Friday, April 25, 2014
Getting Down To Business: Going Solo
I love the term "hybrid author". With so many choices out there for writers right now, it just seems to make sense to me to be open to different avenues, rather than taking an all-or-nothing approach. That's not to say everyone should be a hybrid author. Everyone's career path is their own, and everyone makes decisions for their own reasons and circumstances.
But sometimes opportunities arise, and it makes sense to take advantage of them. I recently self-published a backlist book that I have the rights to. Here are a few things I learned...and a few things I have yet to learn.
First of all, I was really relieved when I got official confirmation from my publisher that the rights had, indeed, reverted to me. It's important to legally cover your butt when you're looking at re-issuing backlist. My publisher was great about it, and just because I chose to exercise the reversion rights clause doesn't mean there's anything wrong with our working relationship. I'm hoping to write something new for them in the near future.
Even though the book was published back in 06, I had it re-edited. Some tiny changes were made to reflect current attitudes (my heroine owns a restaurant, so I updated to some current dietary trends). Some layering was done, some streamlining and fixing of lines and phrases. I also revised a plot point/motivation thread that, as time went on, I felt was a weak spot. I like the new approach better. None of it was a heavy edit, because I wanted to keep the book as true as possible to original. It was just tweaks to polish it a little more. I like to think I've learned a few things between book 1 and book 30-something. :) After that it went through a copy edit.
I also paid her to do the formatting for me. The last thing I wanted was to put my book up and it have all these formatting errors. The goal the whole time was to have a finished product that was polished and professional. All told, the money I spent on editing and covers and formatting was well under $1000.
I looked after uploading myself. This was actually spectacularly easy. Truly. Within a few hours I had everything uploaded to KDP, Createspace (for the print version) and Smashwords. The platforms were VERY user friendly. I was worried about that part, so yay!
So...now it's up there, and it's hugely exciting. But I still have lots to learn. The wonderful but scary part for me is learning how to leverage the numbers - by playing with price points, advertising, and that whole strategy. In the meantime, I have another new book releasing! So I have to worry about market saturation and timing and the like.
Know what though? I'm not sorry I did it. It's exciting and different and will hopefully help me reach a whole new readership.
THE GIRL MOST LIKELY
THE HOUSE ON BLACKBERRY HILL