January 18, 2014

Hybrid writers, the writing business and my own plans

I just read an article in Writer’s Digest (2/2014) by Chuck Wendig about “hybrid publishing”.  This is where an author pursues both traditional publishing and self publishing simultaneously.  He likens it to diversifying your portfolio.  Put all the eggs in all the baskets!

I’ve concluded my experiment that I started last year, where I self-published a novel into Barnes and Noble and Amazon.  I did no promotion beyond telling my friends and family it existed and putting a link here.  I sold 15 books at Amazon and 27 books at Barnes and Noble.  The book was not my best work, it was a quirky mystery/humor book.  I could be discouraged by the low numbers, or encouraged.  I choose to be encouraged.  What can happen if I really work at promotion, quantity and quality?  If I have ten great books on all the ebook places, with promotion, I can see a real side business.  I am going to rewrite and polish a fantasy novella  (Name Quest) and self-publish it.

At the same time I will continue to keep looking for an agent for my paranormal romance, “Seeking Clarity”.  After I finish my rewrite, I will start looking for publishers and agents for my kid’s book, “Other People’s Magic.”

For my self-published work I need to have a great cover, a great description, and promotional materials.  I am doing research on covers, looking through my own bookshelf for inspiration.  A great resource I found was Joel Friedlander’s site, the Book Designer.  He does a monthly contest and talks about what makes a great cover and what just bombs (no plain white background without borders, check!).

best day ever

2 thoughts on “Future of writing”

  1. 42 books! The meaning of life!!!
    I am totally encouraged by that. That is fantastic.
    By the way, I ran across an interesting way to promote an ebook. A woman walked up to me at a convention (I can’t remember if it was one I was working with Sandy, or DragonCon) and handed me a paper bookmark with a cool picture on it. She had a one-sentence half-mumbled pitch about how it was a really gripping book, the best romance mystery something…. I stuck it in my pocket. At first I thought it was stupid, because who downloads an ebook in the middle of a convention? Weeks later, I found it again — because it was a bookmark with a cool picture, I hadn’t thrown it away. And then I read the description and thought, “Oh that sounds cool…”
    I know the idea of wandering up to strangers might be a bit too intimidating, but anyhow it was a fairly effective technique so I thought I’d pass it on. You could always modify it by giving some of your friends a handful of bookmarks and asking them to pass them out at conventions…

    1. I didn’t catch that! Mind blown.
      I’ve seen lots of authors (including my friends) use cool bookmarks- it is a great calling card, and you can leave them for people to discover, too.

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