Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue

08/05/2011

New Self-Publishing Technology Good for Writers AND Also for Agents and Publishers!


Fly The Friendly Skies Of Self-Publishing! ... Destination: Traditional Publishing.

How is this possible, you ask? Simply put, because the indie writer who self-publishes … and establishes a following of sorts …  is more of a likely moneymaker than a completely unknown lingering in a slush pile with only a query letter, right?

After all, with a self-published writer, the agents and publishers have an actual sample of the creator’s work and not just their 2 minute written sales pitch.

And just where can agents and publishers go to track self-published work? One place is http://indiereader.com … I suspect that many more such sites will be available in the future … BUT, they will have to go a long way to beat this fine tracking/research site.

Amy Edelman, founder of IndieReader.com, has this to say in the Huffington Post:

Indie eBooks: The Gateway “Drug” to Traditional Publishing

Gone are the days when a writer had to spend hours hunched over a stack of query letters, only to have their hopes dashed months later with the arrival of an unsigned form letter.

Today, thanks entirely to the creation of the e-reader (yay Jeff Bezos!), there’s no longer a need for authors to deal with middle men. For less than what it costs to buy a book, an author can jump directly to the end game: formatting their titles, uploading them to a sales site and finding actual readers.

And while some writers choose to go indie and stay indie, there are many more who are interested in seeing how the other half live. It is for this group especially that e-books are so important, as they have essentially become a “gateway drug,” enabling successful indie authors to stroll down the path into the welcoming arms of traditional publishers.

In spite of what’s being reported otherwise, the new technology is not just good news for writers; it’s also making things easier for agents and publishers. Rather than slogging through a slush pile–only to take the chance on an unknown, untested entity–signing an indie author who has already developed a following is pretty much a no-brainer.

Read and learn more

Get the Writing/Publishing Blog right on your Kindle here

Advertisements

05/12/2011

E-Book Self Publishing Rains Money for Some


In the last several months a few authors have self-published into monetary success (and fame)…You all have probably read something about them…You know, Amanda Hocking, Barry Eisler, J. A. Konrath and such.

Laura Hazard Owen, writing for PaidContent.org, delves into the first of a developing A-List of  successful E-Book Self Publishing authors…with a little background and earnings info thrown in:

Meet The A-List Authors Of E-Book Self Publishing

Authors who self-published their books have traditionally done it out of desperation—it was the result of being ignored or rejected by publishing houses. And without the marketing muscle of a publishing house, most of those self-published books were doomed commercially.

But the world of self-publishing is changing fast in the digital era. A growing number of authors are making a nice living selling their own e-books, often at $0.99 a pop. Below is a list of four that are at the top of that heap. One of them earned between $1.5 million and $2 million last year from sales of her ebooks; another walked away from a $500,000 advance after calculating he could do better on his own; a third bypassed traditional publishers to sign an exclusive deal with Amazon; (NSDQ: AMZN) and the fourth sold over 360,000 ebooks in March alone.

In 2009 (the latest figures available), nearly 765,000 titles were self-published in the U.S., an increase of 181 percent over the previous year. The self-publishing business is heating up in other ways too. Just last week, Smashwords, which publishes and distributes about 45,000 ebooks, signed a deal with ScrollMotion to create mobile apps for all its 18,000 author clients. To be sure, the vast majority of self-published books never come close to a bestseller list and their authors aren’t exactly raking it in. But as the self-publishing business matures, more authors are carving out audiences—in some cases, in sizable numbers. Some of them now even have agents handling their foreign and movie rights, and big publishers knocking on their doors.

Amanda Hocking

Backstory: The 26-year-old from Austin, Minn., writes in a genre known as paranormal romance (romance with elements of fantasy and horror)—think Twilight. She has self-published a total of nine books in three series, with the tenth, Virtue, to be released on Memorial Day. Her Trylle Trilogy made the USA Today bestseller list and was optioned by Media Rights Capital, with District 9 screenwriter Terri Tachell adapting.

Agent: Stephen Axelrod, The Axelrod Agency

Revenues: Hocking says she sold over 1 million copies of her books on Amazon between March 2010 and March 2011, making somewhere between $1.5 and $2 million.

Trying Out Traditional Publishing: On the strength of her success at self-publishing, Hocking sold her four-book series Watersong to St. Martin’s Press in March for an estimated $2 million-plus at auction. St. Martin’s beat HarperCollins, Random House, Simon & Schuster—and Amazon, in what is believed to be the first time the company went up against major book publishers in an new-book auction. Amazon had partnered with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to handle the print side and to ensure that Barnes & Noble would carry the books, but insisted on the exclusive rights to publish the e-book; though Amazon’s bid was actually the highest offered, Hocking and Axelrod rejected it because they believed its terms would lead to lost e-book sales.

Since the auction, Hocking has gotten even deeper into the traditional publishing world: Last week, she announced that St. Martin’s will republish her Trylle Trilogy in both digital and print formats next year. On her blog, she suggested that fans buy the Trylle e-books at their current $0.99-$2.99 prices, noting that St. Martin’s will likely raise the price when its version of the book comes out and replaces the self-published editions.

Barry Eisler

Backstory: Eisler’s bestselling John Rain thriller series was originally published by Penguin Putnam and Ballantine. But in March, the 48-year-old author and former CIA agent and technology lawyer, shocked the publishing world by announcing he’d turned down a $500,000, two-book deal with St. Martin’s Press to self-publish the next Rain novels. Eisler splits his time between San Francisco and Japan.

Agent: None

Why the self-publishing math works better: Eisler did the math and concluded that he could do better self publishing than going with St. Martin’s. With traditional publishing contracts, a 25-percent royalty on e-book net revenue is standard. In the case of a book sold on the Kindle Store, Amazon would take 30 percent of that royalty and the agent would take another 15 percent. That leaves the author with just 14.9 percent of ebook revenues. And authors have to earn out their advances—in Eisler’s case, that would have been $500,000—before they even see a royalty payment.

By contrast, when Eisler self publishes, he earns 70 percent of each Amazon sale—forever. And though he doesn’t get an advance, he starts earning sooner. If Eisler had gone with St. Martin’s, his book wouldn’t have been available until next spring. By self-publishing, he says, he can make it available earlier and gain an extra year of sales.

Revenues: Eisler has started his self-publishing career by publishing short stories on the Kindle Store. He says that between Amazon, the Nook Store and Smashwords, which both publishes and distributes ebooks, his short stories generally make $1,500 apiece in the first month and $1,000 per month thereafter. “I’ll keep dropping the price of previous shorts as new ones go up,” he says. Each story contains an excerpt of Eisler’s next John Rain novel, The Detachment, which he plans to release this summer.

Read and learn more

And while you’re at it, get this informative blog right on your Kindle 

04/12/2011

YouTube Next – Opportunity for Publishers


A Good Marriage?

For those that might not know, Google bought YouTube back around 2006. Now they have purchased Next New Networks (NNN), a NYC-based startup in the online video production industry.

Many thought Google/YouTube purchased NNN to get into the content creation business…This is not the case. They just want the expertise, by way of NNN’s staff, to provide deeper and more professional content on YouTube (rather than skateboarding cats, etc). And they are going to do this by offering training in video production and audience development through a new program called YouTube Next

 This will benefit publishers tremendously! And by publishers I mean more specifically people who want to sell self-published books.

How? By teaching indie booksellers the ins and outs of video production (could be simple PowerPoint-like presentations ) and how to get these features describing, detailing and advertising their books (or WIPs)  in front of more audiences.

 These details offered through BusinessInsider.com by Dan Frommer :

Google Really, Officially, Finally Is A Media Company

In case you still had any doubts, Google is now OFFICIALLY a media company.YouTube just finally closed its acquisition of Next New Networks, a NYC-based startup in the online video production industry.

(Click here to flip through NNN’s most famous videos.)

However, we are told that YouTube is NOT buying the company to get into the content creation business, but to help its partners create better content. This help, ideally, will also generate more ad revenue for the producers and for YouTube. (More here about how Google is NOT directly getting into the content business.)

Read and learn more

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: