A blog entry every day, he said. Got to keep followers interested, good and frequent posts are important, he said.

Robbie Burns keeps coming to mind - "the best laid plans". Oh, well. How much do good intentions count?

I've been occupied lately with CreateSpace, Amazon's self-publishing system. After going through the set-up process, I finally got the manuscript to the "proof ready" point and I am currently waiting for the proofs. If they look good, I approve them on the site and they become available for purchase. CreateSpace has three different venues for sales: Amazon itself (which takes a 58% cut from the list price), an "eStore" that gets set up for you through which you can sell the books semi-independently with them taking a 38% cut, or their "Expanded Distribution" which takes a 78% cut but opens the book to sales to libraries and chains such as WalMart and Costco (I think). All their cuts include printing and shipping costs, so the remainder is direct royalty profit for the author. It seems like a good arrangement, especially as it avoids all the hassles of stocking, shipping, billing, etc. And if their promise of "expanded distribution" come through, sales of this book to libraries and chains could be significant and more than worth the reduced royalty.

Now to research marketing to these potential purchasers... I will try to be more diligent in keeping you posted.


Introduction - my books

Well, it's about time that I made my first post to this "thing"!

I'll start with a listing of some of my books.

A little background: I first got the idea of writing a book in the Biomed field about 15 years ago, after a number of patients had asked me about the equipment I was working on near them in hospital. Some were merely curious, but many were apprehensive and a brief explanation of what the machine was called, what it did and how it worked seemed to make them more relaxed. So, I started working on a book that would outline the basic operation and application of hospital technology, with patients in mind. At the same time, I began approaching publishers with the idea. After many, many rejections, I finally hit one that had an editor who had recently been in hospital for heart surgery and found the idea interesting. I was steered away from writing to patients and towards writing for nurses, since this publisher sold mainly to the medical professional market. "Guide to Patient Care Technology" (Parthenon Publishers) came out in 2002, but unfortunately my champion editor retired about that time, and the company was bought out and the new owners shifted from marketing to nurses to marketing to physicians. Doctors would find the material much too basic, so the book floundered and eventually I got the rights, and a box of unsold books, back from the publisher. I managed to sell a number of them to libraries.

I then started trying to promote the idea to other publishers, but was again steered towards converting the book into a text for Biomedical Engineering Technology students. The existing texts on the subject were well out of date, so the idea was good. A couple of deals seemed imminent but fell through at the last minute, but finally I caught the attention of an editor - for the very company that had bought Parthenon, CRC Press/Taylor & Francis! Taylor & Francis have been publishing books since 1798 (!) and they are a major publisher in the field. From their web site:

"As one of the world's largest publishers, Taylor & Francis maintains offices throughout the world including London, Brighton, and Abingdon in the U.K.; New York, Philadelphia, Florence, Kentucky, and Boca Raton, Florida in the U.S.A.; and Singapore, Australia, China, and India. Publishing more than 1,500 journals and approximately 3,300 new books each year, the Taylor and Francis Group has a backlist in excess of 60,000 specialist titles."

The "conversion" to BMET text turned into a total rewrite, but "Introduction to Biomedical Engineering Technology" came out in 2007 and has done quite well  for a new entry in the field.

My editor asked about additional books, and a colleague suggested that there was a  need for a book describing medical procedures that would be aimed at paramedical professionals, such as radiology and lab techs, physiotherpists, medical records techs, and BMETs. "Clinical Procedures for Medical Technology Specialists" was published in 2010.


The BMET book was due for an update, and CRC/T&F asked me for a second edition, which turned out to be almost as much work as the original even though quite a bit of the material was the same. This second edition came out just last month (Oct. 2011), and is bigger and better than the first edition, so we have high hopes for good sales.


In the meantime, given encouragement from colleagues, family and friends, I went back to my original idea of a book for patients. I had given up the idea of trying to find a publisher for it so I decided to self-publish, which is a subject for another post. With a healthy learning curve, I finally published "What Does THAT Do? Medical technology explained for patients and visitors." earlier this year. It is available on Amazon but also at a better price on my own web site, kangalpublishing.biz - 440 pages, over 200 illustrations.


I recently went through the process of converting the book to e-book (e-pub) format and this version (which provides many of the images from the book in colour - the hard copy was limited to monochrome due to price constraints, as well as hot links to different sections of the book and web sites) is available at the Kangal Publishing web site and Amazon's Kindle store.

Promoting a self-published book is even more daunting that writing and publishing one - a topic for yet another post.

Anyway, that's about it for today - I welcome comments from my legion of followers! :)