One more problem with Self Publishing
June 2, 2014
There are loads of problems with self-publishing, but this is one that many may not have found.
I decided to republish The Guide and was counseled by a good marketing firm to use a new cover and new ISBN and then give that edition a marketing push. Problem is, they had most of their experience with print books. Here’s the rub.
I got another ISBN, new cover, and did the deed with POD through Lightning Source Inc. Good so far. It’s great I think.
I got another ISBN, new cover, and did the deed with Kindle Select e-book.
I found that when I searched for The Guide on Google, all I got was the old cover. Not so good.
I called Amazon, and they linked all the editions up, and said once the sales of the new edition took over sales of the old, then the new cover would come up, but at least the new cover would be in a thumbnail at the bottom with “New Edition available.”
I asked my friends to search for The Guide and they got the old edition, consistently. Called Amazon again, under author central, and they said they could help me with the print version, but not the KDP select version. One thing at a time, okay. Now the print version consistently comes up with the new cover.
Called KDP Select and things fell apart. The “helper” unpublished the new version before I okayed it. Yes we had talked about it, but no, I had not totally approved it. So now, in the middle of marketing push, the new version is not available. His reasoning was that I would just modify the old version by uploading the new version cover and interior into it, and I’d be good. Problem, none of the old reviews would be available for 5 days, right in the middle of a marketing push. If I would have known that last week when I talked to Amazon, no problem, would have done it, and everything would be cool now. But the POD guy didn’t get the KDP side and never mentioned they were two different ball games.
Bottom line: E-books are different!! Duh.
If you want to publish a new edition with new cover, only get a new ISBN for the POD book. For the e-book, at least on KDP Select just keep the old ASIN number and modify it by uploading the newer cover and interior and everything will be cool in 12 hours. All the old reviews will be there. All the new cover will be there. If you un-publish the first edition, there will be a 5 day lag between getting reviews linked back onto the new edition. Okay if you’re not in the middle of a marketing push. But not good if someone new looks up your book and sees NO reviews.
Why didn’t the Amazon guy tell me that last week and refer me to KDP select for answers? I guess he figured I already knew this, I was a pro. After all, I had already published other books. Yeah. Not. I had a lot of coaching and I’m a techy numbnuts.
Hope this saves some of you some heartache. Good luck.
I Fly Fish for my Heart, part 2
March 4, 2014
My brain tells me it’s too cold right now to brave blizzards, to stand in a freezing river flinging feather and fur to catch a wriggling piece of cold-blooded muscle. But my heart aches to hear the river rush and the hawk scream, smell the moss mixed with fallen leaves, to see a wild brown trout with red spots as bright as paint jump from a river as clear as gin, pulling on my rod, testing my skill.
Not if I want to keep living.
I can drive slower and soak in more conversation from friends I’ve missed. Our stories are of life, hardships and joy, bringing our souls warmth and touching that elusive thing called humanity. The nights after the river are full of laughter at conquering a wily opponent, the brown or the rainbow that took seven changes of flies and three changes of depth to catch. Beer and gin are not the only tonic, nor required to put our minds at rest from the crazy concrete and computer worlds we have escaped, if only for a week.
When I fly fish I step into another world, one of here and now, of casting and drifting, of observing and breathing in nature: a balm that has healed my overworked brain time after time, year after year. Sharing it with friends is more than a pleasure—it makes my year. Without this, my heart would shrivel, and soon my brain and body would follow.
I fly fish for my heart.
There’s Always Fishing
January 27, 2014
The world spins in chaos—wars, crooked politicians, mass killings in schools—the list goes on. But through all that disaster, at the end of the week there’s always fishing. Not baseball, as Kevin Costner says in Field of Dreams, but fishing. Not everyone can play baseball. But even if you’re blind you can fish—toss out a streamer, strip it back and catch a fish. If you’ve got bad arthritis in your knees you can sit in a boat and reel them in. If you’re missing a hand from an IED, you use an artificial one to hold a rod and…there you go. Young, old, crippled, healthy: no matter what, you can fish.
And the good thing about fishing is you’re out in nature, usually with someone you like, getting some exercise if you’re able, and improving your mind. Studies have shown that even watching a show on TV about wilderness relaxes us and can improve creativity. Just think of what the real thing does. You ask me, I know.
I’ve been very lucky that I had a father who loved the outdoors, and despite being nearly blind, he fished and took me with him. I’ve carried that enjoyment with me my whole life, probably to an extreme if you ask my family, though I’ve mellowed some, perhaps to my detriment.
Many years ago I decided to specialize, only do fly fishing. Not really popular in Pensacola where everyone wants to go out and deep sea fish for snapper or grouper and fill the cooler. But I’ve caught hundred pound tarpon on a fly rod, many saltwater fish you would never think a fly fisherman would go after: snapper, grouper, flounder, shark, and of course the more acceptable redfish and sea trout. There have been days of heat and sweat and lack of fish that were frustrating, true, but also occasionally touched with sights that filled me with wonder: a school of leopard rays in shallow water, a giant manta ray with a span of eight to ten feet coming out of the water like a dolphin, six feet up and flopping back down with a splash, an acre of bull redfish on the surface like a coppery burnished shield, an eight foot shark cruising the beach in three feet of water, going right towards a family about to enter the water. Luckily they heard my screams and stayed out of the water. Some things still awaken me, like the time I had been casting all day on the bow of the boat, bone weary, frustrated at not even getting a good cast to a tarpon, when one appears. I cast. It starts following my fly and I set the hook…and pull the fly out of his mouth! Dang! No. I’m sure I said something a bit worse.
The thing that always comes back to sooth is friendship. Having a friend or family share these moments, pull you out of the water after you fall, or net a nice fish, or just share a gin and tonic after a long day on the river. It’s what makes fishing take away all the worries of the day, the week, the years, and allow you to live in a moment that is tranquil, peaceful and can maybe approach what some might call heaven.
So, today when I knew I should be marketing my books, doing research or writing on the new one, I went out fishing. Fifty two degrees in mid January in Fort Collins, Colorado must be celebrated. And I was lucky. I hit the one hole, the one hour of the day the fish were rising, and I must have caught twenty fish on a dry fly. It was so much fun I laughed at each fish. The bicyclers and runners and walkers probably thought I was nuts.
Yes, there is always fishing. And to me it is a slice of heaven on earth.
December 23, 2013
Here’s the fish I caught on the first hole on my first trip to the Bighorn River below Yellowtail Dam.
Do you think I might fish with the same fly on this hole again?
Yep, I do.
Do you have a favorite fly? You know, the one you use when everything else is not working, or the one you always put on first on this particular water. Well, on the Bighorn River I must admit I have a favorite fly that I usually put on for the Meat Hole in the upper 3 miles, from A to 3 stretch. I like a peach or chartreuse egg as the lead, or first fly, and a Skinny Nelson as the last fly, or, what worked for me best, a flashback, black version of the Pheasant Tail nymph. Here’s the fly.
Unfortunately, it has never worked since. But, it has worked above the Meat Hole a lot, so one of these days…
What is your favorite fly for your favorite water?