I am about to dive in where others have gone before. I’ve finished revising my last backlist title. It took me quite a while, as the doc file is over 500 pages and I made lots of changes. Now comes the next stage, which is to hire a cover designer.
Wait, not so fast. First, I need to determine the back cover copy. That’s not so hard. I can use the same one that’s on the original paperback with a few heading changes. But inside the book are more challenges. There are several introductory pages containing an excerpt, review quotes, and a dedication. I ditched the latter, as those people no longer apply to my current career. The excerpt and quote are reusable with some slight modifications. But what now? Do I add them to the front of my doc file? Should I include a title page? Maybe on Smashwords, these things are delineated, but I haven’t gone there yet to read the requirements. First I have to get a cover.
Getting a cover will probably necessitate filling out a description of the hero/heroine and a suggested background scene. I already have a list of cover artists garnered from other authors’ online posts. But now I must prepare these materials for when I contact one of them. Hopefully the artist will determine the proper fonts and where to put my name and book title. And I have to remember to state somewhere that this book was previously published and written under a pseudonym.
This whole process seems daunting, but I’d like to use this book as an experiment. Because who knows, if my current works on the market fail to sell, I may choose to go this route. Or I may just get tired of waiting for a response and then waiting another year or two for the book to be published.
It’s a scary thought for an author who has only sought traditional publishers or legit e-book pubs before. Plus, self-published works are still not accepted by many reviewers or booksellers for signing events, so there is a certain loss of prestige.
I know some of you have already cast off the shackles of print publishers and ventured into this new territory. Are you happy with your choice? How many of you have done it for original works?
I have considered it for several reasons. When you have a series that the publisher deems not worth printing for a solid core of fans, say 20-40,000, ebooking it is the obvious way to go. When you’ve never published conventionally, I think it’s much harder to get attention and sales. But facing the choice, I think it’s hard to get on the high board and take the plunge. Interesting to see how many of the conventional authors can go self pub after decades of thinking self publishing is abhorrent.
Nancy, I think it’s a no brainer to put out your backlist on E. So long as you tinker with it, maybe even rewrite a large part of it to reflect how you’ve grown as a writer, what’s the downside? You’re doing what trad publishers always want their authors to do, “build a platform.” You’re growing readers.
My e-books complement my print work (both fiction and writing related). Since no one knows what the marketplace is going to look like in the next few years, except the fact that e-books will be a larger share of the pie (perhaps 60% by 2015, according to some estimates), I can’t think of a reason why a trad pubbed author shouldn’t also stick a toe, or entire foot, into the water. You will make more readers and make more money. Guaranteed. How much? It’s going to be more than $1000 and less than Amanda Hocking. It won’t be 0.
I am currently publishing shorter form fiction that would not get published traditionally anyway. I have backlist titles I’m revamping. There is no reason not to continue. I’m making new readers and getting paid each month for doing so. How is this not a good thing?
Nancy, like Jim said, there’s very little downside to what you propose. And adding to the point Miller made, you’re already an established author with a following. It’s not nearly as steep a climb as a new writer. Plus, there’s a huge industry that’s grown out of the ebook explosion that specializes in helping writers get their book online. You can do as much or as little as you want or feel comfortable with. The best part is you’ve already done the writing. I say, go for it!
Thanks for the votes of confidence. My backlist is already available except for one last book that I’ve just finished revising.
It’s taking the plunge for new works that scares me, and it won’t please my agent either, but once we’ve exhausted the print possibilities or I get tired of waiting for a response…it’s time.
But then the question also arises, e-pub or self-pub? I’m inclining toward the latter for all the reasons you’ve given.
Going to critique group, will be back later.
SO does that mean that e-pub supercedes self-pub? can you one and not the other since you own the rights for both?
Yes, I’m very happy I went the indie route for my backlist. Read my post on Konrath’s blog: http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2011_03_11_archive.html Then quadruple the numbers. Very happy indeed.
All of my published books are ebook- available. My first novel was recently released as an ebook by Bantam/Dell, so I’m talking about the future. I have several manuscripts that I can put out but I will have to rewrite them. It has always been difficult for new authors, and that isn’t going to change. In fact it may grow even more difficult to achieve huge success due to the numbers of books that will be self-published. It won’t stop new authors because nothing can, and I am excited that I’ll be able to read more new authors. I have always said that even had I known the odds of never being published, I would have done as I did anyway. I am sure that all of us here would have done.
By the Way Joe Moore and Lynn Sholes have a new book, THE PHOENIX APOSTLES, I am going to order for my Kindle as soon as it is on the market. If you have not read any of their books, do it now.
As a relative newb with multiple novels I have taken the uphill plunge as an indie both in ebook and print.
It is worth the while as Selena says. While I’ve not gotten rich out of it, I have at least started the process and am working to continue building the base until such a time as one or more of my stories hits big boy status with a trad pub, if that ever happens.
Starting from scratch as a new writer, with little time or money for marketing other than a few blog posts here and there makes it a slow start, but it works. As the saying goes, slow and steady wins the race.
If you are interested in making me rich and famous you can look me up on Amazon or at http://www.basilsands.com.
My wife would appreciate it.
Hey, Miller, thanks for the plug. It’s Kindle ready. Enjoy.
I’ve been traditionally published (um, cough, eons ago), and I turned to self-pubbing an ebook because big publishing kept eating my lunch.
Early days for me, but so far exciting, scary…getting a few sales every day.
I can recommend a great cover artist, if you like.
Thanks, Toni, I have a list of cover artists too if anyone wants it, email me privately. Some are better for mystery, some do the kind of romance I write, and some do all genres. That’s the first step before approaching Smashwords. I’ll see how this backlist book goes on my own, and then will examine the options for my original works. The whole industry is turning upside down.
Joe, I have all your earlier books on my shelf but maybe I’ll add your latest on my Kindle. For those of you who haven’t read his work, pick one up for an action adventure story reminescent of Indiana Jones but with a spiritual edge.
Thanks, Nancy. Hope you enjoy THE PHOENIX APOSTLES.
You go, Nancy!!! Enjoy the ride.