Ready to E-Publish Your Own Books?

Wasaga Beach resident Clark Wilson shares with us his experience with e-publishing….

About 45 years ago I put pen to paper and wrote a short Christmas story for my three-year-old daughter. When I read it to her she heard a story about herself, her dog and Santa Claus. I used her name as the main character. She was my first fan! Now I rewrite the story for each of my grandchildren using their names as a main character and they enjoy the story as much as their mother did.

However, I was always too busy with life and work to find the time to write a novel. It was just a dream but a gnawing dream

Many years later, I retired and spent time in Florida during the winter and became friends with many Americans who fought in the Vietnam war. One friend served on an aircraft carrier and later he became a police officer in Iowa. Another gentleman was a helicopter pilot and later became a bartender at a beach bar. Their stories were intriguing and I decided I would try writing a historical fiction piece about the Vietnam war.

The concept of the story seemed to grow on it’s own and I was able to incorporate the experiences of members of my own family who served in World War II and the Korean Conflict. The main character in the Vietnam story was from a military family which led to another story about the Korean Conflict where his father had served.

The Korean war story led to World War II in the Pacific theatre where the father and uncle of my Korean war hero served as guerrilla fighters after the fall of Manila to Japanese troops. This resulted in the third book.

It was a rewarding experience writing about them and I decided to send the books to a few Canadian publishers. The publishers did not bother to respond. Perhaps they were right.

The great thing about e-book publishing is it levels the playing field and allows anyone to publish their own book without having to rely on a large publishing house getting involved and taking a huge percentage of the profits.

I believe that many talented authors never had the opportunity to publish their work because they could not get past the front desk in a publishing house.

Learning about this avenue led me to look at the possibility of publishing my own e-books. It turned out to be a successful venture.

I became aware that Amazon owned a publishing company called Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). They were extremely helpful and with their online forms it was easy to understand the concepts for e-book Publishing.

I have been with them for about 10 years and KDP has grown in leaps and bounds. In an attempt to attract as many authors as possible in this now billion dollar business they started the concept of KDP Select being your only publisher. They started off with a $500,000 pool that would be paid out on a monthly basis based on top sales in all categories. This fund of money was called KDP Select.

They also formed an organization called Kindle Unlimited (KU) which is basically like Netflix, but for e-books.

Since the inception of KDP Select, there has always been a KDP Select Global Fund, which is a pot of money that goes to authors whose books are downloaded for free through Amazon’s e-book programs. Authors who enrolled their e-book in KDP Select prior to the launch of KU could have their books downloaded for free by Kindle owners who were allotted one free e-book per month through the Kindle Owners Lending Library. In the days prior to KU, the Global Fund totaled around $1 million, and was divided proportionally amongst the authors who had their books downloaded.

In July 2014 with the introduction of KU, the Global Fund increased to $2.4 million. That became $11.5 million within a year, and by early 2020 it was around $25  million per month. More and more authors signed up and, as of January 2021, it was about $36 million for the month. The caveat is that there are millions of authors sharing that money so don’t expect to get rich on it unless you have a best seller.

You can learn more about KDP’s easy process here

Read part 2 of this story here

Read part 3 (the conclusion) of this story here

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