Monday, June 20, 2011

To Publish or Not to Publish

Okay, so here's something cool. I started writing Bonk & Hedz the first week of December and finished it 71 days later. Now it's just over six months from the first day I started writing and I already submitted it to Kindle and Create Space.

How different is that than when my first book came out? I signed a contract with a traditional publisher and the book hit the streets about a year later. And that publisher is so behind the times, they still don't offer their books on Kindle or B&N.

There's a revolution going on in the publishing world, led by people like Joe Konrath and Barry Eisler who champion self-publishing and spreading stuff all over the e-world.

But the publishers and agents have their own champions like Mike Cane who wrote the elegantly and delicately phrased blog titled "Joe Konrath Needs to Shut the F**k Up" (follow his link if you don't believe me). And Cane rather staunchly defends the old publishing formula.

For me, I'm keeping a foot in each world. I have had three traditionally published books, which enabled me to qualify for full (rather than associate) membership in The Mystery Writers of America and SCBWI, and, who knows, maybe my membership in Missouri's Guild had some strings attached to it.

But I'm also moving into the self-publishing world, aka 'indie publishing', whereas it's more like the wild west. There's no vetting of books. Anyone can be an author, and in less time than it took for me to get Bonk and Hedz into the current.

And some of those books are truly horrid. There's a reason publishers and agents rejected the books.

Here's why I think that doesn't matter. First of all, that's what previewing is all about. The wonderful thing about ebooks is, at least with Kindle, you can download the fist twenty or so pages before spending your hard earned buck, or, in some cases, 99 cents.

But most of the traditionally published books I've sold seem to have been because I had some kind of hand in personally promoting them. Sad, but true. My small press publishers didn't really add a whole lot to the effort. So why should someone else get a cut, adding cost to the book (my author copies, too), and being the decision makers on everything, be it pricing, publication date, distribution and cover?

For the validation? Yeah, maybe, a little. But I think I'm done being validated. I want to sell books. I want to make my books available for the public, for a reasonable amount not dictated by someone else, and I want my efforts to count.

When Bonk & Hedz is through Kindle's set-up process, it's going to carry a price tag of ninety nine cents on Kindle. I couldn't do that with my publisher. And later, if I like, I can increase the price. It's all up to me.  Someone could buy Bonk & Hedz, The Adventures of Guy (originally traditionally published), The Guy'd Book and WereWoof for a total of less than three bucks, three more if they want to get Fang Face.

In other words, seven dollars would put five of my books in your Kindle. Make that six books and eight dollars when the rights to The Next Adventures of Guy revert back to me sometime in the next half a year.

So for now, the word is publish.  I shall publish.  And my next one is ... Bonk & Hedz.

Norm

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