Friday, January 28, 2011

Adventures in Epublishing: What Have I Done?

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.

16 comments:

  1. Methinks I love you, Karly. Thank you so much for leading me to the DarkSide!!!!

    10K challenged accepted. BRING IT ON!!!!!!

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  2. This sounds so exciting! I will be anxiously watching you guys. :)

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  3. "Will I never see my book in hardcover on the shelves of my local Barnes & Noble?"

    That's presuming there's going to be a B&N by the time the book is published. ;-)

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  4. Now that's grabbing the bull by the horns! Good luck to you!!

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  5. when i hear stuff like you described in your opening, it makes me sick. and it makes me feel sorry for my friends who are trying to break into the publishing world. the outlook is pretty bleak unless a pub. house decides they like your book. i'm so glad i went the indie route, and that i've recently found indie author friends. makes me feel not so alone as i rebel against the system.

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  6. Terrific post. Thank you, Karly. I wish you every success.

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  7. Karly,

    I think that Dark Side will sell 50,000+ for 2011! In my opinion, 10k per author is low. I am excited to see each of your success this year!

    Go Karly! Go Megg! Go mysterious third author!

    Angeline Kace

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  8. Thanks you guys! You're all so awesome! I'm glad we all stick together in this.

    @Ruth, you're right...we don't know how much longer B&N will be around. I'm guessing Borders will go toe-up first.

    And thanks Angeline! I was thinking a little conservatively too...although 50K would be *awesome*

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  9. It sounds like you guys have it all together!

    I think I'd like to pick your collective brains . . . ;-)

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  10. You can get your books into stores, through Amazon's CreateSpace POD program. They have an option to distribute, and last I heard Borders could supply from there. Also, local book stores are often happy to stock books from local authors. Just ask the owner.

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  11. As a new writer and lifelong business-type, I have a question (well, let me start with one). How does someone who is going to e-pub get their mss ready? By that I mean, really good editorial help. This falls under Konrath's "good book".

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  12. Ed, this is true. I'm in the distribution program at CreateSpace, so really, I could end up on a shelf somewhere.

    K.Victoria...your best bet for editorial help is finding people through your writers group or organization. Myself and my fellow DarkSide authors all met through SCBWI and are skilled at critiquing manuscripts for other writers after a few years of practice. I've studied a bit of editing and one of the other girls wrote magazine articles for years. We just rely on each other to be the editors. You can pay editors, but I just seem to hear really bad things about that, so make sure they're reputable.

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  13. I really admire what you're doing with DarkSide, and I just love the enthusiasm and positivity on your blog. It inspires me!

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