I'm currently taking a grad class and our professor told us this week how one goes about getting published. According to her, we're supposed to query agents, wait patiently for months while they decide whether to take us or reject us (and reminds us that all agents and editors are reading merely to reject) and then wait some more while they sub to editors, and wait some more while the publishing house decides if it's worth their time, and then wait about 18 months for the book to come out in stores so you can get a $10K advance and earn 10% on hardcovers (2 bucks if your HC retails at $20) and 6% on paperback sales (60 cents if your PB retails at $10). And then she told us that most books that are published go out of print in the first 2 years and we all know most authors don't earn out their advance. Wow. So motivating. I'm surprised my classmates didn't just get up and leave class. She made it sound so hopeless, so unattainable. What's the point of getting this degree or working at your writing if the outlook is so bleak? But it's what you do, it's how you get published. That's what I always thought.
But then I started listening to others out in internetland a while ago. People like Joe Konrath. And I realized there was another option.
So what have I done? Have I ruined my chances with New York? Will I never see my book in hardcover on the shelves of my local Barnes & Noble?
Nope. And I don't care.
I'm counting myself out of traditional publishing and working for myself. And to all of my author friends out there struggling to break in, great writers that have books that just don't work for the industry, come and join me. After I really sat down and thought about what New York offers us, it really didn't look good enough any more. They aren't worth my hard work. My readers are. And I feel bad for my hard-working author friends that are excellent and keep hitting dead ends. I wish they'd jump in, because while they're waiting, I'm making money and gaining readers.
And let's be honest, I'm not raking in the big bucks or huge numbers as some of my counterparts who've had a 6-8 month head start, but I am definitely setting myself up for success. I'll have at least 3 books out by the end of 2011, maybe 4. The authors I'm working with on the DarkSide Publishing label will have out 2-3 as well. So together, we may be rocking 9 titles. Each of which will offer samples of our other offerings, hopefully bringing us repeat readers.
I'm feeling pretty confident these days and I'm going to make some bold statements regarding success in 2011.
Being that we at DarkSide have followed the Holy Konrath Commandments (good book, good cover, good description, low price), I am convinced we can't lose.
So I'm predicting by the end of 2011, I will have sold 10,000 copies. That's bold, I know. I'm not showing numbers right now that back that up. I just hit 200 copies this week, so I've got 9,800 to go.
I also predict that Megg Jensen will sell 10,000 copies in her debut year. Her books are amazing.
And even more insanely, I will predict that DarkSide's new, yet-to-be-named author (coming soon) will also sell 10,000 copies in this, her debut year.
How dare I make such predictions? First of all, I've been researching and studying and talking to as many big sellers as I can. Pick their brains, see what worked for them. I have the benefit of everyone else's research and it says that it can be done.
DarkSide Publishing can and will sell 30,000 copies this year.
And second, what really happens if I'm wrong? Okay, you can make fun of me. Besides that...I just have to eat a little crow.
But come December 31st, 2011...I don't think I'll be having crow for dinner...I'll be popping a bottle of Dom and toasting my fellow DarkSide authors, our readers, our friends, and our epub mentors for one hell of a year.