Copyright problem #1
My eBook is dead without a pro cover. OK, I get it. I can't afford the work of art, but I can afford a decent professional freelance designer or something. It's the first thing potential readers check. It makes sense. I checked some stock images (hope this is the right term). It's insane. Fifty dollars for a picture or two. Plus designer's work. To top it all, one of my friends come up with a "brilliant" idea. I should buy some toys, to be precise a target and arrows for kids. Print some fake dollar bills and make the photos myself using my smartphone. My eBook's point is like you will hit the target (read: make money) as a freelancer with these steps blah blah. This photo of arrows hitting the dollar bills should be the center of my eBook's cover. Seriously? I heard that even if I "adjust" some picture I find online, I can still get in trouble. Is this true? Imagine a cover with a photo I made with my smartphone. It's going to look as if kids made it.
Copyright problem #2
I need to make a couple of screenshots of me using some software solutions on my laptop and smartphone. I haven't been lazy. I wrote a few emails to the software owners. Like I would like to do this and that because it's essential for my eBook. Got two positive replies. The guys were OK with that. Only requirement not to say that I'm associated directly with them in any way. OK, I'm fine with that. Waiting for the third guy. I have cried my eyes out reading about the so-called "fair use." I just want to make my point. Yet, I can't wait for the third answer forever. I will publish this way or another. What if they ask of me to remove these screenshots? I remember checking out a website about a problem I had with my Linux. This guy was using some copyright note or something. Like the screenshots you see on my computer include pictures of games and software solutions of this and that company. I'm using only to you know what. Maybe I should do something like that. Write a line or two about each of these screenshots.
Amazon plays the tough guy problem #3
I did my homework. I can't remember how many forums and websites I have checked about Amazon self-publishing. The more I read, the more disturbed I become. The latest news is that Amazon won't have mercy on low-quality and problematic eBooks. OK, I get it. Everybody wants to be an author these days, including myself. I can fix this. I will hire a pro freelancer proofreader. I will hire a freelancer to format my eBook properly, although I saw some Amazon tools. Maybe, I can do it myself. Now, the most problematic part. If readers report me because of mistakes or something else related to my eBook, then Amazon can make my eBook to become unavailable. There's a fair warning a courtesy of Amazon, of course. Yet, do I have any guarantees that my competitors (I know how this ridiculous may sound) or my haters won't intentionally sabotage my eBook. Is some Amazon pro reader going to read my eBook in the first place to see for him or herself, or this is an automated heartless process, you can't do a thing about?
Amazon is (NOT) my best friend problem #4
I heard that Amazon is going to "push" your eBook, if it is a good one. I want to believe, but I'm not Fox Mulder. I also read that Amazon strongly suggest to publish an eBook that's not free. The more you ask for it in terms of price, the better for you it goes. The minimum price is $2.99, and I'm thinking about $3.99. Regarding the royalties you can expect something like 70%. To tell you the truth I didn't go deep with this one, because I have so many problems to worry about that the price is currently the least of my worries. A publisher can take care of all of these problems, but I will get peanuts at the end. Right?
The ethical problem #5
If I'm not mistaken, there is a one month period, if you accept this Amazon's "indecent proposal," to make your eBook available for free. Why not? This is supposed to be a great way to get some positive reviews. So, I'm thinking. Is this an ethical thing to do? I want to inform all of my friends, colleagues, family, even clients to review or buy my eBook. Is it OK to ask for this "friendly favor?" I'm not going to mess up with fake accounts, addresses, or something like that. Only real people from all over the world I got in contact with working as a freelancer. It is just like I say, hey there's my eBook on Amazon, why don't you check it out? It is not like I'm asking them to pay hundreds of dollars. Still, is this an ethical thing to do?
LinkedIn doesn't cooperate problem #6
Do you remember that great line from the Martian? "It's space, it doesn't cooperate." There are some great LinkedIn groups. I mean thousands of freelancers who should be my potential readers in theory. Guess what? I am still on the waiting list to join. There's no way they're going to let me in. Why? I gave no warning signs. Do I have to pay LinkedIn to advertise? Oh, I can only imagine how "affordable" that may be. Here's another ethical problem. I thought about posting projects and contests on Freelancer.com and Upwork. Like design my website for my eBook logo or create a tag line for it. No, I'm not going to hire people to write reviews. That's totally unethical and dangerous. But, posting regular projects and paying with my own real money, can be a legit way to attract attention. Right or wrong?
I need a marketing hero problem #7
Should I hire a professional marketer and just get over with it? He or she will turn my average eBook into a timeless bestseller. Oh dear, I can only imagine the costs. I hope to turn my eBook into a decently successful and sustainable "company," rather than to throw the money out of the window just to satisfy my vanity.
Read other eBooks about self-publishing problem #8
That was an unavoidable part of my research process. I did that. And please don't say something like, but you haven't found the right one. The ones I checked were like, believe in yourself and be patient. Then I reminded myself of a guy who wrote the 4-Hour Working Week or something like that. Tim Ferriss, I think. Yet, I also clearly remember that he went through the "traditional" publishing channels, and not through the Amazon self-publishing machinery. Maybe, this is the sign that I should choose the other publishing alternative.
Where to find readers problem #9
Have to mention the Martian one more time, although this is a fiction book. At the beginning, this book was a series of more or less related blogs. This guy who wrote it didn't have to publish an eBook, but his readers literally made him to do it. The next thing you know, there was a publishing agent knocking at this door. Finally, they made a great movie based on this book. My social media power: zero! If I had an impressive follow-up on social media, I wouldn't even bother to mess with Amazon, would I? One of these "mind-blowing" eBooks about self-publishing suggested that I should first find the readers for my eBook and then write the eBook itself. I tried that already on LinkedIn. Remember? Facebook. Twitter. How? How?
Till death do us part #10
You sign with the Amazon and you are gone for the rest of the world and other publishers. True or false? For how long?
I have 99 problems, but let's see if I can solve these ten first. Should I write a letter to the WF support, asking them can I promote my eBook one day, here? Do I have to pay for it? You know what, it seems to me that self-publishing is an expensive sport. You pay for it with both your time and money. There has to be a warrior who can provide solution for some of these problems I have. I hope and I thank him or her in advance.