50 cents!

One of the unintended consequences of publishing that book earlier in the week was that it forced me to think about the collection of new cartoons I was considering put out there. Turns out that this isn’t going to be as easy as I’d hoped…

It’s not so much the work – so much work! – thinking them up, drawing them, and then editing them into a collection. It’s the work of turning that into an ebook (lots of technical fiddling), which I can upload to Amazon. I thought matters had improved since the last time I tried this but I noticed that the cover and the single illustration to that other book meant that I was losing a few cents for every book bought. That’s the cost of the download, which is carried by the author. For most books with minimal graphics (perhaps just a cover), very little is taken out of profits. A book of cartoons, however, might be different.

With that in mind, I’ve wasted a few hours this Saturday creating created a rough ebook, with a cover and about 25 cartoons, which I then uploaded to Amazon.

Just that alone would cost 50 cents to download. That’s 50 cents taken out of my profits of 70%.

At this rate, if I wanted to publish 100 cartoons, I would lose $2 for every download. Given I was thinking of selling the book for not much more than that price, it means I’d almost be giving all these many months of work away for nothing.

I’ll carry on. It’s a bit of work editing each image to fit the standard page size of a tablet or ereader but I’ll see how the costs look around 50. I could start to reduce the file size (making images look a little less sharp or smaller) or I could split up the book but that would impact on how much I could charge, bringing me back to square one.

Perhaps it’s just not profitable doing graphic heavy ebooks.

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Why Dunciad.com?

It’s a cool domain name and it was available. Yes, I know. Available. Crazy, isn’t it?

Really?

Yes. It also helps that it’s also my favourite satire written by Alexander Pope, one of the most metrically pure English poets who also knew his way around a crude insult or two. If you’ve not read it, you should give it a try.

So this is satire, right?

Can’t deny it. There will be some. But it’s also an experiment in writing and drawing, giving work away for free in order to see how many people are willing to support a writer doing his thing. It’s the weird stuff that I wouldn’t get published elsewhere in this word of diminishing demands and cookie-cutter tastes.