It started as a bit of fun, this self publishing thing. And it is rather a lot of fun. Since my first post on the A to Z TEFLing Guide to Mexico City, I’ve thought about the project more and learned a fair few things. Which I will put to good use in publishing the second edition of the book. And then that will be that – I leave Mexico forever and ever in just a couple of months, so at that point I’ll really have nothing to add.
Things I’ve learned. Publishing on Amazon for Kindle is easy. Formatting the book isn’t. I’ve decided that seeing as I’ll never set a price above a couple of dollars for the Kindle edition, there’s only so much work I’ll be willing to put in to producing a professional looking ebook. Not that I’m intending to publish a mess of a book. Just a very simple, clean style without complications and without formatting errors.
I’ve also discovered that the reason the Kindle version of the book keeps showing up as $3.99 on Amazon, despite my setting the price at $1.99, is because I’m in Mexico. The price is automatically adjusted accordingly. Nothing I can do about it really, and I guess it’s not big deal – the book is aimed at those who are in the US or UK anyway.
I’ve learned that proof reading is important. Meh. I knew that before. What I should have done is slap a virtual Beta sticker on the front cover. Work in progress. Although the PDF version I’ve been sending out has fewer mistakes than the Kindle or Lulu versions.
Where do I go from here? Firstly, the name of the book. A to Z of blah blah blah. Way too much of a mouthful. The Tefler’s Guide – Mexico City. Concise. More to the point. The front cover needs changing too. I used my photograph, but of someone else’s artwork. Potential copyright issues there methinks. I’ve done a new front cover, which is the left hand image in the picture below. Looks a little bit smarter and more ‘bookish’. I think so anyway. Took my name off the front cover too.
Inside the book I have changes planned too. I think I’ll keep the A to Z format, but I need to add a table of contents. I may weed out some of the weaker posts and add a few more relevant ones. Hopefully I’ll get time to write a few more posts on my blog between now and publishing time to include. I’m also giving thought to the A to Z categories. Perhaps Bullfighting could be moved to sports, and open up ‘B’ for another topic. But what topic? I’m not sure I have enough Beach posts. I’ll add more Useful Links at the back as well.
When I last blogged about the book, I moaned that the cheapest publisher grade paper option, which gave the book a manufacturing cost of just over $5, doesn’t come with an ISBN. So no selling on Amazon. I’ve since discovered that by doing the interior of the book in black and white on standard paper, a 200 page book only costs $11, and they will attach an ISBN to that.
Whether this is the cost to make it or the minimum retail price I’m not yet sure. I think it is the latter, but I’ll work it out. I’d hoped to have a sub $10 book, but I could live with a sub $15 price. As an added bonus I can add photos to the book, albeit black and white ones. I have no problem with B&W photos – look a little classier if anything.
So that is it for now. Except to say that I’m very open to suggestions. I’ve sent out a dozen or so free copies of the PDF to those who have asked. I’ll continue sending out the free copy of the first edition (not least because the second edition doesn’t yet exist!) to anyone who is interested. It’d be great to get some feedback.
Anything you thought was totally pointless? Can you think of any better categories? Any obvious errors I haven’t mentioned above? Do you think the book would be a useful read for the market it is aimed at? That market being inexperienced/semi experienced travellers in the UK, US, Australia and any other English speaking person who fancies a career TEFLing in Mexico City.
Was there any info about moving to/living in/teaching in Mexico that really should be there? Any crucial links to websites for the Useful Links section at the back? A free copy of the final edition for any one with time to give me some constructive criticism! And did anyone notice that I used American English instead of British English throughout the book…? 🙂