Showing posts from November, 2008

Book Sales

Here’s what I (think I) understood about Lulu “distribution.” Authors purchase books at the Lulu print price, with a small discount for bulk. Customers buy at the Lulu selling price. Author sets and gets 80% of the profit. Wholesalers can’t buy without “distribution.” Then they pay the wholesale price—$3 less than print price, plus profit. Wholesale and retail prices are linked. Lulu sets the wholesale “discount” at 50%, so retail must be twice wholesale. And a book costing $12 to print can sell at $12.50, or $19.00 with distribution, while the author gets 40 cents. So I’m not distributed.

Book Sales

There are lots of self-publishing firms out there. Most of them want money upfront, and I wasn’t sure I really dared invest. What I neglected to note was that even publishing for free requires real capital: proofs, postage, copyrights—it all adds up. And if you want to sell at Christmas Bazaars, there’s money for your first bulk order too. Looking back, I suspect the more expensive firms might have ended up cheaper: Free advertising copies; better author discounts; invaluable help with set-up; and distribution that doesn’t send the book price soaring into the stratosphere. Lessons learned: More to come.

Book Sales

I used to teach children to play chess. One of the most important lessons is to think before you move. Most especially, “Think about the move you’re going to play.” For myself, I’ve been thinking about being published since I was seven. I didn’t want to be self-published because I didn’t want to be a salesperson. But the more I’ve learned, the more I’ve realized even “properly” published authors have to do sales. I'd imagined self-publishing would be far too expensive too, till I saw Lulu’s ad. Then with sparkling dreams of Amazon, and without thinking, I made my move.

Book Sales

The books look beautiful. I almost believe I’m published. But there’s still that awkward little detail that I need to make some sales. Lulu gave me a storefront: . You click on the books for previews, check Lulu’s rating, even download or buy in print. But first I have to get you to visit there. Please… I chose Lulu for two reasons: no setup fees; and the offer of free distribution. My imagination soared—my book on Amazon, in Borders, in Santa’s sack… But no, it’s still only on Lulu. I skipped distribution, and I’ll tell you why next time.

I'm a Guest Blogger!

A few days ago I didn't even know what a guest blogger was. Today I'm guest blogging at Pat Bertram's blog, So, why don't you wander over there, read my first ever dribble, and find out about Pat's new books, coming soon from Second Wind Publishing LLC.

Christmas! and Easter! now available on Lulu

Christmas! Genesis to Revelation in 100 Words a Day Easter! Creation to Salvation in 100 Words a Day

Coming soon...

For more Thanksgiving drabbles, please go to my Gather page . Or to order the Christmas and Easter drabble books, please go to my Lulu page . (Just give me a couple of days to make sure the next proofs look okay.) Thanks! And thanks for visiting my blog.

Drabbling Thanksgiving - 5

5. Melchisedek The king looked out over the plains where soldiers too numerous to count were filing by. “Keep watch,” he told his royal guard. “They’ll not climb up to us here.” Mobs of violent tribesmen followed, hardy and wild. “Keep watch,” said the king. “They’ll not climb up to us here.” Then sounds of fighting shattered the sky, tribesmen and soldiers, bright swords, screams like eagles, and clattering thunder like hooves. The rag-taggle nomads returned in triumph and the king went out with bread and wine to meet them. “God has blessed you,” Jerusalem’s king greeted Abraham. “Always,” was the reply. Thank you God for food and drink, good fortune and godly blessing. © 2008, Sheila Deeth


The scariest thing will be asking real people to pay real money for my books. I shall shortly be very, very scared. I’m booking tables at Christmas bazaars and eagerly awaiting the arrival of my first “shipment.” Still, at least I’ll see my buyers. Even worse is the thought of making books public on Lulu. (Of course, that’s hardly the same as having any of the public look at them...) But I won’t be getting my books on Amazon. Lulu’s wholesale pricing is way too scary. I might just manage to ask people to pay, but not pay the earth.

Drabbling Thanksgiving - 4

4. Tower of Babel The children of town and gown, of farmers, traders and fishermen ran round the building site. They pretended to be animals, angels and demons, or fairy folk. And the tower grew taller and higher every day. “We’re going to climb all the way up to heaven.” “Then we’ll see God.” “Maybe angels.” “Or monsters instead.” When children argued it always ended in another chasing game. When the grown-ups argued, traders broke agreements with fishermen. Farmers got into fights with the professors. Then they stopped building their tower, and never found out if there was a God in heaven after all. Thank you God for the gifts of all our different languages and cultures. © 2008, Sheila Deeth

Drabble - Coming Soon !

Coming soon to : Christmas! and Easter! Two books of illustrated cryptic drabbles telling the seasonal stories in a whole new form. Christmas! starts on December 1st with creation, runs through flood, volcano and war to the shepherds, angels and kings of the 25th, then continues till the 31st with a story that neither begins nor ends the night the babe was born. Easter! runs from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday, retelling famous and not so famous forties of the Bible, and following with the life of the Christmas child. Advent and Lent—Christmas and Easter—drabbles for all seasons. 100 words

Drabbling Thanksgiving - 3

3. Noah’s Ark “I’m hungry,” cried the boy. “Soon,” said his mother. “But I’m hungry now.” The ship had sailed through rain and flood while their village and all they knew was washed away—nothing left but the clothes they wore and animals crying out in the bowels of the boat. “I’m hungry.” They landed on a hill-top where Noah’s altar scented the air with the savor of roasting meat. “Mommy, cook for us too.” But the animals, dead and drowned on the ground were forbidden, and the beasts from the ark had run away. They shared God’s meal and promised to obey. Thank you God for the wisdom to learn what’s safe and what will harm us. © 2008, Sheila Deeth


There’s something exciting about seeing your name in print. Even the misprint on the cover couldn’t get me down, though I did feel foolish. Still, it’s only a proof. I changed a few words here and there, added references and uploaded a new Word file. But Lulu had somehow discovered it didn’t like my fonts, which meant all my page designs needed to be fixed. Several hours later, I was finally working on the cover—centering words in a text box with limited space, no formatting, and dot-matrix style characters. Convert; hate it; reconvert; etc. More proofs in the mail.

Drabbling Thanksgiving - 2

2. End of Eden The air was warm; the sky was clear; the rain fell softly in due season. Berries ripened on bending trees, scenting the air with the savor and flavor of food. Sweetness and light was Eden’s delight, and the only rule was to obey the Lord. “But why obey?” whispered the secret, slithering voice. “Why not make your own new laws? Why should somebody else be in charge of you?” The air was hot; flames poured from the ground; gray ashes rained from the sky. “You’ve set your rules,” said the voice of the one who knew. “Now live by them.” Thank you God for freedom and failure and forgiveness. © 2008, Sheila Deeth


Three tools that help you write a drabble: First, inspiration—the quick-writing groups on offer plenty of suggestions; second, a word-processor that looks for synonyms—too much repetition in so few words gets boring; and third, a word-processor that counts your words, because reading will probably distract you from adding them up. Two close relatives of drabbles: The dribble, which is a mere fifty words long; and the double-drabble, which comes in at two-hundred. One feeble attempt to describe the attraction of drabbles: They read like super-sized haikus, with words instead of syllables, and a hundred instead of seventeen. 100 words

Drabbling Thanksgiving - 1

My Christmas and Easter Drabbles will soon be available in book form from . I thought I might celebrate by drabbling Thanksgiving this year. 1. Creation In the beginning, God said “Let there be light.” God’s word created time and space. God’s word made galaxies, stars and planets, watered the ground, planted seeds, and defined the laws that cleared the cloudy skies. God’s word designed the insects, fish and birds, made animals and man. And then God spoke to man and told him how it all began. In the beginning, God kept it all in balance, all of time and space and nature, every plant and every living thing, every atom, every molecule, every constant, every law. In the beginning, God saw, and it was good. Thank you God for science and nature and life and the wonders of creation. © 2008, Sheila Deeth


The next step was the book cover. I’d been wondering how that would work, but Lulu has several basic covers planned out and ready for use. I chose style, color, fonts and size, added text, changed my mind about pictures, kept Lulu’s label on the back… I’m still not sure what happens if I really publish and need a bar-code; something in the small print says “it” doesn’t apply to one-piece covers, but I’m sure it’ll work it out. Meanwhile, I now had a “cover” file, and my dream was taking shape. Maybe I’d pluck up courage and “Publish” soon.