Friday, April 15, 2011

My Self Pubbed Thoughts

I've received the rights back to my first and second Halsey brother books and have self-published Marshal in Petticoats for $.99 at Kindle and Smashwords. This is something that I thought about and with my husband wanting to see some numbers racking up in the check book, I decided to go the self pub route with the books I can get my rights back.

You might say if you want to make money why $.99. I have the first book up for that hoping to get readers who might not normally buy a western romance and hope they like it enough they will want to buy the rest in the series for $2.99. You might think that $2.99 doesn't sound like much but by pricing my books at that price I get four times the money per book I get with my publisher.

I found that once I realized what I needed to look for while formatting it goes easier than the first book, Gambling on an Angel, that I self-published. And my talented daughter has made the new book covers. The hard part is finding ways to change the story up a little as per the requirement of my publisher.

Changing things will be easy with Outlaw in Petticoats since I've had a list of things to emphasize from my oldest daughter ever since it released.

I don't think I would have jumped on the self-publishing bandwagon if I hadn't had some experience with editing. I also have to find a way to get the stories I write out to people since they always tend to be different from what the big publishers are looking for, but from my reviews and readers I know they are stories that are enjoyed.

I heard or read somewhere that painters/artists can sell their art anywhere be it on the street corner, a gallery, or a coffee shop. Writing is art and I believe a writer should have the same ability to sell their writing/art where they want to.

What do you think of the new wave of self-publishing? Is it good for the writer? Good for the Reader? Or do you think all books should be through a publisher to be legit?

41 comments:

Jill said...

I feel if you have readers and a platform already, why not self-pub. For those still learning, it's best to go with a house, even if it's a smaller one!

Jenn Nixon said...

I feel if you have readers and a platform already, why not self-pub. For those still learning, it's best to go with a house, even if it's a smaller one!

Lara Z said...

Ask yourself if you're happy with self-pubbing again in a year when all your time has been spent marketing, and you have a pittance of income to show for it.

And no new writing.

Thanks, but I'll stick to working with a publisher. Even a small one has a distribution network so I don't have to build my own.

Firetulip said...

I think self pub is becoming a way to go for many. From the accounting point of view, the traditional houses will start to look at this as the revenue they aren't getting but could be getting and they'll change eventually but they are yet to realize this. And since it all comes down to brimming dollar and raking in revenue and hefty bottom line we'll see this becoming more and more accepted.

Redameter said...

I'm a Smashword author too and love it. A good cover and edits are the two most important things. If you can tell a story that is. But self publishing is where the money is at for the regular author. And you marketing is on key too, girl. You offer something free or low and let them take the niblle.

I make three times the money self publishing with Smashwords as I did with a e-publisher. So yes, I think this is the avenue to persue.

Naturally it takes a certain learning curve, but anyone can learn if they want to. We are going up girl!!!!

Love and blessings
Rita

Micole Black said...

If your name is already out there. I think why not do it. If you are an unpublished writer like myself, i feel like i need to go through all the hoops to get my books out there and published to make a name for myself before I self publish.

Congratulations on you decision. I wish you tons of success! ;-)

Hugs

Micole

Paty Jager said...

Jenn, I agree. I do have readers and the books have fresh new covers and will hopefully catch attention. Thanks for commenting.

Lara, with my small publisher I already spend a third of every day on marketing. I might as well get more for my time. Thanks for commenting.

Firetulip, I agree. Thanks for commenting.

Rita, Thank you for the encouragement!

Paty Jager said...

Micole, I agree. As a newbie author I wouldn't have taken this chance, but having been with a small press that has walked me through much of the processes of publishing a book nine times, I think I'm ready to handle the self-publishing. Good luck with your writing endeavors!

Nickie Asher said...

I think it's the only way to go as long as you (I mean someone like me) hires an editor and has a great cover made by a pro. I would not have said that one year ago. But I no longer fell like I need someone to do this for me and take the lion's share of the money when I did all the work.

Molly Daniels said...

I've done both, and for me personally, I like having a good editor and cover artist. But if people feel they have strong editing and visual arts skills, go for it:)

I'm just now taking a 'crash course' in photoshop, so I can get my first two self-pubbed books onto Kindle.

Paty Jager said...

Nickie, I think more writers are taking control of their work.

Molly, I agree a book has to be well edited and the cover needs to look good, but if a writer has that ability and has good CP's to make sure all the holes are filled and the the plot doesn't fall in a hole, they should be able to sell their work as they see fit.

Jeanmarie Hamilton said...

Paty,
I agree with your comparison of artists and writers. Makes sense to me!

Wishing you all good luck with your new venture!

Julia Rachel Barrett said...

I'm heading in that direction with my WIP. I'm a little nervous about the formatting. I imagine once you do it, you get it. But still...nerve-wracking! I too have editing experience so that isn't a concern.
Good luck!

Paty Jager said...

Thank you, Jeanmarie!

Julia, The formatting is easy it's getting rid of old formatting that is the trick. If you're in word, copy and paste the whole ms into notepad to take out all the old formatting. Then use the markers to see all formatting to make sure it's right.

Keep me posted!

Cara Marsi said...

Paty,

I'm with you. I self-pubbed one of my books when I got the rights back and I'm so glad I did. I'm not burning up the charts with loads of money, but in the first 5 weeks it was up I sold more books and made more money than I ever did with the publisher. My book has consistently been in the top 100 at Amazon. Some months are better than others. I'm planning to self-pub my own anthology soon.

Daryl Devore said...

I love your comment about painters being able to place their work where they want. Not everyone can sell in a big art gallery - not all painters have access to one. Street corners and county fairs may be where they get their start, but their art is being seen and being purchased.
Writers have been brainwashed into it has to go through an agent to a publishing house or it isn't acceptable.
We should have the right to control our art and self-publishing gives us that extra option.
How many great stories lie collecting dust because the writer has 200 replies from overworked agents - "Sorry this isn't right for us at the moment."
I don't know if I ever will self-publish, but I will not demean any author who decides that is the best way for them.
If the public wants to read - let's get the stories out there!

Romancing said...

Paty, What a clear and concise explanation on self-publishing. And, it is certainly gaining popularity. Thanks!

Paty Jager said...

Cara,

Thank you for your publishing story. Good luck with the anthology!

Daryl,
I agree a writer should be able to do what they want with their work. Thank you for commenting.

Romancing,
Thank you!

Nina Pierce said...

I jumped into the pond this week with my first Kindle/Nook release "Blind Love". This is part of a previously published series and I'm excited that it will find some new readers. And I'm hoping the readers I've garnered through traditional publishing will go over and give this story a try.

I see it as expanding my business. Why wouldn't I give it a try?

Paty Jager said...

I agree, Nina!

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

I love self publishing! It's a way for readers to have something more of mine to read who are waiting for my upcoming releases to come out, for me to pick up new readers, and to share my love of stories that might not fall into my current brand of werewolf stories or medieval Highland romances.

Good luck and your daughter does beautiful covers, Paty!

Susan Macatee said...

I've been thinking about this too, Paty, since I have a very old book I got the rights back to years ago. I tried doing a little revision and editing to resubmit to another publisher, but it was rejected. So, I decided to leave it and wrote a sort of sequel to the original book that's just been contracted with The Wild Rose Press.

But I'm still up in the air on whether to try to self-publish old releases when the rights revert back to me.

Sounds like you know what you're doing, though. Love your new cover! Lot's of luck with sales!

Paty Jager said...

Thank you, Terry! It looks like self publishing is the way that works for you.

Thanks, Susan! If you have any questions about self publishing give me a holler.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

I am a little behind - just got my Kindle this past week and find that I love it. As far as self-publishing goes, I can see it is both a benefit to the author as well as the reader. Times are changing and we must keep our options open.

Good luck to you, Paty.

Paty Jager said...

Thank you, Paisley. I agree.

Caroline Clemmons said...

Paty, I've put some of my Kensington backlist on Smashwords and Kindle. Now I'm trying to maket them. I don't really like two ofthe covers, so may have to change those.

I think people prefer books from a publisher, but that's changing. The publishing world, as you know, is in upheaval now. Who knows what will settle out. In the meantime, we have to do our best to attract readers for our work.

J.Rose Allister said...

I'm seeing trends change, and many who are still naysaying indie pub might be thinking of the days when authors exhausted themselves trying to get a couple sales. Not so anymore. Write what sells and then write more of it, put it out there, and you can make a decent income without spending all your time promoting. This is the message I've heard time and again from so many authors--some of whom are making six and seven digits in royalties--that I'm tossing my hat in the ring this year, too.

Colleen said...

I agree Paty,

I'm re-writing a MS now at the suggetion of a pub who will consider the re-write. But, I have another MS that would never fit the guidelines for a big house pub, but my beta readers loved it, as do I, so I will prob self pub that one. It's nice to have all these options.

Colleen (from your writing blurbs class, LOL)

Ike Rose... said...

I self publish for a few reasons.

1: to get some "credits" for my resume, being a relative newbie.

2: to have some stuff to give away when I'm a guest on blogs. I give the host a coupon code to give the winner.

3: to publish some controversial stuff that houses won't touch until they know my work better.

My first self publish doesn't have even a HFN. It has the narrator realizing that he selfishly ruined his chances at with the guy who may have been his HEA.

The one I'm preparing starts with a gay rape that turns into lovemaking while it's going on and then into a long term relationship.

I know both stories are popular with some g=fans when I posted them on a story website. Let's see if they'll pay for them expanded and improved.

Shelley Munro said...

I like the added option that self-publishing brings. I haven't self-published as yet, but will definitely consider it in the future. Self-publishing has helped change the face of regular publishing and I watch with interest.

Cate Masters said...

I'm doing the same thing with my stories as rights become available again Paty. Lately I'm rewriting as much as writing, lol. Best of luck to you!

Linda LaRoque said...

Interesting Paty. I've considered self-pubbing myself. What are the guidelines on how much you have to change?

Best of luck and keep us posted and the results.

Delle Jacobs said...

Lara Z, while you're right about all a self-pubbed author has to do- and there's actually a lot more than that- I don't find it's really any more than what a small publisher does for the author. I found the amount of promo I have to do for my small press books is actually much greater than what I do for my indie-pub books. Getting the name known is hard in any kind of publishing.

I contract with an editor for my indie books, and I do my own cover art. I format myself. The easiest of those tasks is the formatting.

I now have 4 small press ebooks, 4 indie pubbed ebooks, 1 e-anthology and three paperbacks. My indie books far out-sell the others in all venues, about 10 to 1 average. I'm doing a lot more cover art for other authors, AND I'm writing far more that I did two years ago. The only real reason I can think of for the difference is that I feel more respected as an author and so feel more empowered to write, promote and sell.

There's no question indie publishing is not for everyone. It's only for authors who dare. And I'm proud of Paty for sticking her neck out.

Paty Jager said...

Caroline, I agree about attracting people to your books. And it's become that way no matter if you're indie pub or with a publisher. Thanks for stopping in.

J.Rose, I'm hoping by having decent priced books that more will read them and they will in turn suggest to others to read my books. So I agree with you.

Hey, Colleen. It's the way to go if you are getting some feedback but no takers on a ms. IMO

Ike, It is the way to go for those who have out of the box books.

Shelley, I'll keep updates here on how the whole process works for me.

Thanks Cate, And good luck to you.Let me know how your indie publishing goes.

Linda, It just says considerable... Not sure what that means or if I did enough, but it is my book.

Delle, You are my inspiration!

Heidiwriter said...

Paty, I'm hearing this more and more. Even with traditional publishers, authors have to do the majority of their own marketing, and there is that pittance, especially from Amazon & B&N etal. Good luck with your endeavors!

Paty Jager said...

Heidi, thanks!

Kathy Bennett said...

Paty;

I've never been published before, and I'm planning on self-publishing my book, A Dozen Deadly Roses. I'm hoping to have it available sometime in May.

I'm going the self-pubbed route for a number of reasons, but mostly because I like the control it gives me over my work. There is also the speed in which my book can be up for sale.

I'm having the book professionally edited and a professional cover done as well. I think professionalism is essential or self-pubbed authors will scare away buyers with works that aren't worth the price.

Patricia Preston said...

Barry Eisler turned down 500,000 from St. Martin's to self-publish.
http://www.rtbookreviews.com/rt-daily-blog/barry-eisler-turns-down-half-million-dollar-contract-self-publish

So,there's gotta be something to SP. Just went to a DRM workshop and SP is growing by leaps and bounds. Also the 99 cent price is a smart move. Amanda Hocking sold some of her books for 99 cents.

Paty Jager said...

Kathy, it sounds like the right course for you. I have a friend who feels the same way, she likes to have the control over her work.

Patricia, I agree, that's why I'm trying it out. Thanks for stopping in.

Sarah Raplee said...

I totally agree with your logic, Paty. I think you'll be pleased with the results. Your books will speak for themselves.

I LOVED Marshall in Petticoats! That book made me a Fan Girl!

Paty Jager said...

Thanks Sarah! I heart Fan Girls!