VIRTUALLY HERS came out Oct. 2009. Get it at SAMHAIN Publishing. VIRTUALLY ONE coming soon.

I've also made available at Amazon BIG BAD WOLF a COS Commando book, an earlier manuscript about Killian Nicholas Langley. You can sample the first five chapters right here. EBOOK now available for KINDLE, NOOK, and at SMASHWORDS for $4.99.

I appreciate all your emails. If you'd like to buy Virtually His NEW, please contact me. Thank you.


Big Bad Wolf Author's Note/CH. 1

Big Bad Wolf CH. 2

Big Bad Wolf Ch. 3

(more chapters on left side bar below)

To read excerpts of VIRTUALLY HERS, scroll down & click on the links on the right.



VIRTUALLY HERS OUT IN PRINT AUG 2010! Discounted at Amazon!

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Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Writers: Quick Advice From A Long-Time Self-Employer

At RWA this year, the new religion was "self-publishing." Whether it was one's back list of books, one's book under the bed, or one's plan to release some book not popular with buying editors right now, it's "I'm going to get it out on Kindle and the Nook." There was a palpable air of excitement among the authors, that they now have some kind of new power, the ability to get their books over some magical hurdle.

I'm one of the authors who have already started this journey--have done so the last few years since the 2007 Walmart debacle, actually--and there are many things I've learned that these authors, especially those not savvy with online stuff other than hit the "buy" button, are going to stumble upon before they get their books out into the market. First, it's not just a magic button. Nothing ever is. It's really working for oneself, like owning one's roofing company, for instance, and the latter isn't a walk in the ballpark.

Yes, being a published author is essentially being self-employed, anyway, but being one's own publisher is actually a second job on top of that. Unless, of course, you have a lot of capital and can hire editors, copy-editors, book packagers and formatters, etc. etc.  But would it be called self-publishing then?

And even if you do have the cash to do that, you must still understand how it all works, that you aren't just paying somebody to take care of the work and hope that the end product will come out looking professional; this is a NEW BUSINESS and there are scammers out there, wanting to make a fast buck. There are also people out there who will give you a book that looks like you hired a 5 year-old to do all the editing and cover art. So be careful, authors.

This is the time to research like you did before you were publishing, reading up on everything you needed to know about approaching publishing houses and editors and formatting manuscripts. Your savvy ebook readers expect professional looking ebooks. Your readers paying the extra money for Print-On-Demand expect a professional looking cover--front and back, with a well-edited story between them. Anything less will just defeat the purpose of your goal.

Why am I talking about it? It's none of my business what you do with your writing, right? Not exactly true.

First, it pains me to listen to many author-friends, many of whom have decades of experience over me regarding contracts and the book business, sound so clueless about the self-publishing. E-book publishing and self-publishing are different things, for example. Kindle is NOT a format. Hiring your nephew who is computer-smart for $30 is NOT a good idea, I'm sorry; it doesn't matter how good he is at repairing your computer or how smart he is at his techy computer job. Unless he has read your book, many other ebooks, actually has some experience with romance covers and getting all the formats done correctly for different e-readers, a $30 job is what you're going to get. I could go on and on about the so many more wrong assumptions.

Second, I want this new venture to succeed, for me and my friends. I don't want it to get a bad rap that readers get wary about buying self-publishing books. As more and more writers and "writers" jump on the bandwagon, there's sure to be more and more dissatisfied rumblings and complaints from readers. Remember, more than ever before, if you self-published, your book is YOU and YOU are your book. You can't blame the publisher any more ;-). Unless, of course, you sign, hopefully not in blood, with Amazon, hahaha.

More on this coming--the other self-employment job is calling.

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1 comment:

Deborah Blake Dempsey said...

This is a great post. You should submit something to RWR. I think a lot of people are getting so excited about the "idea" of self-publishing that they are not taking everything you said, and have yet to say about the topic, into consideration.

The opportunities are great and everything is shiny and new, but not taking the time to invest in all aspects - like a publishing house would do - can be hazardous to an indie writer. If they make the wrong decisions, poor editing, unappealing covers, etc., they will have to continually change their pen names until they get it right or simply give up the whole self-publishing deal. Either way, as you said, it's a big decision that should not be made lightly.

I'm all for self-publishing if it's a route a writer choses, but when I hit the buy button, I want to know that I won't get aggravated and jaded because the book doesn't live up to what it should.


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