I saw a tweet today that led me to an excellent (if a little dated now) blog post about five traditionally published authors who have switched to self publishing. It is a July posting on www.howtowriteshop.loridevoti.com (exact posting is here).
In short, the posting is an interview with five established romance writers who, once the rights on their manuscripts reverted back to them, decided to self publish their works in ebook format. I recommend you read what they have to say. I won’t repost it here, as it isn’t mine to show, but it is interesting information..
I also read an article in The Huffington Post from back in December of 2010. (Why do I never find these things until several months after they’re out?) The article has an interview with Brian S. Pratt, author of the seven volume The Morcyth Saga, and The Broken Key (trilogy), two series that the author has self published through Smashwords and Amazon. To quote the article…
Pratt began publishing with Smashwords (the ebook publishing and distribution platform I run) in early 2009. His first quarterly royalty payment was $7.82.
After describing some of Pratt’s feelings at the time, it goes on to say that as of Q3 of 2010…
…he earned over $18,000 from sales across the Smashwords retail distribution network. This quarter, (Q4 – 2010) with three weeks to go, he’s on track to break $25,000. At his current rate, he could earn $200,000 in 2011 when he includes his sales at Amazon.
I checked out Pratt’s website. In addition to the two series of books I already listed, there are also a few stand-alone volumes, as well as a couple more series in progress. In short, Pratt seems to be a relatively prolific writer. Go read the article, and the interview that follows it.
“So,” you ask, “what else is happening?”
Not much, yet a lot.
Half Past Midnight is off to Telemachus Press. I’ve had a couple of conversations with Steve Jackson, one of the partners there – a very friendly and knowledgeable guy – and got them the first half of the payment (second half is due on completion of the project). I love the fact that Telemachus operates on a simple, straightforward, work-for-hire business model, with no hidden fees or agendas.
So for now, HPM is out of my hands, and I feel a strange combination of relief and (oddly enough) loss. For a few days after I sent it in, I didn’t quite know what to do with myself. Up to that point, it seemed like every free minute was spent on some aspect of the novel; writing, rewriting, editing, discussing it with Lynn O’Dell, planning marketing strategies, second-guessing myself on all of the above… Once I turned the manuscript in, I actually took a couple of days off from writing. It was a strange feeling.
I found that there were other people in the house with me! One introduced herself as my wife, the other as my son. I’m kidding, of course, but it felt a bit strange to be lolling around on the couch watching television with the family. And once I’d spent a few days not writing, I began to feel a strange mixture of guilt and desire for the writing again. So I got back on ‘The Road to Rejas“, which had been fermenting in my brain for a few weeks. There were characterizations I couldn’t quite get to gel in my mind, and they finally came together. So now the progress meter on that one is moving. It’s not moving as quickly as I would like, but it is moving. And as is so common for me, as I approach my ten thousand word goal for the story, I am beginning to suspect that I have once again underestimated the story that these characters want to tell. I may be able to pull it in under ten thousand words, but if not, then I won’t worry about it. The tale will be what the tale will be.
As a trivial side note, after working on this novel for so long, I only recently thought to find out what Rejas means in Spanish. When I named the town in HPM (and now the companion story “The Road to Rejas“), I wanted to set the story in the Big Thicket area of east Texas, and thought a name with a Spanish feel to it was appropriate. I won’t go into all the details of how Rejas came to me, but suffice to say, I never actually looked it up until last week. Turns out that rejas is Spanish for “bars” (and I don’t mean the fun ones with adult beverages).
Yep, I named my town after a jailhouse barrier.
And a last-minute update here, as I prepare to post this — Steve Jackson called a few hours ago letting me know that HPM is winding its way through the Telemachus process, and that I will likely receive a phone call within a few days regarding the status and to discuss next steps. That’s all pretty exciting to me, but possibly not so much for you. However, he also mentioned that he had written a reply to my last blog posting (Gatekeepers?), and it was awaiting my approval.
I went in and checked it, and was not only flattered, but am also a bit excited about some of what he had to say. His succinct, no-holds-barred comparisons of the publishing industry to some of the past industries that failed to properly adapt to new technologies was spot on. In fact, I think I’m going to get back with him and see if he has any objection to my reposting it as a stand-alone guest blog post. In my opinion, his reply deserves a little more attention than being buried as an addendum to one of my posts.
If you want to read it now, then check out the Gatekeepers? link and click “responses” at the top right of the post.
For now, that’s it. I think I’ll go see if I can get in touch with Steve.
Until next time, keep safe, keep reading, and keep writing.