Friday, March 18, 2011

My impressions thus far in my journey toward publication

And this is why publishing companies and agents are still important...

When I first started writing the Enigma Black trilogy, I thought the whole writing part in and of itself would be the hard part.

That was the first thing I got wrong.

After receiving my fill of rejections from agents (I may still attempt to query a publishing company or two), I decided that it may be more lucrative and, well, easier to go the route of self-publishing.

That was the second thing I got wrong.

In the age of self-published millionaires such as Amanda Hocking, it has become increasingly clearer that publishing companies and, especially, agents are beginning to become relics of the past (a fact of which mainly only those associated with these industries disagree).  Therefore, I've decided to publish the first book in my trilogy as an ebook as, at this moment, I really have nothing to lose.  After all, isn't publishing an ebook pretty much a no-brainer?

That was the third, and hopefully final, thing I got wrong.

Sure, if you don't care about the formatting of your novel, its presentation, or the overall impression it makes on your target audience, that last statement may hold a nugget of truth to you.  But, if you're like me and you find that you do in fact believe those catagories are just as important as great writing, then you're in for the realization that writing the book is only just the beginning. 

If you plan on traveling down the ebook path, I highly recommend finding a copyeditor/proofreader to go over your piece with a fine tooth comb as no matter how many times you read your own work, you're bound to become blind to its mistakes.  What does proofreading/copyediting run?  Well, so far I've found services anywhere from 1/4 to a 1/5 cent per word (which, at the high end is still over $500 for a 110,000 word manuscript). 

Secondly, there's packaging.  You know the whole expression "you can't judge a book by it's cover"?  That may sound all nice and sugary like candy-coated unicorn farts, but in the highly competitive reality we live in people can and DO judge books by their covers.  Therefore, designing or hiring someone to design your book cover now becomes crucial.  Of course, if you decide to hire someone to design your cover, you're in for an even higher overhead cost to a project that may or may not recuperate those costs. 

After your work is polished and your cover art is as eyecatching as it needs to be then there's a little thing called formatting to contend with.  And, yes, there's a service for that as well. ;)

So lets see, if you hire ALL of the above out, you're looking at a total of (conservatively) around $1000. With the vast majority of ebooks by new authors priced anywhere from $.99 to $2.99, that equals approximately a buttload of books you'll have to sell before you'll start to see any profit from your work.  Granted, you don't have to do any of those services I mentioned, but many people do and many see the results they do because of them.

If there's one thing I haven't been wrong about so far, it's the fact that, in order to be a writer, you honestly must LOVE writing.  As I've previously posted, books are not lottery tickets. 

No comments: