The Kindle version of Sword and Sorceress 30, with my Justice Anthea story "Diplomacy in the Dark", is available for pre-order! As far as I know, there will be a paperback version, but it's not showing on any of the retail sites yet. But if you want instant delivery to your reading device on November 2, get your order in now!
In the meantime, I'm busting my ass on editing the full-length novel!
(Not that I'm excited about this or anything. *grin* )
I've gotten that question from a number of newbie writers in both of my guises. Lots of folks are skipping the trad submission merry-go-round. Good for them! But that doesn't mean craft goes out the window.
Frankly, my answer for each person would be "It depends." So here's some thoughts on the matter:
1) Is your story coherent?
Seriously, does it have a beginning, a middle, and an end? Does the narrative flow seamlessly from section to the next? Unless you're writing some experimental, existential bullshit, your story needs to make sense to the average reader.
2) Are your details consistent?
Does the hero's name change from John Doe to Steve Smith for no apparent reason? Do the heroine's eyes change from hazel to blue without contacts? If it's Tuesday and the hero and heroine make a date to meet in three days, why are they meeting on Sunday? Those little logic traps can jerk a reader out of a story. Readers don't like being jerked.
3) Is your grammar, punctuation and spelling solid?
See what I did in this question? I left out the fucking Oxford comma. I hate the fucking Oxford comma. That's a matter of style preference. But if you think "punctuation" should be spelled p-u-n-k-c-h-u-a-s-h-u-n, then you might want to got through your manuscript again.
4) This is a marathon; not a sprint.
Don't let yourself get into a rush. Don't skip steps unless you are consciously doing it for a particular reason. The rush thing is U.S. corporate mentality which was hammered into us in public schools or through assimilation in cubicles. No one's going to take indie publishing away from you. Put out the best product you can.
5) Don't let fear slow you down.
This is the opposite of #4 above. If you are obsessing over the first three to the point you WON'T publish your work, perfectionism has taken over your brain. It's a form of fear. Fear of being judged. (You will be anyway.) Fear of being ridiculed (Yeah, that will probably happen, too.) Fear of putting a little piece of your soul out into the world. But guess what? There's going to be more people who like your story and encourage you, and that's much more important.
Books about sex are bad, and are hidden to prevent people like me from corrupting young minds. Yet, I can find Bondage Duckies from the main shopping page. And people wonder why I don't go Select. *facepalm*
I've been overwhelmed with editing the finished books I want to get out this year, writing new manuscripts, and keeping up with my freelancers (who always seem to be light years ahead of me). On the good side, that means lots of stuff coming out under both of my author names later this month.
On the bad side, I'm not keeping up with any of my blogs (as I'm sure you have especially noticed here). So I'm cutting back on posting to Wednesdays and Saturdays only for the rest of 2015.
Well, I take that back. You'll get the occasional Monday Movie Mania post because there's lots of movies I want to see in the near future, starting with October 23rd's releases of Vin Diesel's The Witch Hunter and Jem & the Holograms: The Movie.
Today's post is a little later than usual because I needed to really think about the situation I want to address. The main difference between trad and indie publishers is their marketing concept: the produce model versus the longtail.
The produce model consists of leaving a book on the brick-and-mortar book shelf for a limited period of time. It makes sense because the physical constraints of the bookstore can hold only so many paperback and hardback items. Trad publishers have view e-books the same way.
The longtail means leaving books (both e-book and POD books which makes sense for indie publishers because of the high cost of a print run and the waste of the return system) available on the virtual shelf forever because computing space is incredibly cheap these days.
Because of the produce model, the trad publishers have licensed rights to thousands of books that they aren't bothering to sell. And they finally noticed this.
It's not the subscription service part that worries me. It's the fact that she's noticed that S&S has thousands of books they can dump back into the market and not ruin their front list. In other words, a trad pub CEO has noticed the long tail and plans to use it.
Can S&S pump all these e-books into the market at once? No, not when they've cut personnel to the bone. In theory, they would also need to review contracts to see if they have the rights, which would also take time. Big corporations are more likely to put out the e-books anyway and tell the little, powerless authors to go ahead and sue them.
Even when/if a trad published author manages to get their rights back, it takes time to get their books into e-book shape. Kris Rusch has a good breakdown on how hard it is for indies to keep up with only five to ten books. She also points out that trad publishers are now competing with indies for ad space in places like BookBub., which a couple of years ago carried only advertised deals on indie books. They even emphasized in a recent blog how they preferred older books for their adequate reviews. (And I can't for the life of me find the page that I had thought I bookmarked. When I do, I'll add the link.)
Granted, Titan Books, which has the reprint rights to The Eternal Champion, is a smaller publisher than S&S, but S&S and the rest of the Big 5 could do this eventually. If writers think the indie tsunami ruins their discoverability now, wait until the large publishers get their reissue machine chugging.
If they do. Just because a CEO has noticed a potential revenue stream, it doesn't mean that they'll take full advantage of it. But I really do think this is the last nail in the indie gold rush.
Does that mean we can't compete? Hell, no! But as I've repeatedly said, we have to be better than the trad pubs to get attention. To that end, I'm working on new covers for my books as we speak.
Indie publishing is a business; we have to treat it as such if we want to compete.
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