Friday, July 29, 2011

A Lemons to Lemonade Experiment

It's not exactly news that the publishing industry is going through some major changes as ebooks and ereaders gain in popularity and sales.  E-publishing today is a far cry from what self publishing was, even just a few years ago.  In the past, it was very difficult to achieve sales, primarily because the deck was stacked against you.  Not only did you not have name recognition and a following, but the price of a self published book was equal or higher than that of a book published by a mainstream publisher.

Enter the E-book.  By epublishing, you're given a very powerful tool.  And that tool is price.  Most readers won't risk $10-$15 of their hard earned cash on an unknown self published author, however the risk is negligible with a free or moderately priced ebook.  Readers don't mind taking a chance if all they're risking is a dollar or two.

About two years ago, my steampunk romance/mystery novel was out on the first round of submissions.  We were getting some great feedback from editors and even made it to acquisitions and second reads on several occasions.  Unfortunately, many of the big publishers felt that steampunk romance was just a bit too "out there" for a mainstream audience, and didn't want to take the risk.  It was disappointing, but we'd only gone out to a small handful of publishers and there were many more.  Then came a hard blow-- the agency I was with decided to switch exclusively to YA, MG and children's books, and I suddenly found myself without an agent, and with a book that had already been partially submitted.  This meant there was no chance another agent would bother with it.  And I even had the sequel written.  Two books, down the tubes.

And then the rise of ebooks!!  So, here is where my experiment begins.  I have two books collecting dust, and I'm now thinking, "Why not?"  At the least, maybe I'll get a few more followers just in time for the release of my steampunk craft book due out next spring. 

I'll admit, I'm sort of excited about this.  Really excited.  I had thought the book and the series had great potential, and was devastated that it might never get read.  And now it's been given a second chance.  I'll still query my current manuscript, but I like the idea that others may read my Viridis series.  And did you notice the cover?  Must thank Marcus Ranum for providing the stock for the model and Obsidian Dawn for the photoshop brushes.

I'll be sure to keep you updated with how it all goes, though I'm still not quite ready to epublish the book yet.  I hear I should have some sort of launch plan, so I'll be looking into that.  I may also publish the second book in the series at the same time. I figure, it's probably best to have both books available, right?  Tentatively I'm thinking in a month's time.

So that's my story and those are my plans.  Here's hoping I can turn those lemons into lemonade.  Has anyone here gone the route of epublishing?  How has it turned out for you?