non-identification legal issue.

What do you think about author websites in general and mine in particular?

 

 

 

 

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Book Release: The Mirror, Book One – Welcome to the Evil Sisterhood

13 May
Deep symbolism at work in the cover design

(c) 2014 Michael M. McConaughey

 

Now that I’ve gotten over the surprise (to me) release of my new book The Mirror, Book One – Welcome to the Evil Sisterhood, I suppose I had better do a proper introduction and cover reveal for those individuals who are new to this blog.

In the midst of my disturbing 2008 marriage breakdown, I had to deal with child abuse issues of rabid parental alienation and possible Munchausen by proxy. By law, I had to contact a child protection agency, which in my jurisdiction are known as Children’s Aid Societies (CAS). Little did I know that CAS’s are feminist covens.

Instead of investigating my reports of child abuse, which a CAS is legally obliged to do, the CAS social worker in my case assisted my estranged wife in alienating my three kids from me and tried to trick me into leaving my home. When this failed, the CAS social worker tried to bully me into leaving my home. When this, too, failed, she tried threatening me with child protection action if I didn’t leave my home. When this failed, the CAS made its court application.

Without trial, without evidence, and without any established fact, a feminist judge kicked me out of my own lawfully-owned home and cunningly issued a no-access order against me, which ended up lasting around nine months. It was obviously her intent to do so before she came into court. So confident were they, the CAS didn’t bother to send anyone other than their lawyer; there was no need. The eventual report of a neutral, court-appointed expert psychiatrist who corroborated what I said was going on had no real effect. Nor did an affidavit by parental alienation expert Dr. Amy Baker, Ph.D.  All it was ever about was ensuring the mother won HER child support payments, as a matter of covert feminist policy.

There was one little problem with this feminist scam. It was also criminal, literally.

Once analyzed, what the child protection system amounts to is a feminist criminal conspiracy to abduct children of divorce from their fathers. Little wonder that I refer to it as the Evil Sisterhood. I seemed to upset authorities when I pointed this out, and a cover up ensued. The Mirror exposes what happened, what routinely goes on, and most importantly, why. As the book argues, kids have been killed by deranged mothers because of this.

It is merely a happy coincidence that the book is coming out in the middle of the Ontario Government’s provincial re-election campaign.

By all accounts, The Mirror, Book One – Welcome to the Evil Sisterhood is a gripping read that competes with the best of fiction. It has strong elements of autobiography, human interest, intrigue, scandal, justice, fascinating new ideas, and gender politics. Readers report having a tough time putting it down; more than a few late nights reading have resulted.

It’s heartbreaking enough when fathers have their children ripped from their lives. When experts equate the harm done that alienation does to children as being similar to or even more harmful than sexual abuse, it goes beyond outrage.

Your support in helping spread the word about this book and its important message is gratefully appreciated. Honest online reviews are worth their weight in gold. The book is available in hardcover, paperback, and e-book formats at major online book sellers (some haven’t posted all the information, yet), and I’ve heavily discounted it at my self-publisher’s (FriesenPress) online bookstore:

FriesenPress

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Chapters-Indigo

Google play

Kobo Store

eBookMall

– iBookStore (Hasn’t appeared here, yet. Apple devices can use the Kindle app to get The Mirror.)

As for reviews and blogging interviews, it’s full steam ahead and damn the torpedoes. Please feel free to contact me at themirrorbooks@gmail.com. Although the cover design is copyright, everyone is free to use it to blog about the book, with my blessing. There is a legal requirement that I not be publicly identified in association with this true story, so, as far as the world is concerned, I am Michael M. McConaughey. I haven’t seen my daughter since August 2008, because of this.

If I hadn’t fought, tooth-and-nail, every step of the way, the same fate would have befallen my two sons.

Thanks, everyone. It’s begun.

 

 

 

 

 

The Book Fairy Waved Her Magic Wand: “The Mirror” For Sale At Barnes & Noble!

10 May
Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.

Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.

 

The last that I had heard (middle of this week), my book information was being uploaded to distribution channels, and I should expect to see it hit the major online sellers in a few weeks, probably by the end of June.

Imagine my surprise to find that The Mirror is now for sale at Barnes & Noble as an e-book. ***UPDATE: Changed to all formats as I was typing!*** It’s really happening, perhaps a bit faster than I had expected. I’m still working with my FriesenPress.com marketing guru to get things like my marketing plan and formal press release done. I don’t even have an “official” launch date or event planned yet.

May I ask a favour from those who’ve already read the manuscript or galley proof? It would be helpful if you’d leave comments and rank the book at both places where it is now for sale:

 

Barnes & Noble

FriesenPress

 

Honest opinions and rankings, of course. My feelings won’t be hurt in the slightest if I don’t see 5-stars across the board; far from it. I suppose I’ll have to get that goodreads.com author’s account established, so that scores / feedback can be done there, too.

As per a previous post, I’ve copied people’s review comments and pasted them below. If it’s been a while, these comments can be cut-and-pasted (by their authors!) to the Barnes & Noble and FriesenPress pages for The Mirror. Or, new comments can be written if desired, obviously.

It appears as if I’ve passed that point of no return; I’ve crossed a Rubicon, and the die is cast. (I’m sure I was the first to utter these words, honest.)

For those interested in blogging about this or having an author interview, let’s wait until my marketing guru fleshes out the marketing plan before doing anything formal. It’s certainly fine to discuss the book, but we should probably wait until the book is available at all the major retailers, first.

P.S. I still haven’t gotten my WordPress email alerts sorted out. If I’ve been absent from your recent posts, my apology.

 

* * * * *

 

Test Reader Feedback [NOTE: Significant majority are women]

“I spent the past weekend with your book. It is excellent: your patient and blow-by-blow recounting of the hell you endured makes for a very gripping reading experience.” Professor of English Janice Fiamengo, Ontario, Canada

Absolutely love Book One. You captured my interest, my support and my heart.” S.F., U.S.A.

“In the beginning I felt as though I was reading “This Boys Life: A Memoir” written by Tobias Wolff, in addition to reading Follett or Le Carré filled with conflict and intrigue. I was on the edge of my futon. I will admit, this is my second reading. I want to buy it when published, you just have to autograph it so the book can sit in my book case along with my hard copy of my favorite authors. Definitely an awesome and honest story. It is terribly hard to believe the circumstances and that there are women out there like that “Mommy Dearest” comes to mind. Thank you for letting me read your story.” J.M., Seattle, WA, U.S.A.

I really, really enjoyed it! It was so real and personal that it actually made me cry at times. Most of the time it was empathy, sometimes sympathy… I truly enjoyed reading this. I feel as if you were talking to me over coffee at times and the read was in person. Although I’ve never met you, I feel like I understand and respect you as if I did. Thank you so much!” J.C., Ontario, Canada

“I have just finished the book….to be quite honest, it’s left me speechless. I have been through a range of emotions, realizations, and was especially challenged by the last few pages regarding the rejection of ‘feminism’ as defined by Michael. What a story…It made me think about my own upbringing and how the qualities of narcissism show up differently within the masculine and feminine paradigms (as Michael suggests). Feminist or not, this book is a page-turner.” J.K., U.S.A.

“The Mirror is eloquent and it’s human. You told your story with passion, with confidence and with conviction. You’ve done brilliantly at keeping it coherent and you’ve paced it out as well as any good work of fiction I’ve ever read. Your writing style is that of a true storyteller, and it was only on very rare occasions as I read that I didn’t feel you were sitting beside me, telling of the joys and the trials, the triumphs and the frustrations. I felt your losses and your significant wins, few and far between as they may have been. You should be very proud of your work… it is awesome.” L.G.H., Ontario, Canada

The Mirror is every parent’s worst nightmare—your children stolen from your life by a vindictive ex and a corrupt, incompetent and unjust system. Sit up and take notice, because this compelling and heartbreaking story will continue to happen to others until an outraged public demands social change.” K.H., Ontario, Canada

“I honestly struggled to keep this short, because I cannot speak highly enough of the book, and how and why it was written–and what reading it instilled in me. It was an intriguing, honest and at times humorous telling of the devastating injustice inflicted on one man. I was drawn intellectually and emotionally into the story of a father whose three children were alienated from him WITH the help of the judicial systems in place in Canada. I felt present with him through each encounter, unable to stop reading. Seeing and feeling not only his pain – but the indisputable truth he conveys with evidence to back up his words – caused me to rethink various aspects of my views on society as a whole. A must read for everyone who wishes for a fairer and better world.” B.B., U.K.

“I sat down intending to read the first twenty or so pages and was became so engrossed in the details that mirrored much of my own experience – I read it right to the end in one sitting. The Mirror reveals exposes a broken system that has punished many for no good reason.” B.C., Ontario, Canada

I am so grateful you wrote this book, on so many levels. You just nailed it all so perfectly. My mother was quite a narcissist. She took me from my father when I was 3, allegedly to protect me. I never could quite figure out, protect me from what? Thanks to your book, I think I get it now. Thank you so much for letting me read your book. It was powerful. I’m quite impressed.” G.G., Seattle WA, U.S.A.

“With respect to the book, if I may say so, it has been very well structured and your dry humor runs throughout. As you had mentioned at the end, it sure is an ordeal to go through it again to put it down, but you have done a very good job of it to have it neatly segregated… I was wondering, ‘how is he going to handle the aftermath of this tornado once it gets published and recognized?’ Feminists all over are going to be so over him. And I got the answer at the last chapter. ‘Damn them,’ you say. I say the same.” K.G., India

“Just finished your book! Your passion for the dire need of the courts to return to the unfeminized Rule of Law is palpable and well-defined.Your personal experience will resonate with millions of men, and not just betrayed fathers, but any man who has been unfairly subjected to any influential female “authority” figure’s misguided decision-making process, whether she be part the judiciary, business community, government, academia, military, organized religion or politics. They will suddenly realize that it was not just bad luck that produced their negative outcomes, but a full-blown concerted conspiracy to denigrate them for being men.” K.Q.D., U.S.A.

I found your book to be extremely interesting and very well written. You’ve also done your research, so it’s very well quoted, which I think is a plus for a book like yours. It is essential to read the experience of a man, so your book needs to be out there, needs to be read. Maybe it will help to make a difference and to help the system change.” V.B., Ontario, Canada

Never have I seen the pain and horror resulting from the gross miscarriages of justice perpetrated against fathers (and men in general) in today’s society so clearly portrayed. ‘The Mirror’ is a rare, inside look at just how impotent the modern-day father is rendered by the current justice systems of North America. It exposes the insidious underbelly of feminism in a raw, unapologetic account of one man’s struggle to save his children, and his refusal to give up, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable opposition.” – A. T., VA, U.S.A.

You weren’t kidding when you said some people couldn’t put it down. I was up until 2:00 am last night reading, and then I started again after the kids went to school this morning. I found myself drawn in by your story, but also by all of the research you included. I am astounded by everything that has happened to you and your children; injustice doesn’t even begin to describe it. If this was 30 years ago, I could see it happening. But in this day and age? I find your story simply appalling. I hope, one day, your children will be able to see through their mother. No child deserves to be without a loving father, and no loving father deserves to be without his children. Looking forward to Book Two.” CA, BC, Canada

“I have just finished reading your book! After 43 years in an unhappy marriage, I feel so lifted up to know that I am not alone. One must always see the problems of others to realize that we do have things to be grateful for. All the best to you, with kudos for your wonderful book.” I.L., Ottawa ON, Canada

 

 

Coming Soon!: The Mirror, Book One – Welcome to the Evil Sisterhood

6 May
With apology to Robert Frost, The Cover Not Taken

With apology to Robert Frost, The Cover Not Taken

 

I have been blessed, in the eight months since starting blogging, to have made some absolutely wonderful friends from around the globe. The support I’ve received, especially for my forthcoming book, has been heartwarming. At times, I suspect that some of the book’s wonderful volunteer test readers are even more excited about it than I am.

I’ve received a little good news about the book from my FriesenPress.com account manager, and I thought I would pass it along. Be warned, though. There is a bit of a spoiler alert for those who want to wait to see the actual cover. The Mirror, Book One – Welcome to the Evil Sisterhood now has its place reserved at the FriesenPress online bookstore.

The book—hard cover, paperback, and various e-book formats—should be available for sale at the FP online bookstore by the end of the month. We hope to have the books stocked with the major online sellers (e.g., Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Chapters Indigo, iBooks/iTunes store) around the end of June. Since my package with FP includes book cancellation insurance, there is a chance that I can actually get the book into real bricks-and-mortar stores, too. This is part of the marketing challenge that I must rise to.

My next task is to develop a formal marketing plan. Thankfully, my package with FriesenPress.com includes working with a marketing expert to develop this plan, reviewing / editing of my book’s press release, 3 hours of marketing coaching (which includes 1 year of an individual .com website, managed with something called weebly), etc.

I have to place an order soon for the amount of books that I want for marketing purposes. I wish I could afford to buy all the test readers a thank you hard cover copy, but right now I have to marshall my copies for reviewers and other direct marketing activities (ebooks are a different matter). Maybe if sales do really well, we can revisit this, or perhaps do complimentary copies of The Mirror, Book Two – Harbinger of a Dark Age, when it comes out. What I can do now, however, is make a bulk order for Book One and pass along my author’s discount.

We can do the private book signing thing with this, but under a ladies and gentlemen’s agreement of confidentiality, if it’s my real name. Michael M. McConaughey or navigator1965?—no problem. The hard cover would be about $20, and the paperback would be about $10, plus shipping.

Let me know if anyone is interested: themirrorbooks@gmail.com. If things are a little tight at the moment, let me know, too, as I might end up with a spare book, when everything is said and done.

I know who my friends are. Thanks for all the support.

Started the manuscript 1st draft in August 2012. I'd been thinking about the project and structure for at least two years before that.

Started the manuscript 1st draft in August 2012. I’d been thinking about the project and structure for at least two years before that.

P.S. For those you’ve seen the actual cover, which do you prefer? The one I didn’t choose (above) or the one I did?

 

 

Copyright (c) and Pseudonyms: What Every Author Should Know

25 Apr
The cover I didn't choose

The cover I didn’t choose

There can be a number of reasons why an author would want to write under another name. For example, horror master Stephen King also wrote under the pseudonym of Richard Bachman, so he could publish more often without saturating the Stephen King brand. More recently, Harry Potter author Joanne Rowling wrote for an adult audience as Robert Galbraith, to escape the Harry Potter hype.

These are examples from fiction. I am a non-fiction writer (well, for the moment, at least) who is writing as “Michael M. McConaughey.” Who I really am must remain an eternal mystery, just like the Bruce Wayne – Batman thing. Besides wanting privacy due to the rather controversial nature of my true story, there is actually a legal requirement that I not be publicly identified in association with my case. Ontario’s Child and Family Services Act s. 45.(8), under “Hearings and Orders,” is quite explicit:

Prohibition: identifying child
(8)  No person shall publish or make public information that has the effect of identifying a child who is a witness at or a participant in a hearing or the subject of a proceeding, or the child’s parent or foster parent or a member of the child’s family. R.S.O. 1990, c. C.11, s. 45 (8).

I have a little bit of a problem, don’t I? My account manager at FriesenPress.com has informed me that we are now at the stage where she must submit the application for copyright to the U.S. Copyright Office on my behalf. I can’t very well have “Copyright (c) 2014 [INSERT MyRealName]” printed in the book, can I? As it turns out, I can’t use “Copyright (c) 2014 MYPRIVATECORPORATION INC,” either. All someone would have to do is Google the corporation name, and my real name would come up as a director (if I had one), as this is a matter of public record.

However, I can register the copyright of my book under my pseudonym. Here’s what the guidance says:

An author of a copyrighted work can use a pseudonym or pen name. A work is pseudonymous if the author is identified on copies or phonorecords of the work by a fictitious name. Nicknames and other diminutive forms of legal names are not considered fictitious. Copyright does not protect pseudonyms or other names.

If you write under a pseudonym but want to be identified by your legal name in the Copyright Office’s records, give your legal name and your pseudonym on your application for copyright registration. Check “pseudonymous” on the application if the author is identified on copies of the work only under a fictitious name and if the work is not made for hire. Give the pseudonym where indicated.

If you write under a pseudonym and do not want to have your identity revealed in the Copyright Office’s records, give your pseudonym and identify it as such on your application. You can leave blank the space for the name of the author. If an author’s name is given, it will become part of the Office’s online public records, which are accessible by Internet. The information cannot later be removed from the public records. You must identify your citizenship or domicile.

In no case should you omit the name of the copyright claimant. You can use a pseudonym for the claimant name. But be aware that if a copyright is held under a fictitious name, business dealings involving the copyrighted property may raise questions about its ownership. Consult an attorney for legal advice on this matter.

Works distributed under a pseudonym enjoy a term of copyright protection that is the earlier of 95 years from publication of the work or 120 years from its creation. However, if the author’s identity is revealed in the registration records of the Copyright Office, including in any other registrations made before that term has expired, the term then becomes the author’s life plus 70 years.

So, in my case, here’s what I have to do:

1 – Get my FriesenPress.com Case Manager to put my pseudonym of Matthew M. McConaughey on the copyright application, and identify it as such.
2 – Leave the space for the real name blank. DO NOT PUT MY REAL NAME ON THE APPLICATION!!!
3 – Recognize the difference in the duration of copyright by doing this (not a big deal, for me).
4 – Make certain that I can prove that it’s my work, in case some clown tries to claim that he or she wrote the book and is “Michael M. McConaughey.”
5 – Consult an attorney.

In my case, 1 and 2 will be taken care of by FriesenPress.com on my behalf, as this is part of the package that was paid for. 3 is really not an issue for me, at the tender age of 48. For 4, I have my correspondence with FriesenPress.com as evidence that I wrote my book. I could also show the manuscript to a lawyer before it is published, as such a lawyer would make for a credible witness. I can also mail myself a copy of the manuscript before it is published, but not open it (i.e., leave it sealed) when it arrives. This allows me to prove that I wrote the manuscript before I published it, as the mail would have a date stamp (hopefully).

For 5 (don’t skip this!), I would look for an honourable and competent attorney with expertise in defamation and copyright law, such as Toronto’s Mr. Gil Zvulony.

Mr. Gil Zvulony, Toronto Attorney (http://zvulony.ca/wp-content/uploads/Gil-Zvulony.jpg)

Mr. Gil Zvulony, Toronto Attorney (http://zvulony.ca/wp-content/uploads/Gil-Zvulony.jpg)

 

If you’ve done your homework, all it might take is a 15 to 30 minute telephone call with such an attorney to confirm that this applies in your legal jurisdiction (mine is the Holy Feminist Matriarchy of Canada). Being a little older and wiser, my book The Mirror, Book One – Welcome to the Evil Sisterhood will be Copyright (c) 2014 Michael M. McConaughey.

Thus, I shall remain the most mysterious Michael M. McConaughey, Scourge of the Matriarchy.

[CAVEAT: This post is not to be construed as legal advice. It is for educational purposes only, to prepare you for discussion with a licensed attorney.]

Scrivener! The Writer’s Best Friend

17 Apr

I suppose one of the advantages to the new reality of first-time authors having to self-publish is that it forces us to learn so much about writing and publishing in general. For example, to learn more about marketing self-published books, I turned to Michael Hyatt’s modern classic PLATFORM – Get Noticed in a Noisy World. I learned that Mr. Hyatt uses Scrivener as his exclusive writing software / app.

Mr. Hyatt lists five reasons as to why he made the switch to Scrivener:

1. It provides a hierarchical file structure. I like this aspect of Scrivener, too, as I naturally tend to organize documents this way. For a simple example, think of a book, with its underlying chapters forming a hierarchy. The file structure of Scrivener can be exactly matched to your book’s structure, which, hopefully, has already been flushed out in the process of writing your book proposal. I’ve done this with Scrivener for my nascent Book Two:

My 2nd "child," in utereo

My 2nd “child,” in utereo

2. It has a distraction-free composition mode. Ultimately, a writer has to write. Scrivener’s composition mode is about as close to having nothing but a blank sheet of paper in front of you as you can get:

No distractions, so just write

No distractions, so just write

3. It was created with writers in mind. Scrivener has so many useful features, and you can use as few or as many as you would like. Some of these are:

– It organizes each project (i.e., a book) as a separate binder.
– It has helpful views besides basic writing, such as a cork board with file summary notes or an outline view.
– You can keep research articles (text, photos, etc.) together in a binder. For a non-fiction writer such as I, this is a significant feature.
– You can split your screen. Thus, I can view a research article (maybe a newspaper article, for example) while I am writing about it in the other half of the screen. Or, I can view footnotes in the 2nd screen as I peruse the main document.
– It has the stats a writer would want access to (e.g., word counts).
– It has an “inspector window where I can keep notes, track status, link to articles, or even create custom meta data.” (Hyatt)

What a great way to organize your writing

What a great way to organize your writing

4. It supports multi-markdown. According to Hyatt, this feature allows us as writers to separate the content creation phase (i.e., the writing) from the formatting, with Scrivener doing much of the work for us.

5. It allows for a variety of export options. This is potentially exciting for self-published authors, as Scrivener allows you to export directly to Kindle, iBooks Author, ePub, or PDF formats. This alone might make Scrivener worth its price of admission.

Hyatt mentions that he still uses Evernote as his main information warehouse, but that he does all his writing with Scrivener. I use both Evernote and Pocket for writing-relating information storage, and, as I am still relatively new to Scrivener, I am going to have to see how to work the relationship between these apps.

Think you might be interested in Scrivener? Check out the 10 minute An Introduction To Scrivener video.

If you’re interested, also note that Hyatt’s article says you can get a 20% discount by using his affiliate code MICHAELHYATT when purchasing it. Since it is now on sale for $45, the MICHAELHYATT discount code would reduce the price by $9, for a cost of $36. My preliminary use of Scrivener suggests that it is the real deal for serious writers, and I think that $36 is a fair price for a useful piece of software.

I’ve heard of other writings apps, such as the $100 Snowflake for the Snowflake Method, but have not used them.

From what I’ve seen so far, I wish I had had Scrivener to write Book One with, and I am certainly glad that I have it for Book Two. I’ll keep you updated as I get more familiar with Scrivener. For the record, I have no commercial interest with Scrivener; I bought my copy. (Scrivener is available for both Mac and Windows.)

How Should I Price My New Book?

5 Apr
Gare Metz. Credit: Archimatth, Wikipedia.org ("book store")

Gare Metz. Credit: Archimatth, Wikipedia.org (“book store”)

 

For better or for worse, revisions to The Mirror, Book One – Welcome to the Evil Sisterhood are done. I doubt that the text is 100% error-free, but if it’s 99% or, better, 99.5%, that’s good enough for this first-time independent author. My friesenpress.com account manager has informed me that the next step is to identify the prices for the hardcover, paperback, and e-book formats. This sounds like a great topic for a post.

My ultimate goal with the book is to maximize sales, and thus maximize the book’s social impact. Having said this, I am not immune to author royalties, as I’d like to recover at least the ~ $10,000 investment in the book. Even better would be getting out of the rather significant personal debt hole that fighting court-ordered child abuse has put me in.

For those not familiar with my forthcoming book, it is a non-fiction work that is consistently reported to be a gripping read that compares favourably to quality fiction. It has strong elements of: autobiography, human interest, abnormal human psychology, scandal, cover up, intrigue, and fascinating new ideas. You can read more about it here, including what test readers are saying.

Having done some preliminary background digging, I’ve come up with some interesting information. First, however, this is what the default recommendations (based on page count) are on my author account page at the friesenpress.com website:

e-book: Recommended “Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price” (MSRP) was $2.99, which would net me a generous royalty of $2.10, if purchased from the friesenpress online bookstore. Any price above this at the FP bookstore nets me 70% royalties. For other online sellers, this would vary from 30% to 55% royalties. (See this link for some detailed information on e-book pricing and royalties. Generally, $2.99 appears to be the floor for the highest rates.)

paperback: Recommended MSRP is $21.99. For sales at the FP bookstore, this would net me a tidy $11.81 in royalty for each book. For normal distribution channels, this would net me a $1.76 royalty for each book sold, an order of magnitude less! The minimum MSRP is $20.49, at which my regular distribution channels sales would net me $0.00 in per-book royalty.

hard cover: Recommended MSRP is $35.99, which would net me a handsome $19.79 royalty if bought from the FP online bookstore. I feel like I am going to swoon at the very thought of such a sum! Through normal distribution channels, this drops to a $3.60 royalty per book sold. The minimum price is $32.02, at which I make a $0.00 royalty through normal distribution channels sales.

Since I make killer good royalty rates via the FP online bookstore, I can discount the price of the physical books there and still make a buck or two. However, before identifying actual prices, there is still more to consider. As it turns out, physical books don’t really matter that much for the independent author.

Kudos to blogger LindaGHill for bringing this one to my attention. Authorearnings.com describes its purpose being as “… to gather and share information so that writers can make informed decisions. Our secondary mission is to call for change within the publishing community for better pay and fairer terms in all contracts. This is a website by authors and for authors.” From their superb “The 7k Report” post, I pulled the following information:

Wow. E-book is, by far, the dominate format of Amazon.com bestseller sales. Watch what happens when we look at only the top 100:

Even more Wow. The dominance of the e-book format becomes more pronounced. It was this information that lead me to conclude that physical book sales and pricing are relatively unimportant for me as a new independent author.

I should note that these data are for fiction, whereas I have written non-fiction. I suspect that physical books are more important in non-fiction, especially if the books can be reused often (e.g., cookbook), will be a frequent reference to other works, or it has some emotional / sentiment value to the reader. Thus, I temper my expectations of the e-book format a bit.

However, given such dominance, I suspect that e-book will still be the most important format for my book, but not quite to the degree of significance shown here.

For the hardcover and paperback, then, it’s a no-brainer: I’ll go with FriesenPress.com’s recommended MSRPs. I might ask for their recommendations as to the discount offered at the FP online bookstore–25%, 33%, 45%, etc.–, but this too is nothing to lose sleep over. To be honest, I do like the idea that my book will be available in physical form. Perhaps I am old-fashioned.

Next, let’s consider the Forbes online article “Mark Coker: Indie Authors Are Underpricing Their Books.” These are the main points I pulled from this article on self-published e-books:

– Free e-books “sell” the most copies (not surprisingly).

– We sell fewer e-books as the price climbs: $.99 sells more e-books than $1.99, $1.99 sells more e-books than $2.99, etc. However, absolute $$$ per book author royalty goes up with price.

– $2.99 to $5.99 is the “sweet spot” band that produces optimal indie (i.e., independent) author income.

– Lower prices have the advantage that more readers, due to greater sales volume, will get to know you and your work (i.e., may help for future books’ sales or greater social impact if that is a goal, which it is in this case).

– Best selling e-books tend to be longer ones (e.g., 120,000 words or more), contrary to “conventional” book wisdom (mine is 94,000 words, with a sequel in progress).

– Top 30 selling e-books worked out to price at between 3¢/1000 words and 5¢/1000 words. (With my 94,000 words, this would range from $2.82 to $4.70, or $2.99 to $4.99 with standard $.99 price rounding.)

– One exception was a popular novella, which, at ~40,000 words and $2.99, worked out to 8¢ to 9¢/1000

Thus, The Mirror, Book One would seem to naturally fall into the “sweet spot” band, somewhere between $2.99 and $4.99. If it’s as good as the test readers seem to be saying, then it might be able to command 9¢/1000 words, or $8.49, rounded up a few cents.

This might be feasible were I a known author. However, I suspect that, as a new author, the e-book wouldn’t necessarily sell well at that high a price. Thus, $8.49 appears to constitute a price ceiling for the e-book form of The Mirror, Book One.

Successful author Tim Ferriss recommends 99¢ to $2.99 for e-book pricing. Even more interesting is his recommendation to initially set the price to $0, to drive “sales” and build a following with feedback for the book.

Let’s say that I follow Tim’s advice and initially give away the e-book as a marketing strategy. The hardcover and paperback prices will be as per FriesenPress’s recommendations, as they won’t be driving the book’s success bus, so to speak. After the free book giveaway period, assuming that it has the desired effect, what do you think the e-book price should be set to?