Monday 18 September 2023: Learning a new skill

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Thursday and Friday last week were both spent learning.

I learned how to create a magazine pdf in Affinity and while I still have a lot to do before the end of this week, I’m feeling a lot more confident about it. The ebook will be issued in the same way, I think. The pdf will be available to paid subscribers. The actual magazine… well, that’s a bit harder…

I can’t publish a magazine on Draft2Digital as easily as I can on Lulu. D2D doesn’t like working with a user’s own pdf for a start and the preview elongates everything. Then there’s the inability to publish an interior in colour (if I wanted to), and it loses all of the columns that make a magazine different to a book.

Now, I know Lulu has had its problems in recent years, but it does still seem the better option for a project such as this one. (Unless you know different…?) The biggest issue, though?

Whether or not to have a colour interior.

The colour interior makes it cost-prohibitive at almost £30 (almost $40) just for publishing it. The black and white takes it down to just under £10 ($13).

The poet would love to have a full colour version on our bookshelf, but I don’t think I can currently get that to work for anyone else. At £10 cost, it’s already going to be more than a regular magazine usually costs. AT £30 cost, it’s just ridiculous.

So I think I’m going to do the following, for now:

  1. issue it as a full-colour ebook via D2D (separately on KDP as there is potentially duplicate material in there that D2D won’t want to try and distribute)
  2. make the full-colour pdf available to paid subscribers (see additional note below)
  3. publish the magazine via Lulu with a b&w interior

Newsletter subscribers already get a bonus short story every issue plus access to the full newsletter pdf archive, regardless of when they started to subscribe. I can’t help wondering if I’m being mean not giving them access to the full-colour pdf too. So I’m still on the fence with that one, at the moment.

Then… I’m going to break the habit of a lifetime and issue the ebook on KDP only for three months, just to see if it makes a difference. Once the three months are up, the current plan is to take it wide. If the experiment is successful, I’ll do it with everything else from now on too. The project management books are flying off the shelves but, so far, they’ve all been on Kindle or in print.

Readers, what do you think?

  1. If you were/are a newsletter subscriber, do you think a full-colour magazine pdf is a nice thank you once a quarter?
  2. What do you think of the magazine ebook being exclusive to Kindle for the first three months? Have I gone down in your estimation by not sticking to my guns?

Answers below, or privately if you prefer and you have my email address. (Clue: There’s a clue on the contact page.)

We’ll have more of a catchup tomorrow.

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2 thoughts on “Monday 18 September 2023: Learning a new skill

  1. I think you need to do what is financially feasible for your vision.

    Color is a great thank you to subscribers and makes it something special for them.

    I’m always leery of KDP, even though I’m being pressured to do books of the serials in them, because they keep changing the contract language, and I’m uncomfortable with it. But I have friends who took their books off KDP, but found they earned more by putting them back on. Try it and see. It’s a 3 month commitment. You can always take it off.

    1. I had a bit of a brainwave… I think, once the magazine is shorter with the smaller font, the price will come down on both anyway, but then I might see if I can make both a colour and a black and white version available. People can make up their own minds then, can’t they?

      I’ll have to publish it separately on KDP because of the duplicate material. D2D aren’t allowed to submit books that contain duplicate material. But yes, I think I will leave it on Kindle Unlimited for 90 days/3 months and see how it goes. If sales exceed what I usually sell via D2D, then I might consider leaving it for another 90 days. But the plan is to go wide at the end of the initial exclusive period.

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