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Saturday, February 26, 2005

DIY in the Digital Age

no, not that kind

It's no secret that I love DIY industry of any sort. I still hoard all of those late 70's punk rock 45s with pressings of 1,000 that sound like they were recorded on masking tape (it's part of their charm). That wacky fat kid from New Jersey lip-synching to some dead awful Eastern European techno song that was all over the internet last week? Loved it. No corporate A&R person to get him coked up & slimmed down so he could pole dance at Brittney's wedding to tie in with an expensive marketing campaign; he went platinum courtesy of the "forward" button.

So I'm digging this article by this British guy, Kevin Kelly, who tells you how you can get Amazon to sell your self-published book, CD or DVD. He breaks it down into 8 easy steps, which he covers in more detail at his web site:

1 Get an ISBN (for a book), or a UPC (for a CD or DVD). For one book it costs $125, for one CD, $55, for one DVD, $89.
2 Get a bar code based on the ISBN or UPC. Costs $10, or may be included in UPC.
3 Sign up with Amazon, $30 per year.
4 Duplicate your stuff; include the bar code on the outside.
5 Ship two copies to Amazon
6 Send cover scan
7 Track sales
8 Register it (optional)

The deal is that you get 45% of your listed price, and you of course pay for the printing/pressing of materials, and to get your stuff to Amazon. Most self-published stuff will only sell a few copies per month, but the Kelly himself has done better, selling several thousand copies of his book over a couple of years. As he notes, "This is not a way to make money; this is a way to distribute your message."

So to all you budding Chomsky's out there -- have at it! And then send me a copy. I've got plenty of space on my bookshelves next to all those unruly 45s.

(Photo courtesy stock.xchng)