Self-Printed questions with Catherine, Caffeinated

First things first, I'm over at Unicorn Bell today to talk a little bit more about knowing when a publisher is right for you. So after you read today's post, be a dear and go check that out. :)

I am so excited today to share with all of you this amazing book written by a super, duper nice author. Catherine Ryan Howard, writes travel memoirs which is about as different from what I write as you can get. BUT...she also has this other book called Self-Printed: The Sane Person's Guide to Self-Publishing.
One of my very smart friends told me about this book a year ago when I was first considering self-publishing. And let me tell you, it is amazing. I have the second edition, in print, with dog ears and highlights and little sticky notes all over it. Catherine dishes out realistic advice on how to go from finished manuscript to book in hand, along with some really great ideas about how to get that book to readers. And she does it all without bashing on traditional publishing the way that some guides like this do. She has a wonderful sense of humor that shines through in this easy to read book that walks you step-by-step through the process.

I'm fairly certain I would have quit when it came to formatting my book if it wasn't for this guide. I'm so excited for the new version. It is loaded up on my Kindle and I plan to start reading it just as soon as I finish this post.

Now, because Catherine is an all-around swell person, she decided that to promote the new edition she would answer questions about self-publishing all over the internet. Today, she will have mini Q&As at over 100 blogs! Now that's a creative way to market your book.

I had the pleasure of asking Catherine about Amazon's new pre-sale feature. Here's what she had to say.

Me: Amazon recently announced they are giving all self-publishers the ability to offer pre-sale orders. However, some authors feel this can hurt their results since they will have sales spread across the pre-sale period instead of all at once (theoretically, on release day) which could give them a big jump in the all important lists.
Do you feel offering pre-sale orders is worth it for an indie author and what is the best way for them to leverage this new tool?

Catherine: I just did pre-ordering with Self-Printed, and while I wasn't too bothered about the sales spread vs. a single day jump - honestly I think unless you've got big numbers, that's not going to make a huge or lasting difference - I did find one major pro and one major con:

PRO: A deadline! Instead of dragging my heels a week or two past the release date I'd announced like I normally do, I HAD to get the final version of my book up there 10 days before the release day I'd promised Amazon OR ELSE. (Or else...? Well, who knows. But you do lose your access to pre-ordering for a year.) 

CON: Once you upload the final version and that 10 day period begins, your book is in lock down. You can't upload a new version. During my 10 day period, I discovered a big change in the US tax situation - and I had no opportunity to update that before the pre-order purchasers got sent their book. Now Amazon wants me to list the "specific locations" of the changes and wait 4 weeks for them to decide whether or not they'll push the update to customers' Kindles. This is a major headache. 

So, I'd say if you have a really good reason to pre-order - like you'll have big promotion going on before release - then take advantage. But it's caused me more headaches than it's brought sales ranks peaks, to be honest. Be warned...

Catherine Ryan Howard is a writer, self-publisher and caffeine enthusiast from Cork, Ireland. SELF-PRINTED: THE SANE PERSON'S GUIDE TO SELF-PUBLISHING (3rd edition) is out now in paperback and e-book and available from Amazon. Follow the #selfprintedsplash on Twitter today (Friday 24th) and/or visit for chance to win an amazing prize that will get your self-publishing adventure started! 

Be sure to check out the list of all Catherine's blog stops today to get a ton more advice on self-publishing and marketing.