Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday Fun Facts: Why I Decided to Indie Publish (This Time)

Update to Monday's post...

After a whole lot of deliberation, going back and forth, talking to a lot of authors at different points in their writing careers, I've decided not to sign with Lyrical/Kensington. Instead, I'm keeping the rights to both Beacon of Love and Inferno of Love, and I'll release those myself.

Yes, it seems a little crazy in the abstract: I turned down contracts for 2 books from a NY publisher. For a writer who's spent years dreaming of being offered a dream contract with a traditional publisher, that seems like the craziest decision I could ever make. There were actually a lot of reasons I decided to go with indie published, though, and while I am not by any stretch of the imagination a household name or a regular best-selling author, I have enough experience with publishing, and enough readers, that I decided I wanted to keep the control and the profits for myself. Of course this is a risk; an established NY publisher can offer a lot to an author...IF they put the funds and the marketing behind that author.

Today, things are shifting in the publishing world. Authors are realizing that they don't NEED publishers to sell their books, to market to online readers or to build their following. In fact, a lot of the marketing that NY publishers do for their digital titles are things that indie authors can do themselves. Quite a few established authors are also releasing their agents, because they don't need to give 15% of their royalties to someone else in order to secure publishing contracts. Authors can sell more, and make more, through their own efforts.

If you really want to be wowed, read this post by Brenna Aubrey and this post by Matthew Mather.

This is not a rah-rah blog post saying that everyone should self-publish their own books. It is a lot of work, it requires an investment up front, and some self-published genres (like romance) sell better than others. I have decided to publish my own books, at least for the time being, and primarily to the digital market. That doesn't mean that I won't consider seeking out an agent or a traditional publisher in the future. It DOES mean that Beacon of Love will soon be available as a re-release and with a beautiful new cover in the next couple of weeks  AND that its sequel, Inferno of Love, will be available in early spring as well!

Stay tuned!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Monday Mentionables: Why Authors Rock

Ok, here's the thing: authors rock. And I don't mean they rock because they bleed plot lines and sweat character arcs and generally suffer in a very solitary manner to produce stories that readers may or may not decide to buy.

They rock because they help each other out.

In the 7+ years I've been bouncing around this industry, trying to find my feet and figure out the ins and outs of the publishing world, I have had the good fortune to come in contact with authors from around the world, in all genres and from all backgrounds, and they have inevitably given of themselves to help me (and others) negotiate the twists and turns in the road.

Never has this been more true than over the past weekend, when I was (still am) struggling with my decision whether or not to sign 2 contracts with Kensington or venture out on my own and publish those titles independently. You would think this would be a relatively painless decision. I mean, I'm not a newbie. I know what things to look out for, what things to consider...but it's still a tough call. There are pros and cons on both sides. So when I reached out to other authors for their advice, some of whom I knew personally, most of whom I didn't, the response was stunning.

In an eight hour period, no fewer than 20 authors responded - some on the author loop where I had posted my questions, more through my email account. They were new authors and seasoned authors, NY Times best-selling authors, those published with big name publishers and those who'd taken their rights back and published themselves, and just about everything in between. And they were, every one of them, sincere and genuine and open and honest with their advice. They told me what they'd experienced. They gave me numbers. They gave me concrete examples. They wrote with lots of exclamation points and ALL CAPITAL LETTERS, and at the end, every one of them wished me well with whatever decision I ultimately made.

Where else can you get support like that? I am truly happy to be a part of such a giving group of professionals. Now....when I finally decide what I'm going to do with those titles, I'll let you know!