Saturday, August 18, 2012

The new direction in publishing

A few days ago, a fellow author, Janet Miller posted some very interesting thoughts on The New Publishing Paradigm, and she reported USA Bestselling author, Stephanie Laurens' presentation at the RWA National Conference. I wasn't present at the conference, but I read every line of the famous presentation. Extremely interesting and so right. I decided to comment here.

"If you have a big name already, you might be able to just throw up your work on Amazon and most likely your fans will find you."
So true. Previous Bestselling authors such as Gemma Haliday or Kathleen Long, and many more, hit the bestseller lists again as indie authors, but what's even more encouraging is that many new authors managed to achieve the bestselling status with their self-published books that were rejected by traditional publishing houses. 

"If a publishing house has a reputation then people flock to it on release day to shop for new books and even if they don’t buy the book on the publisher’s website, they will look it up on the various online ebook stores associated with their favorite ebook reader and buy it there. The publisher’s website becomes the virtual bookstore to browse through."
I have been there with two publishers. Release Day is a big party with good sales. The trail lasts a week, a month, and then the new book falls into oblivion and is replaced by newer books. The author is left with the task of promoting her book. For months, she exhausts herself at gaining visibility through blog tours, contests, posting comments and emails on various loops, paid advertising, and hopefully a few good reviews posted on Amazon, Goodreads, and others.

I've experienced first hand the gamut of emotions that hit a new author: elation at seeing your book cover with your name, incredible satisfaction at holding your first printed book, and so much expectation. And then the disappointment and frustration set in, and the high and lows while struggling to increase the sales. To no avail.

As Janet specifies in her post, "I see a publishing house offering three things of importance: good editing, good distribution, and a name for quality."
 I agree with her, and I did concentrate on a good editing and a name for quality. As for the good distribution, Indie publishing gave me the incredible chance to set my own price and prepare my book cover the way I wanted. In addition, the Amazon KDP Select program offered me the visibility I so badly needed. My stories did the rest and gain the readers' approval.

Between October 2011 and now I published five ebooks, the last one only two three days ago.

August 2012 NEIGHBORS and MORE


November 2011 RIGHT NAME, WRONG MAN,

October 2011 NO MORE LIES

My only regret is that I hesitated for four months and didn't plunge into self-publishing earlier. Now even self-publishing is becoming more difficult than last year, but authors support each other through promotions and reviews.

Like any type of publishing, self-publishing involves a lot of work and stress, but you can do it and succeed if you put your heart in it.


Patrice said...

You've done incredibly well, Mona, and I'm so happy for you. In what way has self publishing become more difficult? I haven't had anything new up now for about six months, but will be putting up something soon.

Mona Risk said...

Thank you Patrice. I owe it to you. I followed your example, but now the competition has greatly increased with too many previously NY published authors going Indie. Also there are too many books offered at low price, as a result the sales have decreased by a third according to my experience and what I heard from other indie authors.

Beth Trissel said...

Very interesting, Mona. A big high five to you and your success at Indie publishing. Not all fare so well as you. One of my Indie titles has soared, but the other has been a disappointment. I've decided to stick with the Wild Rose Press for most of my books, and publish a few stories on my own. Mix it up a little.

Mona Risk said...

I hear you, Beth. My new release is not doing well so far.

Josie said...

Thanks for your post, Mona. I've followed your writing success for years. You've set a wonderful example for me to follow.

Morgan Mandel said...

The trick is to nab a good following that eagerly awaits your new book each time.
I'm convinced KDP Select is the way to go and will use it with Her Handyman, which is now with my editor.

Morgan Mandel

Rolynn Anderson said...

Thanks for the candid revelations, Mona. I'm trying to mix it up...takes LOADS of time. I'm going to find out about KDP SELECT and HANDYMAN. Sigh. There is so much to learn! BTW, Debra Holland's info (I took her online course on Self-pubbing)...she's got great ideas for us all to learn. Rolynn