Tag Archives: book

The Road to Publishing – On the Street (Part III)

Wow! I have my manuscript edited, the self-publishing is finished, and now….  what do I do with my book?

If you are going through a vanity press or other self-publishing service, it is a little easier; they do all the “leg work” for you. If not it is just a matter of creating accounts on the various distribution channels (websites) and uploading the book that the formatting service should have prepared for you. The sites that I am currently using are:

CreateSpace and Ingram Spark will distribute your books to a variety of sales points, including Amazon and Barns & Noble On-line. This is important because, according to one publisher’s content editor that I recently heard speak, Amazon currently sells over 70% of all books.

Once you have your book uploaded it takes as much as a couple of weeks for the cover to appear, but the text and opportunity to purchase the book is quicker.  So, where are you?  You are now on the edge of the marketing cliff. The lake is deep so jump in… you can’t just wade around in the shallow spots.

Marketing P bulletsTraditionally, marketing included product, price, placement, and promotion, but the internet, social media, and spamming ads are changing that approach.  Unknown, image downloaded from Google. I intend to write more on marketing in the future.

 

Everyone should agree, the key is making the connection with readers. It is easy to get lost in the crowd, but you cannot ignore Amazon if the speaker I heard is correct. There is a lot of debate how effective social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat, etc, are at 1) reaching readers, and 2) encouraging sales. There are also genre specific author coops like FSFNet.com who specialize in Fantasy and Science Fiction authors/books. Recently, I submitted an article to LeRue Press‘s paper, What’s the Story. Lastly, plan on going to book signings; other than Amazon, getting in front of readers is essential. Word of mouth promotions is always a good thing.

I would encourage you, the writer/author, to use as many of the above channels as possible, time allowing. Keep in touch.

The Road to Publishing: The Publisher (Part II)

So, how does it feel? You have worked your manuscript through the editing process – red lines and mark ups. It is a hard, often lonely road, but you’ve made it. Again, congratulations. Now, it’s time to determine your publishing options. The question is whether it will be a traditional publisher, a publishing service, or self-publishing?

Each of these routes has its Pros and Cons, its rewards and pitfalls. The most important thing at this point is knowing what you want. Why are you writing in the first place? One of my favorite topics, strategic planning, but that is for another post…

Traditional Publishers: Fame and fortune painted in your eyes? This route typically starts with a query letter to a literary agent who will represent you with a publishing house, presumably leveraging their acquaintance with the publishing houses to get your manuscript seen. If you have chosen to pursue this route, do a Google search. There are some traditional publishers that accept direct submission. You should be aware, however, that this route offers a steep challenge.

Tara K. Harper writes an interesting article about the likelihood of being published. In short, 3 out of 10,000 manuscripts are reported published by a traditional publisher. As I understand it the publishing house will only provide about 3 months of marketing, but will probably get your book placed in brick and mortar bookstores. The cost – a portion of your royalties…

Publishing Services: This method involves hiring a professional publishing service, but you are still considered an indie author. The biggest benefit is that the service will (should) manage all of your business logistics: manuscript formatting, cover design, channel placement/distribution, and book orders. Some may even offer some marketing.

I am very thankful for Friesen Press. I was treated well and learned a lot from them about the business hidden behind being an author. My debut book, The Legend of Jerrod, won two awards and was ranked about 180,000 with Amazon. With the exception of marketing (which I was disappointed with), everything they told me was “right on the money”. I retained all rights to my book and received the royalties as they promised while they did all of the posting logistics; retaining all rights was the biggest issue for me. It was a good way to break into the business side of being an indie author (non-traditional publishing).

That said, be careful about your publishing services. When I started selecting my first publisher I didn’t know too many authors. The one I knew best told me she had paid twice what Friesen was requesting, and she had signed the rights to her book and to any movie away for 4 years. Ouch! One of the publishing services that I considered for Amanda’s Quest required me to use its editor if they were going to published the manuscript, which included some marketing. If I paid for the publishing it would have cost the same amount…. hmm?

I discovered some local favorite publishing services who would have taken some of the business burdens off my back, but they were 3 to 4 times as expensive as the true, self-publishing route.

True Self-Publishing: As I have gained experience I have met some wonderful, mutually supporting authors and mentors. I am a member of three author groups: FSFNet.com (fantasy & sci-fi authors), World Literary Cafe, and High Sierra Writer; thank you all. Based on their experience and encouragement, I am about to jump into the deep end without flotation devices.

I selected Streetlight Graphics to format Amanda’s Quest into the various formats required by the distribution channels. Streetlight was recommended by a number of authors, appears on the title pages of numerous books, and offers pricing and payment plans that were as reasonable as any others I could find. I have been very happy with their service.

The Pro to this route of publishing is that the royalties and copyrights are all mine, and the price is much less. Using Ingram as one of my distribution channels may enable me to be in brick and mortar book stores, if I chose to pursue that path. The Cons, I am taking on all the business logistics.

Recommendation: The route to publishing you select must optimize your goals. If you want to be in brick and mortar book stores or traditional publishing is the only way to be eligible for an author group, then pursue a traditional publisher. If you want to publish quickly and retain control all of your copyright decision, then pursue either a publishing service or self-publishing. Chosing between these two options depends on cost/royalties and the amount of business transactions you want to manage.

Keep in mind, in May 2014 The Wire – News from the Atlantic reported that Amazon’s share of all new books purchased was 41 percent. Amazon also held 65 percent of all new online books (in both print and digital) and 67 percent of the e-book market.  Additionally, in July 2014 The Daily Dot reported that 2013 eBook sales surpassed the number of books sold in brick and mortar book stores, although the total revenue due to price disparities were still less.

 

The Bard’s Song ©

Back of The Legend of Jerrod: Disillusioned with the thought of becoming a miller, Jerrod sets off to find fame and fortune. After prying a magical sword from the skeletal hand of a fallen knight, he and his new found friends undertake an adventure to recover the secret treasure of the Lost Kings. Accompanied by a wizard and sage, Jerrod finds himself torn between his love for a thief and his blossoming love for a half-Elven druid princess. Armed with courage, steel, and magic they battle formidable beasts as they race to reach the treasure first.

The Legend of Jerrod Book Trailer Preview

 

Enjoy a preview of The Legend of Jerrod Book Trailer. It should be posted to YouTube shortly, but I wanted to give my fans the first opportunity to see it. Please leave a comment. I would love to know what you think. Enjoy!

February 2, 2013 – Introduction

Good morning. This is the first blog for the Kingdom of Torrence website. Perhaps I should introduce myself. I am DM Stoddard, author of The Legend of Jerrod which is the first book in the Kingdom of Torrence series. The second book, Amanda’s Quest, is already being “put to paper”. I hope to have the second book out by the spring of 2014. I intend to write at least three books, but we will see how much you enjoy the first two…

My wife and I have three children; oh, and three dogs, and three cats, and three horses… See a pattern? My daytime job is working for the State of Nevada. My wife works for our school district. Like everyone else we seem to get by, but, most importantly, we are happy.

I enjoy telling stories that readers enjoy reading; it is not just writing for the sake of writing. If you have read the “about the author” section of my book you know this is an extension from when I told my children bedtime stories. I guess it is a personal desire to bring people some happiness. I enjoy fantasy books, so here we are at the Kingdom of Torrence series.

Wow, The Legend of Jerrod. It was released January 24 in e-book format. The hardback and paperback versions became available for sale on January 31st. It is currently on the Friesen Press’s best seller list.

I won’t repeat the description available on the back page of the book. Instead I would like to give you some additional insight to the book, its characters, etc.(but hopefully not too much – I hate it when someone give so much information that it detracts from the suspense, storyline, etc. Spoilers, yuck!).

In their race to find a secret treasure, Jerrod and his friends fight a number of beasts. They are pursued across the kingdom by mercenaries as they cross kingdoms on their way to Terrace Xul. The book is not just about the fantasy battles, but includes the events of their travels, such as sailing and mountain climbing. Of course, being a fantasy, there are Elves and dragons.

I was recently told by one reader that he could visualize the fighting scenes from the descriptions in the book. Another reader told me they did not want to put the book down, but had to get some sleep because they had to work the next morning. I hope you have a similar reaction.

As my reader I have two questions for you. First, I would love to hear who your favorite character is and why? Second, what would you like to see in this blog?

I look forward to hearing from you. Please comment below.