Tuesday, October 5, 2010

My Thoughts on Self-Pubbing and Ebooks

I have a post up here on my thoughts about self-publishing and ebooks. Here's a quote:
"I've been wondering which route to take with my own writing lately and these links were very interesting to come across. My debut novel, Shine, Coconut Moon (McElderry, 2009) released to rave reviews, has received enthusiastic support from the teacher and librarian communities and is holding its own vis-a-vis sales, considering it was one of the quieter releases last year. But publishers have become increasingly risk-averse over the past few years. I sold Shine in 2007. My current project, a contemporary, realistic YA with elements of humour and romance is, according to editors, "too quiet," "too commercial," or it "won't stand out." The first and last translate to something many of us, particularly writers telling the stories of marginalized folks, have heard incessantly: "this won't sell," or "there is no market for this." It is something I'd heard over and over from both agents and editors about Shine."

I also link to a few different articles and posts. Here are some quotes . . .

From The Wall Street Journal:
"There will always be the lucky new author whose first novel ignites a hot auction. But more often today, many debut novels that would have won lucrative advances five years ago today are getting $15,000 or less, says Adam Chromy, a New York literary agent. Mr. Chromy was recently disappointed with the immediate response from editors for a debut novel he thought was exceptionally good.
Meanwhile, small independent publishers are becoming more popular options for new writers. Leslie Daniels, a literary agent for the past 20 years, was thrilled to sell Creston Lea's recently published debut short-story collection, "Wild Punch," to Turtle Point Press.
But the author received only a $1,000 advance, typical of the advances paid by small independents. "I can't make a living as a writer, but it feels great to have these stories out in the world," says Mr. Lea. The author, who lives in Vermont, builds electric guitars and writes on the side. Jonathan Rabinowitz, publisher of Turtle Point Press, says "Wild Punch" has sold about 1,500 copies, including 150 e-books. He described the performance as 'encouraging.'

"The smaller advance has a ripple effect. Ms. Daniels, who earns a 15% commission, used to make $11,250 on a big publisher advance of $75,000 or so. Her cut on Mr. Lea's $1,000: $150."
From an interview with author Karen McQuestion, who had two agents, almost sold novels several times, but ultimately never got published by traditional, mainstream publishers, then self-pubbed half a dozen of her books, signed with Amazon Encore, and optioned one of her books to film. The entire interview is up on J.A. Konrath's blog:
"Sometimes I still can’t believe the turn my writing life has taken. A year ago I was a failed novelist with years of work on my hard drive, and now I have readers and an income. Life is good."

1 comment:

rifferaff said...

I really enjoyed your post on Rejectionist and all the various links. Slowly but surely, my opinion on ebooks is changing from negative to positive. I don't know if my audience, female, YA readers are ebook readers yet. But I'm betting they will be in the future.

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