Friday, December 20, 2013

Skywriting - My first book is published!

It's been about 4 years in the making, but it is now finally done.  You can download it in Kindle format for $0.99 from Amazon.

Some thoughts:

  1. It's about 28,000 words.  Novels are traditionally considered at least 40,000 words.  I intended to make it a full length novel, but I just couldn't meaningfully stretch things out, and I didn't want to "pad" the story with extra fluff and slow it down.  So, a novella it is.
  2. It's meant to be inspirational to scientists, engineers, and other technical folks around the world, but the audience isn't limited to technical people.  In no way am I comparing myself to him, but John Grisham has written a lot of very good stories about the judicial system, and they're engaging.  Similarly, Tom Clancy was fantastic at writing about the military, but all kinds of people read his books.  Why can't a similar genre exist around good engineering?
  3. I did the publishing and cover art myself.  Adobe has a fantastic deal where you can download a free version of their software (Photoshop and Illustrator, in my case) for 30 days.
  4. Since it's my first book and it's not THAT fancy, I can only justify charging $0.99 for it.  The downside is that, at this time, I'm stuck with 35% royalties.  If you charge $2.99 or more for your book, Amazon will give you 70% royalties.  That would be great, but I'm too sheepish to try and charge that much for my story.
Happy reading this holiday season!  The best compliment you can give to an author is to promote it further in social media: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, wherever.  And, unfortunately for my semi-cloistered self, I'm not that connected in social media, so I have a hard time reaching out to 10,000+ people at once.  And, if someone could give a review of my book on Amazon, I'd really appreciate it.......


  1. Congratulations! My wife says "you rock" for finishing, and I look forward to reading it.

  2. Thanks! 32 sales so far ... which, in binary, is 100000, which is a lot more impressive.

    I could probably edit, tweak, and adjust forever, but now it's done. (Interestingly, Amazon lets you upload new manuscripts after it's been published, so you theoretically could edit and tweak forever.) Now I can focus on the next book...

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