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Latest thoughts on indie publishing

Got a question/comment about the business of writing or about the publishing industry? Here's your place to post it!
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SarahWoodbury
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Latest thoughts on indie publishing

Post by SarahWoodbury » Tue February 15th, 2011, 3:56 pm

http://kriswrites.com/2011/02/10/the-bu ... s-part-17/

This article is another in a long line of people--mid-list authors mostly--who have revised their opinion about ebooks and self-publishing. I'm pursuing both avenues, but . . . it is certainly food for thought.

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fljustice
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Post by fljustice » Tue February 15th, 2011, 5:35 pm

Thanks for the link, Sarah! A very thoughtful post.
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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
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Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Tue February 15th, 2011, 5:41 pm

Thanks for the link, Sarah. It was an interesting article.

I started noticing publishing (blogs, writer's conferences) exactly six years ago, when I finished my first novel in 2005. Being something of a research nut, I set out to research--and it became clear that the times, they were a changin' and nobody knew what to predict, really, altho most of the dinosaurs were swearing the asteroid didn't matter.

So since I have many other claims on my time and my money, I opted to do a test-market with self-pubbing POD, using the skills I learned putting out annual reports for non-profits. It was cheap. For me, it was easy. And it provided feedback from real readers that kicked my storytelling uphill with many a painful thump in the arse.

I have a geeky husband with a studio, so novel #3 got the audiobook test. Given that my voice-acting skills are only middling, it was an eye-opener. I got four times as many enthusiastic recommendations with an audiobook than the same book in paper. But still not enough to convince me to put in the time and money for a media blitz. And I wasn't ready to go public yet.

My thinking is exactly with the blogger on that: if you don't have more than one commodity to sell, it probably isn't worth the effort of setting up a store. I'm not launching until I have five. Actually, as of right now it will be six. Some of those have needed a lot of re-purposing as I get feedback--it's not about 'art' as the writer sees it, it's about whether the reader you have in mind enjoys the ride.

I'm going to shoot for the big six publishers now that I have their criteria well in hand. All I need is one success--enough to get 20,000 readers who really, really liked my work. (right now I have about 200-not enough to launch, but a good beta reader force.) After that, I go indie. I've spent half a lifetime learnign business and promotional skills for penniless nonprofits, they'll work just fine for selling novels. As long as the product is worth the time.

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fljustice
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Post by fljustice » Wed March 2nd, 2011, 9:48 pm

I just spent a marathon afternoon reading the whole series and was suitably impressed with Ms. Rusch's grasp of writing as a business. (I'm pretty sure I read a couple of her fantasy novels way back when.) Her admonishment about slow writers hit home (one book every three years certainly isn't fast!) Not every post will be of interest to every writer, but there was considerable meat...much too much to be digested at once.

http://kriswrites.com/business-rusch-ta ... ng-series/
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MLE (Emily Cotton)
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 3562
Joined: August 2008
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Fri March 4th, 2011, 7:39 am

Thanks for the link, fljustice. I have just completed a marathon reading Ms. Rusch's posts (200 pages, printed out) and am now starting on her husband's series, Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing.

I found the entire thing very encouraging. As someone who did a fair amount of the nuts an bolts of 'publishing' for various non-profits, I am one of those people who scratched my head and wondered why Big Publishing was worth so much to established writers when the component parts could be purchased so simply-- and usually with better quality controls.

After watching the llama industry sink under oversupply, I figured that the publishing industry would founder under the weight of nearly free works from desperate writers--some of whom were bound to be good.

But the truth is, I'm still getting requests from people who want llamas from me, long after I stopped breeding them, because they liked the unique experience our company provided. In the same vein, Rusch has convinced me that a decent writer can build her own following and make a living at it, even with a cacophony of other voices waving free alternatives in the reader's face.

Although I was determined to climb Big Publishing's cliff. But now that e-book contract stuff has me wavering...

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LoveHistory
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Post by LoveHistory » Fri March 4th, 2011, 1:22 pm

Thank you for the link fljustice. I've bookmarked it and will be reading as time permits.

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fljustice
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Post by fljustice » Fri March 4th, 2011, 4:07 pm

[quote=""MLE""]Thanks for the link, fljustice. I have just completed a marathon reading Ms. Rusch's posts (200 pages, printed out) and am now starting on her husband's series, Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing...
Although I was determined to climb Big Publishing's cliff. But now that e-book contract stuff has me wavering...[/quote]

Thanks, MLE! I haven't started Smith's stuff yet. Yeah, the Big Publishing rights grab set me back on my heels.
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