Thank you for being out there, reading, listening and commenting. I’m experiencing some kind of living-room epiphany by talking to you this way.
Since last we convened, I’ve investigated self-publishing e-books through Amazon (making use of their Print on Demand facility in case readers actually want a real book), ‘proper’ publishing through Amazon’s 47 North imprint, e-book publishing through indie publishers, getting a new agent, going direct to some of the mainstream houses through my small network of contacts and the public-backed ‘donation’ route using sites like Unbound, Kickstarter or IndieGoGo.
The funny thing is, it’s only when I report back – attempting to present it coherently for someone else – that I think hardest about what I’m trying to achieve.
Here’s what I’ve decided about the print book versus e-book question, for example: There is no versus. Any title popular enough (that’s the kind of book I’m interested in writing, in case that wasn’t clear) will appear in both formats. Not all readers want e-books only and not all readers want print books only. And stacks of people with e-readers still read print books. Suddenly, thinking about it in public like this, it isn’t an issue for me any more.
The real question is: do I use the new publishing models and possibilities to take matters into my own hands?
Answer: no fucking idea. Yet. Just need another minute or two to think it over.
What concerns me is this: is e-pubbing (self or otherwise) the best way to make a new start? Further probing (and by that I mean listening to commissioning editors when they talk) suggests that mainstream publishers aren’t interested in books which don’t have electronic rights attached. In other words, if you already published or self-published your work as an e-book, chances are the big guns won’t be interested. There are exceptions – David Moody and Amanda Hocking spring to mind. They’re not the only ones and they won’t be the last but they are still rarities for now.
What does this mean for me?
Patience. Yes, even more of the blasted stuff.
I need to wait until I’ve explored every mainstream avenue. Why am I still pursuing the ‘traditional’ route, you ask?
Because my instinct is that two of my novels have the potential to sell significantly both as print and e-books – I’m not suggesting that’s true for all of them, mind, and I understand that I may be wrong in my assumptions (after all, I’m only an author, as I mention in the disclaimer). Nonetheless, the only way those two novels will have that opportunity is if they land on the desks of editors at the bigger houses (separately – see post about multiple submissions!).
If, by some miracle, one of them is taken on it’s still a very slim chance of it selling well in print; even the biggest publishers can’t get every title into bookshops in the quantities necessary to sell novels in big numbers – but it’s still the best chance I’ve got for a result in both formats simultaneously.
I can achieve little of this, however, without an agent. I simply can’t get my work in front of every commissioning editor on my own.
So, am I going to self-publish right now? Probably not. Am I going to release my titles as e-books through an indie publisher? Unlikely. Am I going to look for public backing? I doubt it.
Am I going to get a new agent? You betcha.
And it’s all because of you.