Sunday, July 29, 2012

Going Forward

For a long time and for various reasons, namely the phenomenal success of an author with whom I'm acquainted online, I have been considering dipping my toes into independent epublishing. To that end, I've written a series of six cozy mysteries set in a small mythical Arkansas town:
  • Penelope Pembroke and the Bogus Biker
  • Penelope Pembroke and the Stubborn Schoolhouse Spirit
  • Penelope Pembroke and the Feedstore Floozy
  • Penelope Pembroke and the Possum Hollow Hullabaloo
  • Penelope Pembroke and the Larcenous Legacy
  • Penelope Pembroke and Sam's Song
Right now, I've rewritten five of the six and am working on a new twist for the final book which winds up the series. I'm also working to learn about the New World of independent epublishing--mainly how to do it! I have a fat folder of information in My Documents as well as several ebooks downloaded to my Kindle.

Books on Kindle
  • Format Your eBook for Kindle in One Hour by Derek J. Canyon
  • eBook Cover Success: A Step-by-Step Process to Create Your eBook Cover  by Shelley Hitz
  • How to Sell More Books on Amazon: Top Strategies for Selling Books and Kindle Books on Amazon and Maximizing Your Profits by Dana Lynn Smith (The Savvy Bookmarketer)
  • The Beginners Guide to eBooks by Gary McLaren
  • The Newbie's Guide to Publishing by J.A. Konrath
  • Smashwords Book Marketing by Mark Coker
  • How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months by John Locke
  • The Complete Guide to SELF-Publishing: Everything You Need to Know to Write, Publish, Promote, and Sell Your Own Book by Marilyn Ross and Sue Collier
I have read some--not all--of these books and have found something useful in each one. So far, I wouldn't say I've wasted my money.

I am NOT a fan of self-publishing--i.e. the vanity publishers who will publish anything if you fork over the big bucks. They do, I know, on occasion publish some excellent books, but whenever I see a display of books published locally, I check the imprint. If it is a pay-to-publish book, I don't buy it. It may be a great book, but there's no guarantee.

I AM a fan of small independent publishers who do POD for print and have an eBook catalogue. I've had a happy association with The Wild Rose Press for four books and hope someday to have more. (If you write romance, check out this author-friendly publisher with wonderful editors and savvy business practices--they are flourishing!)

So why am I experimenting with independent epublishing? Consider:
  1. Penelope Pembroke doesn't fit the romance guidelines for TWRP, which is where I'd send them if they did.
  2. Six books equates to AT LEAST six years of queries, submissions, edits, galleys, and all those things which give birth to the finished book. By the time #6 came out (assuming I found a publisher for them), those who had read the first ones would have forgotten them. By independently publishing them, I can have all six up at the same time...offer the first one free...and hopefully hook the readers of #1 to want the other five!
  3.  In addition, I have a whole series of stories geared for children, teens, and young adults, which I can offer in small increments--half a dozen per volume, for example;and I have one full-length adult novel which doesn't seem to fit any subgenre.
 It all makes sense to me, and it won't cost me anything except time and hard work. Time I have; hard work I don't mind. And, with some venues, I can get print books if I wish to have some on hand for conferences and other events.

Again, I don't expect to become rich and famous--just enjoy myself--and perhaps make some good sales along the way...


Maddy said...

That's a very interesting perspective. I'm similarly minded about the 'doesn't fit the criteria' and whether to rewrite to squeeze it in or leave well alone and just face up to the fact that you can't shoehorn what you've got into another category.

I hear that short stories popularity is rising nicely along with the increase in e-readership, where readers are keen to 'test the water' with a new writer, so I'd say you're heading in the right direction.

Bellina said...

Very good points! I agree, having control over pricing for your books, including making one a freebie (hint: I've heard give away one in the middle. Folks will want the ones before and after.), and having them come out close together is a good idea. Thanks for the helpful book list, also.

K9friend said...

Judy, you absolutely amaze me with your productivity. I have no doubt you are making a good decision in regard to e-publishing.

Critter Alley