Yes, I turned down a publishing contract. Let’s recap what they were going to do for me and how they were going to sell my books:
Copyright paperwork – I’d already done that
Editing – I’d already paid a professional
Put my book on Amazon, BN, Smashwords, Goodreads, their own website – I could do all that, for free.
Use distributors like Ingram and Baker & Taylor – I could do that, too.
What’s left? “Not much” is what I figured, except I’d get paid less for a book that *I* had written and done all the work for and I’d still be doing everything. So I went over to the Dark Side.
In case you’re wondering, the Dark Side, to booksellers, is Amazon. Yes, I’m playing a game – you know, if you can’t beat ’em, join em! I’m not big enough for them to take any notice of me and, while wearing my author hat, they can sell my books. As a bookseller, my store will carry my book too. Now, some booksellers won’t take it simply because I used CreateSpace to print it. That’s okay. It’s their decision, after all and I totally understand why they feel that way. Of course, a lot of small indie publishers use CS to print too, but I’m not going there. Another reason some bookstores won’t carry my book is because, in general, self-published books are garbage.
Not all, but an awful lot. I know. They come into my store and, well, ick. Some I can’t even get through the first chapter. But more on that some other time.
So I made the decision to SP. Copyright, check; editing, check; cover design, check; marketing plan, check. Oh, wait – that last? Yeah, you have to have one. You can’t just expect the Magic Fairy of Sales to wisk your book out and about and bring you money every night while you sleep. You’re an author? Then you’re a business, a commodity, a personality. Be one.
I Tweet; I Facebook; I blog; I have a website with PayPal enabled buttons for readers to buy my book. Yes, I also take advantage of Amazon distribution and sales and yes, it’s available on Kindle. By Christmas, it will be available on other e-readers.Why did I let Kindle have first dibs? They pay me more. Simple.
Friday is the big launch party. Why? Well, why not? I spent six months writing this book, it’s getting really good reviews, and I want to sell books. I’ve notified the press and yes, some will be there. I’ve invited everyone I know – gosh, I hope someone shows up! The point is that yes, it’s a big deal to me and I want to make it a big deal to everyone else. Yep, tootin’ my own horn, but who else is going to do that? Seems like not even that publisher was going to go all out for my book.
I have posters, stand-ups, cards, giveaways; opened a Cafe Press storefront, in case anyone wants to wear my book or drink from it. Sure, some of it cost me a few dollars, but again – you’re a business, remember? Think of a launch party like a grand opening!
Besides, after all that hard work, don’t you deserve a party?