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Dindi is kidnapped to be the bride of a shark... To escape she must untangle a terrible curse caused by a love and magic gone wrong.
This stand-alone novella is set in Faearth, the world of The Unfinished Song. Available here ONLY.
The Unfinished Song - This Young Adult Epic Fantasy series has sold over 70,000 copies and has 1,072 Five Star Ratings on Goodreads.
There are so many ways to write Romance! And get paid for it. There are Pros and Cons to each of the career paths. But the good news is that these aren’t mutually exclusive.
PRO: When you dreamed of being a writer, this is probably what you envisioned. A paperback on a wood shelf in a real bookstore, with a familiar label on the spine, like Harlequin. There are so many different “lines” for Big Pubs, it’s easy to find one you fit. It’s a good way to learn how to craft your novel to a niche readership. You’ll get an editor and a book cover.
CON: Advances are smaller than you think. Really. Plus, while you have the advantage of the publisher’s reach, they don’t promote for you. You’re still on your own when it comes to truly promoting you as an author and a brand. Your books are off the shelves and the Publisher doesn’t always care about keeping alive your backlist.
PRO: As with a Big Publisher, you’ll get an editor and a cover and a built-in audience. You’ll also have guidelines to write to. And it’s a lot easier to break in than with a Big Pub. Most of these specialize in ebook publishing.
CON: No advances, and no guarantees that royalties will be great either. Plus… frankly, the publisher might provide a cover that really sucks. And you’re stuck with it anyway. You have to promote yourself. And small presses often go out of business…often down in flames.
PRO: You can find work on a site like Elance or Odesk (which recently merged) and have enough projects to write full time. You have to hustle a bit to win bids, but it’s still a lot easier than promoting your own book—and easier on the ego. You get a guaranteed amount of money upon delivery of the work; it’s like an advance you don’t have to worry about earning out. Depending on what you prefer, you can look for gigs that let you write your own stories (within guidelines), or gigs that provide much of the work for you already done, like background and outline. This makes it a great route for beginning novelists, especially, to hone their trade. It’s like getting paid to learn how to write books.
CON: You don’t get the fame and satisfaction of seeing your name out there on a book cover. Also, you write to someone else’s specs and you have to respect their wishes, even if you think you know better. You don’t receive royalties.
PRO: In Hollywood, it’s pretty standard, but it’s a new thing for novel-writing: joining a partnership or a team. The income is more regular, and you have the ability to bounce ideas off your partner or teammates. You can focus on the parts of the story you write best, and your partner can do the same. You have more control of the final product than with ghost writing, but still less sole responsibility for the final product… including the marketing. If you trust your partner or team, that lets you focus on the fun parts.
CON: You have to be careful that the financial arrangements are solid and that it’s clear how you’ll be paid: an upfront fee for each assignment, royalties, or a salary—or some combination? Make sure this doesn’t ruin a friendship or destroy a small business. And if you’re the one in charge, make sure you have the legal bases covered.
PRO: You’re the boss, and you have full artistic control—and you keep all the net profits. What could be better?
CON: When you go Indie, you’re not just an artist anymore, you’re a business. Remember that the profits you earn are gross, not net. You have to subtract all the costs of your business… editors, book cover artists, promoters. And if you do all that yourself, you are basically limiting the time you can spend writing. If you ignore the other aspects of the business, your books will languish unnoticed—no matter how good they are!
Lindsay Burokoer, a long-time writer friend and great blogger–who recently featured a guest post of mine about the Faery Worlds Book Bundle–has posted her reflections and lessons learned from three years of self-publishing.
Lindsay and I started self-publishing about the same time. Perhaps it’s not too surprising, then, that we’ve learned some of the same lessons. I completely agree with what she has to say.
Read the whole thing, but here are some high-lights:
Lesson #2: A series with dedicated readers is what leads to reliable income.
Over time, the numbers tell you how many people go on to buy subsequent books after trying the first, so you’ve got a good idea how many buyers you’re going to have each month if you can get X number of new people to pick up the first book. You also get an idea of how many people will buy the next installment before you even start writing it. With unrelated works, things are more hit-and-miss. You might get lucky and attract an all-new audience, but you might also find that fewer of your dedicated readers will try the new characters/new world.
Lesson #3: You should give a book time on the market before giving up on it or making hasty decisions regarding series-potential.
Based off early reviews, I almost scrapped Torrent and the notion of doing a subsequent series. At one point, I was going to take it down from the store altogether. The only reason I didn’t was because it was clearly set up as a Book 1 and I felt compelled to write more in the series at some point, so people wouldn’t be left hanging.
So what eventually happened with Torrent? I left it up there while I went on to my other stuff, and it’s actually sold well, quite well when you consider that I haven’t mentioned it anywhere since launch weekend back in September. Even for launch, I didn’t do more than announce it to my newsletter, and throw up a post on Facebook and Twitter. I haven’t spent a penny on advertising (I always figured I would wait until I had more books out in the series). I’ve also had some nice emails and comments from readers who enjoyed it and want to see more. In addition, I got an email from someone at Amazon last month, and they may include it in some kind of featured sale in a couple of months (no guarantees, but, hey, they’ve never emailed me about any of my other books). So that brings me to…
Lesson #4: Glowing reviews don’t always make for a best-seller and the book that gets hammered hardest might just sell well.
I should note that I agree with some of the critiques for the book, and I’ll try to address certain points and improve on things as I go forward in the series. However, it’s also worth pointing out that…
Lesson #5: If you publish something in a different genre, you risk displeasing people who prefer the old.
As authors, we sometimes like to jump around and explore new genres and different styles of writing. (Why of course it’s time to try something in first person!) There’s nothing wrong with that, but we have to realize that those people who really liked our old genre and old style of writing may not be excited about the new. I think the next time I jump to a different genre (there’s going to be a space-age SF series eventually, so look out!), I’ll mention it to the mailing list but won’t do the big discount to try and encourage them to try it. If they do and they like it, great, but I’ll go to the book blogs and genre-specific advertisers and try to first put it in front of those who really dig that type of book.
There’s much more so be sure you read the rest on her blog.