Alright, this is late news in WordPress-Land…but as of 3/11/19, I am officially a (self) published writer.
I had originally been planning on making a final decision on publishing or self-publishing my novel – No One Of Consequence – by this past Monday, after a conversation with a publisher last Friday. What I learned as I was researching self-publishing was that having more than one title available lent a significant credibility advantage to self-published authors. Now, I had plans for a second installment of No One Of Consequence with a self-imposed November ’19 deadline.
But that’s a long time to wait for a credibility lift.
So, I went back to a thought I had in January ’18 when I began my Dating Into Oblivion writing challenge. Originally, I’d thought that it would make a good NaNoWriMo compilation for last year. I’d been skunked for the prior…six? – yeah, six years on participating because I work in retail. November in retail is a bad month to take on a non-work related special project. I figured having a dozen blogs in the pipeline as a foundation would help me succeed in 2018.
Of course, then I ended up not working and just wrote a damn book.
This was actually more rewarding for me, since I’d never wanted to be a memoirist, even though that’s where my natural writer’s voice would place me. That being said, I totally wrote in the first person.
Then my plan was to just publish No One Of Consequence with a tentative release date of April 1st – because of course I would release my novel on April Fool’s Day.
Learning that a second work was recommended, going through the self-publishing motions with Dating Into Oblivion turned out to be a wise way to kill time before my publisher interview.
Is that what it’s called, an interview?
Well, with self-publishing it’s on you to provide your own editing and cover.
Ok, I figured I could reasonably succeed at one of those, but what the hell was I gonna do for a cover?!?
Turns out, Amazon Publishing has a cover design tool. Which is how I ended up publishing a non-fiction work with nothing on the back cover but an awkwardly cropped picture of me. No synopsis, no About the Author…just my thumbnail pic and the rest was black.
Glad I took a dry run.
By the time the first hard copies were delivered, I’d figured out how to fix the back cover. By accident.
Meanwhile, while I thought I had done a good job of editing during my two read throughs – one for tense and content after laying it out and one for typos – what I missed were typos that accidentally created an actual damn word.
But, at least I can re-upload a corrected copy. So there’s that.
I also learned that if you’re going Kindle and hard copy, do the hard copy first, then do the Kindle version. For whatever reason, the hard copy process includes a spellcheck function and the Kindle version does not.
The last thing I had to consider I’m self-publishing was pricing. I nosed around in my genre on Amazon for comparable work and was surprised to see the pricing was actually higher than I had thought. I’d been thinking $3.99 Kindle and $5.99 hard copy. Well, A) there are a lot of short works – like 60 pages – in my genre, mine was in the 150 page range; and, B) they were more in the $4.99 Kindle/$9.99 hard copy range.
I was ok with all of that.
Ugh. This was confusing. But I’m going to try and break it down for you.
The obvious winner: 70%!
This was Kindle only and you can’t release it on any other e-platform.
Runner up – and if you’re gonna write a book…don’t you want a book? 60%
You can publish a Kindle and a hard copy, both available on Amazon.com. The shocker here is that print fees come out of your royalties. So the author’s 60% is actually .60 – print fees. Printing fees for Dating Into Oblivion were $2.74, but it’s print on demand, which is convenient. So for my $4.99 Kindle book, my take away is actually around $3. However, for my $9.99 hard copy, I’m walking with just under $3.75 per unit in royalties.
For this little experiment, that was better than the final option: 40%
This affords the author the ability to wholesale their book. So, my book could be available to bookstores to order and in this case, I’d make $1.66 per unit that a wholesaler ordered.
If they found it on Amazon’s offerings. I decided to keep that option in my back pocket for No One Of Consequence. Remember, I’m not dying to be remembered as a memoirist. I just…I dunno.
But this is all good to know as I wait for my publisher interview.
I should say, my publisher interview, which went predictably terrible. I know it was my first conversation of this type. Strangely, it seemed like theirs, too.
So, decision: made.
I was going to self-publish No One Of Consequence.
Naturally, this two weeks before my self-imposes deadline would be the obvious time to rewrite the ending.
So I did.
I’ve got to give it one more read through, then it’s ready to go. I’ve got the cover ready to go and 11 days before I hit the “publish” button. I’m going with the wholesale availability, just…because.
Because: I for sure know someone or someones who knows someone or someones that influence bookstore buying decisions.
IF YOU ARE SOMEONE, I NEED TO HEAR FROM YOU!
But since I planned this to be a three book arc, I want the ability to wholesale it. It might be once the first book starts getting into second wave/used bookstores, someone that buys gay fiction might find my book, I might drunkenly wander into a bookstore and introduce myself…
Also, with the 60% royalty option, my payout minus print fees would have been $6.66 and I really don’t think I need to tempt that kind of fate.
That’s my 411 and my excuse for being so quiet on WordPress for the last two weeks. Also, the bold entry I worked on over the weekend farted out of existence as I finished it, so that didn’t help.
And while all of this has been going on, I got a jump start on the outline for the second book of No One Of Consequence. I feel good about getting it into the hands of my dozens of fans by November.
Which is good, since I woke up the other night with a “Eureka!” idea for a book called GhosTed. It’s about a guy named…Ted, who agrees to a date with an online guy, gets stood up, then jumped and killed on his way home. Bad day for Ted.
It’s a love story, right?
Seriously, as I’m writing this, someone in Big Legrowlski just said
Do you know who David Sedaris is?
No one did.
Anyway…Ted “wakes up” in his no-show suitor’s bed. They figure out that they have to work together in order for Ted to be able to move on. I’m friggin’ excited about this idea! I’m hoping to put some work into it between now and June and have a draft ready to shop to publishers by July 4th.
Because I still want to try that route, just not right now. What I learned about publishing is that submission is a contortion act, the work needs three documents:
The whole work
The first 50 pages
And a synopsis.
Ok, that probably the reverse order in which they are viewed by the publisher. But, after all of that, they’re hoping you have both a marketing plan and a following. Hopefully with DIO and NOOC in the Amazon pipeline, I’ll at least have a small following to sweeten my deal with a potential publisher.
We’ll see. But until then, look for No One Of Consequence on Amazon on 4/1, BUY IT, leave me a (kind) review and if you could, share this post or my work with your friends and network.