Tomorrow my first ever published book, Alaska Shelter, is released. An event 35 years in the making. It’s been an exciting journey since I got the email last May from Wings ePress Executive Editor saying they wanted to publish my book. If readers are interested (since I know most of you follow this blog for all things RV related), I can write a future post about the steps from that day to this. Let me know if that is an interest in the comments.

For today, I wanted to share a few things about the book. Additionally, if you are so inclined, I share ways you could help with promotion and help others to find the book.

In case you are wondering, the official release date is the first of February. But I loved how 2/2/22 looked and sounded so I’ve promoted that as the release date.

Traditional Publishing

Since the publisher is an e-book publisher, one question has been whether or not there is a physical book option. Further, is there an option for readers to receive an autographed copy of Alaska Shelter?

Good news. Even though the book is marketed as an e-book, there is the option to get a physical book. But before I tell you about that, let me give a brief glimpse into traditional publishing. In traditional publishing, a publisher would start with a print run of, say, 1,000 books. Then ship those books to bookstores. Now, if those books didn’t sell, they’d be destroyed at some point. Or if the book sold a lot, the publishers would order a second printing. As sales dwindled, books would run out and no longer be available which is referred to as out of print.

Obviously, in the above scenario, there is a lot of upfront costs to the publisher which means the royalty percentage to the author is relatively low (about 5-15%). This comes without the guarantee that the investment will be recouped. The downside for the author is that not meeting sales expectations may result in not signing the next book with a publisher. Or, a lower print run on the next book.

Black and white photo of a man standing at a large printing press with paper running through it.
An example of an old printing press.

What is POD?

When technology brought e-books to market, further technology innovations made it possible to print one book at a time rather than the big batch runs. This one-off type of printing is referred to as POD or print on demand. You purchase a POD book and the company (Lightning Source, the biggest and most commonly used POD resource) prints the book, literally one at a time as people order them.

In fact, if you are a regular book buyer, I’d venture to guess that many books you purchase are POD. When you look at the site where you purchase books (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.) there is no indication that the book you are buying are POD books.

The bonus side of e-publishing is that books live in perpetuity. Without the demands of shelf space, storage, shipping as well as the loss of revenue when too many books are printed, e-published books have what is called the long tail which means for years to come, an author can sell her/his work.

How to Get an Autographed Copy of Alaska Shelter?

This leads to the next question I’ve gotten which is whether or not an autographed copy of the book is an option. After multiple requests for this, I put on my thinking cap and created a solution because, obviously, Alaska Shelter cannot come autographed by ordering through Amazon, etc.

So, I’ve worked with the publisher to have a few boxes of books sent to me. In the righthand sidebar (if you are on a computer) or at the bottom (if you are on your phone), you will find two boxes similar to the “Items I Love” ones. One such link takes you to the Amazon site where you can order either the e-book version or the POD version. That’s pretty straight forward.

The other link takes you to PayPal where you can order the paperback physical book directly from me. This option, unfortunately, is a few dollars more. Amazon offers free shipping and I’m unable to do that. But, on the other hand, you’ll get an autographed copy with a postcard. I even allowed a space where you can indicate how you’d like it inscribed. For example, if you want me to inscribe it to a different name or want me to mention how we know each other or whatever. Just let me know.

A couple days ago, I signed off on the POD version as it was the last step in the process. I signed off on the e-book version about eight weeks ago. In other words, I have not been able to pre-order physical copies so if you decide you want an autographed book, it will be a couple weeks before I get it to you. But, rest assured, I will get them out as soon as possible once I have them in my hot little hands.

How You Can Help

I received a lovely message from a blog reader asking how to help when it came to promoting Alaska Shelter. In addition to reading it, I have a few things I’d like to suggest. All of them help other readers find the book, and maybe this blog as well.

If you are going to get a copy, it would be helpful if you purchased it today, tomorrow or the following day (January 31, February 1 or February 2). Amazon creates a ranking by category of books sold each day. Getting a good ranking, even if only for a day, can affect how Amazon “thinks” of your book and can help with future promotion and sales.

Reviews

First, there is no denying that Amazon is the powerhouse when it comes to the place most people go to for book buying. I recently learned that once you have 50 reviews of your book, the Amazon algorithm is much kinder to an author in terms of pushing it out to other potential readers. So, once you’ve read the book, if you’d take a minute or two to say a few words about it (truly, even just a sentence or two) that would be a great help.

Other reviews are also appreciated. Wherever you are able. Ideas include other places you might have purchased the book such as the Barnes & Noble website for your Nook. Or on Goodreads.

Follows

Follow Supersize LIFE and Alaska Shelter on any and all of the platforms in which you and I are active. You can follow Supersize LIFE on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

You can follow Alaska Shelter and my author page on Amazon, Facebook and Goodreads.

Shares

Share through both social media and conversations with friends information about and/or links to the book. Whenever I post on Facebook, you simply click “share” and the post will come up on your feed for your friends to see.

Promote

If you enjoy the book, please be sure to recommend it to other readers in your life. If you are a reader, you know the best books are those recommended by friends who know your tastes.

So Much Gratitude

From the beginning of my journey to publication (and, truth be told, from the beginning of this blog and my RV life), readers have been enthusiastically supportive and kind. And, just because I say this with some frequency, doesn’t make it any less true. I wholeheartedly appreciate the myriad of ways you have been generous to me.

Thank you. Thank you, my friends.

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