Saturday, November 21, 2009

Ups and Downs of the Publishing Project

My book about the Leica D-Lux 4 has been available to the public for about four weeks now, so it's time for an update and evaluation of how things are going. We have sold 205 books, including 89 books shipped to to be sold by them. Ten books have gone to to be sold by that retailer. I don't know yet how those books will sell. The majority of the sales have been through my own web site,, or to individuals through Amazon Marketplace and eBay.

Today we added one more country to the list of locations of purchasers -- Ireland, bringing the total to 13. That is one of the pleasures of this endeavor -- knowing that my book is going to readers in various parts of the world, and hopefully helping them use their cameras for better results. I also have enjoyed interacting with purchasers who have special requests, such as needing the book quickly before going on a trip, or needing two copies. It's always nice to know that someone's needs are being met efficiently. One customer e-mailed to say his book had been mangled in shipment (even though I ship them in sturdy mailers), so I sent him a replacement book and he was very appreciative. One thing I always try to do is to ship the books quickly. I buy a good number of books and other items online myself, and having them shipped quickly is very important to me. Today I made three separate trips to the local post office after orders came in, so I could get the books in the mail today, rather than wait until Monday. (Two of the books were going to Japan and Ireland, and I have to take those to the post office; for domestic shipments I use online postage, and can drop the books in a collection box, so I don't need to go into the post office.)

Right now everything is going fairly well except that the printers develop print-quality problems about once a day. We keep replacing drum units and waste toner boxes and Clenise constantly cleans the printers' interiors, but problems persist. I think there also may be a problem stemming from some of the lower-quality replacement toner cartridges we've used. We'll keep searching for a better supply of decent-quality toner.

Also, orders have tapered off. I have no idea what the overall demand for this book is. As far as I can tell, the Leica D-Lux 4 camera itself is still very popular and selling well. I would hope some of the new buyers would want this book to help them take advantage of the camera's features. I guess the next two months will tell that story.

The giveaway contest on ended within the past couple of days, and the site's administrator e-mailed me today with the address of the lucky winner in Hoboken, New Jersey. His book was mailed this morning, Priority Mail, and is on its way. Leicarumors has been possibly the best source of publicity for the book. I guess I need to figure out where else to spread the word so that people who might be interested in the book will find out about it.

I read somewhere that it's a good idea to start a Facebook page for your business, so I did that. It was quite easy, but I have to confess that I know very little about Facebook; I don't have a personal Facebook account. So, I started a page today, but I guess I need to learn more about how to take fuller advantage of that means of communication.

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