In Other News

Here follows some things that unfortunately can’t be conveniently grouped together by a snappy blog post title…

Backpacked has a new cover (ooh, fancy!) and is going free for Kindle today for four days. Download it, pretty please, and/or tell your Kindle owning friends if you think they might be interested.  Find it here on and here on

In other other news, September is shaping up to be quite the busy month. (If ever my Erin Condren planner justified its $50 + $50 shipping price-tag, it’s doing it now.) On Saturday 8th I’ll be at the Independent Publishers Panel at the Mountains to Sea Festival in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin; on Thursday 20th I’ll be at Women in Journalism’s Write a Bestseller Seminar in London; on Monday 24th I’ll be at the NUJ’s Freelance Forum, back in Dublin, although this time in the city centre. Click on the links for more information.

In other other other news, Self-Printed 2.0—think Self-Printed 1.0 only up to date and with over 10,000 extra words about stuff—is with the proofreader, and should be on sale in e-book and paperback within the next couple of weeks. The gleaming new iMac I’m currently blinded by has enabled me to finally download and start using Scrivener, which means I can now feasibly produce my own ePub and Mobi (Kindle) versions of my books.


A while back I shared this great post by Andrew Hyde, author of This Book is About Travel, which not only led to believe that selling direct may have more benefits than I’d originally thought, but also lead me to Gumroad. Gumroad allows you to sell files easily through your website, tweets, Facebook, etc. by way of a simple link.

Hmm again.

So… I’m considering releasing Self-Printed 2.0 in ePub, Mobi and PDF versions and selling them here, directly, first. As in, exclusively. As in, for the first week or so of its life, the only place you’ll be able to get the second edition of Self-Printed is from me, and in e-book, and at perhaps a lower price that it will be when it goes on general sale. We’ll see.

What do we think about that? Would you buy an e-book directly from the author? Would you prefer to? Or do you value the convenience of downloading it directly from the store to your device? 

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24 thoughts on “In Other News

  1. Frankie Valente says:

    Would love to hear how you get on with scrivener. I haven’t used this yet. Have fun at the Mountains and Sea book fest. I went a couple of years ago and it was fabulous. It is how, inadvertently I found out about electronic publishing, which then led me to your blog/books etc.

  2. Normandie says:

    If the work is self-pubbed, Catherine, I’d rather buy directly from the author and let the proceeds rest entirely in her hands, because I’m assuming those proceeds will need to offset the editing and cover design costs, as well as any media and advertising expenses incurred by that author. How well do you think this process would work for those who don\’t already have a huge Internet following?

    It seems to me that those who begin as you have, with a bubbly personality that literally shines off your blog and makes readers want to smile, should do well at the sales bit, too.

  3. Rhoda Baxter says:

    I tend to buy ebooks from Amazon – the only reason is convenience. I don’t have to enter payment details and it loads straight onto my device.
    What would incentivise me to buy directly? In general, a lower price is a good incentive (doesn’t have to be a massive discout. A quid or so would do it). One other thing is that I hate having to enter my credit card details . So you’d have to allow people to pay by paypal.

    PS: your posts are all so very useful. Thank you!

  4. Debbie Young says:

    While wanting to support selfpublished authors, I must admit that I would rather download books directly onto my Kindle and am more likely to make impulse buys this way too, rather than buying from somewhere else and having to send them to my Kindle. (Oh, instant gratification, you are the scourge of the modern age!) I’d also point out (though you’ve probably already taken this into account, Catherine) that any books sold directly won’t count towards your sales figures on Amazon.

    But there again, as I’ve already bought your all your books (downloaded onto my Kindle from Amazon!), my opinion and actions won’t make a jot of difference until you write another one! 🙂

  5. T. W. Dittmer says:

    Viable question, and a natural extension of the whole self-publishing process (if it’s viewed as a business). Right now the convenience of downloading directly to the Kindle, or other eReader, makes buying from a major seller preferable. There’s also the matter of trust. Are there enough people that trust the source (that’s you) enough to make your work worthwhile?

  6. sueannporter1 says:

    Can you do both? Is it an either/or? I think fans would be thrilled to buy the book directly from you…but let’s face it: Amazon has, shall we say, a wider potential audience.

  7. Tony Hursh says:

    It’s pretty easy to distribute books directly to Kindles via email. Baen Books (U.S. science fiction publisher) has been doing this for a long time. It’s just as convenient as buying from Amazon, really — click “Buy” and the book shows up on the Kindle a few minutes later. See this post:

    The big problem, in my opinion, is persuading the reader to enter their credit card details on a site they may not know and trust. That’s not nearly as large a problem when you have existing fans who already know you and your work.

    Maybe the best avenue would be to have your books available on the big stores, for people who may not know you, and also sell directly through your web site for those who do.

  8. Sumiko Saulson says:

    I own Self-Published 1.0 as a paperback, and if I pick up 2.0 it’s likely to be on paperback as well. I’m a bit old-fashioned… I have Kindle for PC but reading letters on a screen is not my favorite thing.

  9. Lena G. says:

    Yeah, I’d buy direct. (Heck, I’d buy it right this second and give you proofing notes of any typos I see! I’ve been waiting. :)) As for offering direct from author exclusively for a period of time… some folks really do like to download direct to their preferred reader… Why not offer it both ways but have a discount here? Those who’d buy direct will buy direct and get a discount. Those who’d rather buy for their reader at their favorite retailer won’t be ticked at having to wait. My 2 cents.

  10. avwalters says:

    So many technical issues. I’ve just been minimizing Scrivener because I can’t imagine generating enough traffic to my website to get sales of ebooks. You may not have that problem. Then there’s the issue of accepting secure online payments, I guess PayPal could solve that hurdle. You’ll need to be careful about discounting, unless it’s exclusive to your site, as some of the etailers take umbrage at that an will unilaterally match your price.

  11. Danielle says:

    As a Kindle noob, I prefer to buy straight from Amazon as it is so simple and fast and I don’t really have to do anything. But once I am better at the different formats etc, I would prefer to buy direct from the author 🙂

  12. Kate Sloan Fiffer says:

    As for buying direct from the author rather than through Amazon for my Kindle… that’s a tricky one. Idealistically, I’d always prefer to buy direct from the author. But so far I use my Kindle for mostly convenience and impulse purchases, and it’s just never yet happened that I found someone selling a book directly that I wanted on my Kindle, so though I’ve heard there’s workarounds for this, it hasn’t been worth it for me yet to learn them. But if more writers started selling direct, I’d probably figure out how to transfer to my Kindle so I could by that way.
    Also: I love the new cover! And I’m very curious to hear how Scrivener works out for you. I used it often way back when (before ePub & mobi options. I’d love to hear how well that works and I hope you’ll write a post about it once you’ve explored it. My husband does e-book formatting and is always looking to stay on top of the best and easiest ways to do that.

  13. Martin Turnbull (the Garden of Allah novels) says:

    Self-Printed 1.0 was my bible during the release of my first novel and the release of 2.0 coincides with prepping my 2nd novel. So, while I want it NOW, I\’d probably wait for the paperback–and buy it on the first day!–because for something like that, I\’d prefer the paper version. As for Scrivener, I bought it purely as a (much!) easier way to turn my Word doc into an ebook. And it does work really well and well worth the price of admission just for this feature alone. I\’ve not used it to write a MS from scratch, though.

  14. Amanda Ramsay says:

    Having read Andrew Hyde’s post on the assorted profit margins, I actually tried to buy Self-Published 1.0 through your website first, and only went through Amazon when I couldn’t find it here. I would totally buy direct from you (although that may be selfish, since I’m hoping that once I’m published, people would buy direct from me).

  15. amandapingelramsay says:

    Also, I’m writing a book on small business marketing, which I realize you don’t care about, but sets the context for my request. I’d been thinking about trying to include some instructional on how to create a Twitter account, how to start a WordPress blog, etc. But then I got to this one part of Self Printed, and it has it all there, so much better than I would ever do it.

    So I’m wondering… would you consider releasing the Getting Started in Social Media section as a Kindle Single, or a paid PDF, or something, so that I could tell my readers to go buy it from you if they want the details?

  16. Cinda Fernando says:


    I LOVE the new cover of Backpacked; it perfectly conveys the fun and lighthearted tone of your travel memoir which I thoroughly enjoyed.

    With a line like, “either they were very friendly, helpful people who realized that we could decode the driver’s garbled announcements as well as we could read hieroglyphics, or they were doing their part to ensure that the local kidney thief got himself a fresh delivery,” I knew I was in for an entertaining ride!



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