I have read, and I do not doubt, that the Kingston Trio knew it was over when they saw Jimi Hendrix set his guitar on fire at the Monterey Pop Festival. How great must it have been to show up to a concert, hump your amplifier while your guitar screamed in panic, drop some acid, go to France and await the royalty checks? The Trio knew that it’s always out with the old, and in with the new.
However, as a writer finding his way among the electric boogie land of Indy writing, I wonder how great must it have been to be Jack Kerouac? Just take a long roll of industrial strength paper towels and write all your hep cat experiences on it. Roll the scroll into one big mess, dump it on your publisher’s desk, tell them “You can have whatever seeds shake out of that,” go home, get high and wait for royalty checks.
Do you know how great it is to be an Indy author like me? Write a book, pay an editor, pay a book cover designer, pay a formatting expert, pay a keyword expert, pay to get the print version up and running on Create Space, pay to have them make the cover fit the print version, pay for promotion, pay for reviews—err, hustle your butt off to get some reviews, promote it on free days, promote it on cheap days, promote it on normal days, write the description to perfection, rewrite it incorporating the keywords, publish it and then sit back at home and watch the money not roll in.
After a couple of months, something does roll in; a sale. Thank God, after all that, it was worth it. 35-cents! However, there is more…a review!
- “Not What I Expected.” Or, the increasingly popular minimalist: “Just, no.”
Well, at least you now have lunch money in your pocket, plus when your skeptical friends force a smile and ask, “How are your book sales?” You can return serve on that smile and add a forced thumb’s up.
Well, I’m mad as hell and I’m not taking it…that much…anymore! So today was a great, big howdy doody for me. I paid money for an online keyword class. I studied it. I took notes. I began to understand. I watched the video again, took more notes, and then I took action.
I changed my keywords in my Amazon page. I added those keywords to my book’s description. Now, all I had to do was add the keywords to the book’s text. This is easy! I learned that all you have to do is chuck them in like fairy dust at the bottom of the copyright page.
Okay, then. Easy peasy. I’m not going to bother the guy who does my conversions for me. All I have to do is creep into my Amazon book file, lay those keywords underneath the copyright page like a tooth fairy, save, and I’m out of there!
I didn’t expect the HTML wilderness I encountered. There were so many strange colors, shadows, shapes, figures, and symbols, I could almost feel the crackling heat of a dragon’s lair. I tried not to panic. I studied the code, took a breath, and quietly entered my new keywords, and then I tried to slip back out.
“DO YOU WANT TO SAVE CHANGES?”
I jumped. Like a girl. In leotards. “Um…yes?”
“YOUR CHANGES ARE SAVED”
I heard a grating iron gate slam shut, and felt a chill. I backed out of my Amazon account and checked out my book. “Oh,” the word tumbled from my lips like a domino. “I’ve just published War and Peace in Martian.”
“Yeah! Purple Haze…”