Updated: May 9, 2022
Publishing E-ghost took me a while and honestly, I don't really know if it was worth it. There weren't many sales as a paperback but I didn't want to sign up for Kindle's Unlimited Borrowing scheme either because of the non-exclusive contract. Nevertheless, holding my first live stream and unboxing the books on the live stream was memorable! Thank you for all the support!
Patreons to credit: -This could be you. Join now.-
You can watch the live stream here, yes that's my face. If you like content like that feel free to subscribe to my main channel. If you liked vlogs like that or my random side activities feel free to subscribe to my side channel too.
Some of the takeaways from ordering my books with Amazon would include the following:
Edit: After the stream, I realised that it wasn't 5 but 6 out of 10 that were in not so good conditions.
a. There were streaky glossy glue finishings smeared on the covers.
b. Ink stains on the book cover and pages can be found.
c. Paper isn't fresh. Yellow paper mould can be seen on some books.
d. Not all covers were glued properly.
e. Not all covers were pressed properly.
f. The matt finishing had a very rubbery feel on it and it was very dusty on the whole.
g. Paper was thin and words printed on the other side could be seen through the paper. (This might be due to my choice of paper.)
h. There were unusual lines of something pressed against the side of the books making indents.
#2: The Cost Effectiveness
After digging up my papers and email, I concluded that the total cost for shipping 10 books was SGD93.23.
Honestly, that's a lot cheaper than I thought it would be for a print-on-demand publisher. After 7 books, the cost per book decreased from SGD11+ to below SGD10. SGD9.23 is probably the best price because per book cost started becoming more expensive after 10. For those of you who didn't know the logic behind it, courier companies will charge based on volumetric weight or actual weight whichever is higher. The size of the box they use is factored into your shipping cost so play around with it.
Compared to other print-on-demand (POD) companies, I think Amazon is still in the lead in terms of shipping, logistics and production. You can read up here on the other service providers.
It is rather subjective on this part. As mentioned in my previous blog, From Webnovel to Kindle: Aitsuji's 6.5 Step Guide, there are plenty of guides by Amazon with videos about formatting and publishing. They provide you all the knowledge from A to Z about self-publishing but that doesn't mean it was going to be easy.
Personally, I had to relearn everything I knew previously for this part of my publishing journey. Amazon certainly made several improvements and better tools to help writers publish their works easier. However, the lack of customisable ability meant that there was still room for improvement.
Hence, I spent the longest time formatting the manuscript manually but once that part was over, everything else was a breeze. I'll just pretend that I didn't fuck up the titling process which led to an identity theft case that I had to convince Amazon it wasn't.
The good news was that once I went through the whole process, I know how easy it was to do it all over again. If I didn't want to redo the whole thing, I could simply use my existing manuscript and modify the contents inside for my new work. It's quite user-friendly after you did it once.
Amazon still remains to be my top choice for print-on-demand publishers. There were hitches here and there but honestly, this is what I paid for. Not the high tier end of publishing, not a premium price with a printing house, not a contract with publishers either. Amazon is pretty much the fast-food restaurant of publishing.
I like the highly customisable manuscript despite the brain-torturing process with technology. The ability to control the quality of my work from cover to printing materials is adequate although much could be improved when it comes to their quality checking process.
Overall, I hope this blog and my personal experience has been helpful to eager writers who wish to see their works in print too!