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?

31 comments:

cherie said...

The cover looks AMAZING, Calista!

I'm so sorry about your not-so-fun publishing journey. I wish you lots of luck on this new venture you're trying. ;) Hope it works out very well for you.

Calista Taylor said...

Thanks, Cherie! The cover was a lot of fun to put together. And it only took about 25 versions. lol.

I'm hoping it all works out for the best in the end. *fingers crossed* Thanks for the luck and well wishes!

Jemi Fraser said...

Love the cover!! I'm so excited about your books getting out there - such great stories. I'll definitely do a launch post for you! :)

Calista Taylor said...

Thanks, Jemi! And thanks for all the support! Couldn't do it without you!! : )

Cheryl said...

Good for you! I think you're going to be surprised at how well you do, esp if you can get several books out there in a reasonable length of time.

I went with a Canadian epub MuseItUp for my romantic suspense. It'll be out in March. It seems easier to leave the editing, cover art, and all to them. But the more I read about self-pubbing, the more sensible it seems.

Calista Taylor said...

I hope so, Cheryl! I'm happy to hear you've had a good experience, and leaving some things to the pros can certainly be a good idea. Be sure to check in when you get to launch your book!

scubasteve4 said...

Good for you getting those books out there. Wishing you the best. Let me know when and where I can purchase them.

Calista Taylor said...

Thanks so much, Steve. I'll be sure to let you know! : )

Alexandra Shostak said...

Good luck! I'll be watching your blog to find out when it's available! :)

Calista Taylor said...

Thanks, Alexandra!! I couldn't do it without everyone's support. It's much appreciated!!

layinda said...

It sounds like you have a good plan in place, and the cover looks fantastic. Good luck, and keep us posted! :)

Calista Taylor said...

Thanks so much, Layinda!! I'll def. keep everyone updated. : )

catwoods said...

Beautiful work, Cali.

Very excited for this part of your journey and can't wait to watch it play out.

I know you'll do well. You're a talented writer with tons of support. Can't go wrong there!

Let me know and I'll and definitely put together a launch post on my blog.

Hugs~

Calista Taylor said...

Cat, you're too kind, and I can't tell you how much I appreciate your support. You're just amazing. Sending hugs right back at ya! : )

Nicholas L. Garvery said...

Best of luck! The article below will probably interest you => http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/features/2011/0420/1224295056258.html

Calista Taylor said...

Thanks for the luck and the article, Nicholas! I'll admit, just a a year or two ago, I would have never dreamed of self publishing this book, but with the rise of ereaders, it's a whole new ball game, and for once, I think the ball is in the writer's court.

Nicholas L. Garvery said...

You're right, the ball is in the writer's court with e-publishing.

Somebody just tweeted me this => http://ebookfriendly.com/2011/07/21/e-books-vs-real-books-fast-facts-infographic/

Calista Taylor said...

Thanks for another fantastic link!! Though ebook sales are still a small percentage of what publishers sell, I find it interesting that Amazon is selling more ebooks than print. Granted that might have to do with the fact that publishers are still charging the same price or more for ebooks, and also that a lot of ebook authors are foregoing a publisher all together. Price is definitely a selling tool, and I think that's a tool that publishers aren't taking advantage of.

atsiko said...

Great cover! <3


I'm really curious to see how your self-publishing journey will go. You're in a situation where self-publishing is a great idea. Best of luck.

Calista Taylor said...

Thanks, Atsiko! I think you're right, especially with regards to these books, since they're in a bad position to try and publish traditionally. I'll be sure to keep you updated on how it all goes.

paul said...

Good luck, Calista. I'm looking forward to gettng a copy. Good job with the cover too. Hope you post more about the launch plan.

-paul

Calista Taylor said...

Thanks, Paul! I'll keep you updated with both the launch plan and when the book becomes available.

Medeia Sharif said...

I'm sorry about your experiences with your agency.

That's a fantastic cover and I look forward to hearing more about this book.

Calista Taylor said...

Thanks, Medeia! Here's hoping it all works out for the best in the end. : )

Christine Murray said...

Great cover! I'm thinking about going down the self-publishing route myself, I'm excited but nervous at the same time! Best of luck with it :)

Jackie G said...

I love the cover Calista. I wish you the best. Good luck with the e-publish route.
Please keep us poted on when the book becomes available. I will love to read it.

Calista Taylor said...

Christine, thanks! And best of luck with self publishing! It's a changing world, and finally, self publishing feels like a viable option. Keep us updated!

Thank you Jackie! I'll be sure to keep you updated. I'm going to post a sample later this week, so be sure to check back!

rklewis said...

That looks GREAT, C!!

Nice work and I'm very happy for you! :-)

Calista Taylor said...

Thanks, Bones!! : )

PD said...

I can certainly relate to your problems. I had a similar run about ten years ago, and decided to try and eBook publication. It was way too early, but we went ahead with a pretty hi-tech (for the time) website with audio and video content, adding stuff every few months as and when we could bribe friends to do free work. A year later we did a short-run print with Lightning Source which was essential to getting us noticed locally, and stocked in real shops, even before Amazon was really established in the way it is today. These experiences are one reason I am so keen to get a 10th anniversary edition done. This time we have the technology to do it right, and more importantly readers are now familiar with the various Kindle-style readers out there, and that it is a great way to read fiction more cheaply. Increasingly, mainstream book publishers (as in the music business) are only interested in safe titles. That changes on the indie scene and as youhave proved with Viridis, cheap does not mean low quality. Sometimes it can be the opposite. Virginia Woolf had to publish her own stuff. My advice: keep at it. You won't get rich, but you will be just as immortal as all the other writers. My books are in the British Library and Bodleian at Oxford, just like all my heroes. If that is not democracy I don't know what is!

Calista Taylor said...

PD, that's excellent that you've had such opportunities! Like you said, publishers seem to going for more mainstream books since they seem to be under more financial pressure these days. Yet, the fact that as authors we now have a viable way to get our words into the hands of readers is amazing to me. And I don't think the traditional and epubbing roads can't cross-- sometimes epublishing can open more traditional doors that may have been otherwise closed. Best of luck with your 10 year anniversary edition!!