DarkSide Publishing began on 1.11.11, a mere six weeks ago, and since then we've taken off and never looked back. We started with just two authors, Megg Jensen and myself. I already had put out an ebook and when Megg decided to jump on board the epub train, we thought a collaborative group would work best for us. A month later, author G.P. Ching joined up with us and just today, we've added our fourth author, Angela Carlie (read her DarkSide intro here).
These authors are just like me, although I would argue they are more talented, and had gone a certain distance with the New York crowd before deciding to go indie. When I first started learning about epublishing in the summer of 2010, I never in a million years thought anyone would take the ride with me. I think it shows just how far we've come in the publishing world. Authors are becoming more and more aware of the alternative opportunities that exist for them in the wide world of publishing.
I've had people ask if we plan to take submissions, showing that authors are looking to join a label, even if it's rather young. It's completely possible to be an indie, completely unaffiliated with anyone else, and make tons of money, look at Joe Konrath and Amanda Hocking. But I think we might see more authors' collectives, like DarkSide, pop up as more authors turn to indie publishing.
There are many benefits to working together. Marketing your ebook can sometimes seem like a daunting task. Some authors spend a lot of time blogging, visiting places like Kindle Boards, and doing guest posts and interviews just to help get their names out there. I've done a lot of the same just because I'm not a sit-and-wait type. Some people do no marketing at all and their ebooks just take off, based on the fact that they are excellent, the right genre, or just hit at the right time.
The beauty of working with a group, especially with four authors, is that every time one author does an interview or a blog post or visits Kindle Boards, or gets in the newspaper, or on the news (okay, so maybe down the road, but I like to dream big), the group will benefit. The more people that learn about DarkSide Publishing and its books will have the opportunity to come across other books they may not have seen before. If even one of our titles becomes super successful, it's not to say that every book will equal that success, but I like to think it has a better chance than just being out there on its own.
And that's not to mention the other, probably more valuable marketing we can do together - back matter. As a group, we plan on sharing first chapters. If you buy one of our books, you'll get the first chapters of other titles that are available. That gives the reader a front-row seat to yet another great book, and the hope is that if they enjoy that, they will purchase the other titles that interest them.
So far, this is my dream job, I get to write, read and edit fantastic books, and proud to know that my name is behind not only my books, but all the books on DarkSide's label, and I think the others feel the same. And someday I hope that my ebooks bring in enough money that I'm able to focus on it full time, as I'm sure is the goal for many writers. I'm so excited and curious to see where DarkSide Publishing, Megg, G.P., Angela, and myself are in six months, with numerous titles available. The sky is the limit, as far as I'm concerned.
I would encourage other indies, if you're looking for a way to work together for others, don't be shy in starting your very own label. It's mentioned on Kindle Boards often that there are strength in numbers, I'm just taking that idea and running with it!