Hagen GrafLast saturday I presented a “half” session at BuchCamp Frankfurt, May, 6th 2012 ( related blog entry German). BuchCamp was organized by a lobbying association of German publishers called Börsenverein.

As the event was announced as a barcamp and each participant can be a presenter too, I decided to offer a talk on my work as a “selfpublishing author” (and of course I had not prepared any slides). I presented the idea with the words:

I’ll tell you about my work, you tell me about your work and then we have a look, what we can achieve together.

I shared a session slot with another participant at Sunday 10 Uhr (which was fine).

What I said in the Session (and wanted to say :) )

You have to follow the links to get the big picture (right mouse click -> open in new tab, then the article remains in its tab)

  • I write non-fiction for 10 years. This is the list.
  • I distribute the PDF files of books, where I have all the copyrights, free on the Internet. Here are the current download figures (The counting started in March 2011. Every day there are currently 1,000-3,000 file downloads. While writing this article, there are 360,000+)
  • For years, I offer HTML versions of my books on-line.
    The publishers (with whom I worked together) allowed me that to a certain extent. These online versions are often linked to other pages.
  • Readers can give feedback to the chapters and make frequent use of it (example).
    Have a look at a very motivating e-mail that just arrived (I have not shown it in the session
  • I write the first version of a book in English and then translate it by myself to German. I am not perfect in English nor German, but there are always people who write a comment and point out typos to be corrected
  • I use an online HTML editor (TinyMCE) and write the text directly using our website
  • The images and screenshots are saved at Flickr.
  • I sell advertisements in the books. These companies and individuals support my work. On a map it looks like this:
  • People contact me and ask if they can translate the books. To do so, they need a user account on cocoate to get started. Here is a list of all the translators. A Brazilian group has started a Facebook group for coordination (This is so far the result)
  • The books can be purchased as well at Amazon (eg, Germany) and a few in the iBookstore as e-books (eg, U.S. store). And on Book on Demand (eg, Germany) and CreateSpace (eg USA) as a printed books.
  • Earlier, I recorded screencasts (example). It is poorly paid, makes a lot of work and the author (me) is not even mentioned. Today, I have my own equipment and take screencasts if necessary (even without any business model). The videos I upload to YouTube and Vimeo, offer them on our website, link it with the HTML chapters and create a feed for iTunes, as well as an appstore independent feed.
  • I know many of my business partners not personally, most of them (can e-mail just to clear) only using Skype (Chat with me) , Twitter, Facebook (add me if you want) and e-mail
  • The next book is called Going Mobile with Joomla! and is currently being written – you may like to join.
  • One more little thing. I have NO problem with existing copyright principles – to be honest I understand nothing of it and reading those texts is not illuminating for me …

How can you help me?

  • by direct donation for travel expenses, equipment, ect.
  • by clicking Flattr
  • Buy a book as EPUB from our website or at Amazon or other stores
  • Buy a paper book
  • just tell others … (Twitter, FB, like Google+ all the rest)
  • Buy me a WiFi voucher when we meet somewhere
  • Spend your holidays in our village rent an apartment :)

Why am I telling you all this on a book camp?

I am not a selfpublishing author because I like it!

One of the reasons is, that I find no one who offers me services, in the speed, the formats and the communication channels, I work with!

To give you an example what I need

  • a cover for each book
  • some kind of marketing
  • publishers in countries where Russian, Spanish, Italian, French, Persian, English, German, Chinese, Portuguese and Hindi books can be delivered in any form.
  • I’ve no certified “quality management”
  • the EPUB creation workflow can be described at the moment as “pathetic” :)
  • the whole screencast creation must be optimized
  • our website needs a CDN and a mobile version

Many of these services could be offered by publishing houses and I would also enjoy participating in the development of such services.

Yeah, and now I would like to know what you are doing and what we can we do together?

After the session I was asked if I would like to attend the BuchTage meeting in Berlin.

I would be happy to attend, but I have no budget for such things. So it’s up to you.

If the ChipIn is successful, I am available for nearly everything during the BuchTage meeting :)






Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply