Book Plans

So, Samhain—the big e-publisher—passed on my book. I’m not hurt; they mostly focus on romance titles, so it was kind of a stretch. And in turn, I decided after a lot of thought to decline the offer from Lyrical. They seem like a perfectly nice little shop but they simply don’t offer enough to justify giving up, not only forty percent of royalties, but also the chance to retain all rights and complete control over my work. For example audio rights, something most authors have basically ignored for a long time, are becoming much more important in the digital age—and retaining those rights can be huge for an author.

So I’ve contracted with one of my favorite artists to create a cover image for me, and I’m hoping to release The Millennial Sword as an e-book in the spring. Meanwhile, my New Year’s resolution is to resume progress on my new manuscript. From what I’ve been reading about authors building their careers through e-publishing, it’s important to have a “backlist” of titles—readers who like one book are likely to check out others by the same writer. Authors who are making a living through e-publishing rarely do it with one breakout bestseller, but rather by building up a number of titles that each sell steadily. After all, in the digital world, books don’t go “out of print” and they don’t have to jostle for space on a shelf with other, newer titles, so they can keep on earning a small but steady income pretty much forever.

On the subject of e-publishing, I thought this blog post from an agent was pretty interesting:

I’ve been an agent for almost a quarter of a century. I’ve had a lot of authors say they would do anything to make a good living as a writer, and then ask me what they should do. In the past, that answer had way too much to do with luck and timing, but today, a genre writer who puts in 40 hours a week can make a good living as a writer within two years of starting out through epub. The times they are a changing.

I believe we are entering a whole new world of publishing that resembles the pulp fiction heyday of the past. Readers want dependable books that they can devour, and authors who can deliver them consistently. This will be a renaissance of story telling. It’s quite exciting.

I think it’s exciting too.

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