My Experience with Apple’s Cover Requirements

August 31, 2013 in General Topics

I’m going to keep my emotions out of this, and simply be as transactional as possible regarding a situation that’s arisen between myself and Apple. Call it a warning, or a heads-up, or a complaint, or what have you.

I use Draft2Digital to publish my ebooks on iTunes\iBooks, because I’m not dropping $600 or whatever on a Mac–a ridiculous requirement, by the way. Draft2Digital is amazing. I’d love to name the person involved in D2D’s camp, because they were a jewel at helping me jockey with Apple, but I’ll refrain. In any event, I want to stress that D2D had nothing to do with the problem I’m about to relate.

Anyway, my covers run me anywhere from $25-$50 a piece. I use a contractor to do them, and I think they do a fine job. It matters if I have to get them replaced. Matters a lot. Matters to the tune of expense. This is a business. Costs aren’t invisible, and can’t be shrugged off. Read the rest of this entry →

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The Hidden Quotient in Independent Publishing: Hope

October 25, 2012 in General Topics

SunriseWriting is a game of long odds made shorter through patience, effort, and hard work. But even the most determined author can find themselves bruised by publishing’s ups and downs. Both of these statements sound like things you’ve heard, because both of these statements are mantras among writers. We carry with us a codex of persistence in the first case, and a salve of determination for our wounds in the second.

This business can take you, and all the effort you’ve ever spent honing your prose, and reading and submitting and querying, and wrap it up and toss it away. So you take the good news where you can get it, and you learn to treasure great news like Roc’s teeth.

Independent Publishing, in this new environment, with these new capabilities, is providing fantastic news to authors. It is the best thing that has ever happened to my writing career, and I can absolutely attest to the most valuable thing it brings to the table: Hope.

So excuse the redundancy, because having seen about three dozen articles that sound just how I’m about to, I am nonetheless going to add my voice to a chorus claiming: times have changed, for the better.

Placed in a subordinate position among all the talk of sales figures, which are astonishing for some and depressing for others, is the fact that a paradigm shift has occurred in publishing. And for someone that slogged through the sub/reject/accept model for so many years, the ability to allow the reader to stamp “accepted” on what I write is the perfect antidote to the oft-lonely–and at times frustrating–act of putting words to a page.

It is a thrill, in these first few months, to see a sale, much less multiple sales. That sales are picking up already provides long-sought validation of my skills as an author. It has given that great incorporeal phantasm that all writers chase–hope–a chance to spread.

I am so glad I did this. Summed up, that’s everything this post needs to say. After years adrift in the traditional-method desert, I’m picking up momentum, finally, and interacting directly with readers. Things are looking up.

I honestly don’t understand why anyone would be sitting on the sidelines now. If you believe in the quality of your work, and are willing to take the time to produce a polished product, then you can now harness a new distribution model that leverages the viral-spawning capability of YouTube, coupled with the on-demand capability of the iPod. Placing your work on the major ebook or paperback-producing vendor sites isn’t giving up on your writing, it’s making it visible and available right now, and tapping into the awesome power of these next-generation algorithmic suggestion systems.

Does that sound exciting? It should. And while I don’t fault you if you want to go the traditional route, if you can sense you’ve reached the point where the old approach isn’t working, then try something new.

Try a little hope.

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The Value of Partnerships

June 28, 2012 in General Topics

Building anything great takes a team.I wrestled with the key term in this post, but the word “partnership” struck me as the most appropriate. Simply put, as a start-up independent publisher I have been reminded again and again the advantages of outsourcing some of the heavy lifting. So I’m going to encourage you to do the same thing, and explain why.
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Self-Publishing: It’s a Matter of Throughput

June 17, 2012 in General Topics

Bookshelf, via Wikipedia. (Public Domain)Longtime blog visitor, commenter, and solid writer Michael Anthony dropped by the blog the other day (everything here in South is always “the other day”, folks, and we don’t care whether it was two days ago or six weeks back) to check in on things, and was surprised to see me going the “self-publishing” route. He was curious as to why.

Well, the first thing you should know, Michael, is that I’m not self-publishing. I’ll explain what I mean in a moment. But am I releasing some of my fiction independently? Is that my main focus going forward? Yes, on both counts, for the foreseeable future, and that’s what you’re asking about, really, so I’m going to slay that particular dragon first. Read the rest of this entry →

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Self-Publishing

March 16, 2011 in General Topics

I’ve decided to take the plunge and do some self-publishing with some of my work (don’t worry, interested agents — not The Tyrant Stratagem). I suppose I’ll try Kindle, Nook, and a few others. Where this road will take me, I cannot say, but here’s what ultimately led me to the decision to at least test these waters:

1) Traditional publishing alone is not moving my writing career fast enough along in comparison to the amount of time I put in writing (at least, not yet).
2) My fiction that magazines, podcasts, and other markets have allowed to be given a chance have been met by the general public with overwhelming positive feedback, and a few awards nominations. So why wouldn’t I chance exposing some of my fiction to the public at large and see how it does?
3) If there is indeed a sea change in publishing, whether we are watching it now or later, I want to be on the right side of it.
4) I believe my fiction is strong enough to compete, and perhaps even claw its way to the top.

More information is on the way. Stay tuned.

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