Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Update

I forgot to post the link to my recent interview at the Indie Books Blog, so here it is. I owe them a huge debt of gratitude, along with all the other bloggers out there who are making this Indie thing happen. The stuff going on in this business right now is history in the making. Recently, several big-name authors have walked away from major publishing contacts to join the Indie movement. One author most of you have probably heard of, Amanda Hocking (see links) has just signed a multi-million dollar contract with a major publisher. This is after going Indie because the publishing world refused to take her seriously. Best of all, she didn't do it for the money. Amanda's books have made her over two million dollars since she decided to self-publish about a year ago, most of that within the last four months. She didn't need that contract, and the only reason she took it was because she's tired of doing her own covers, editing, and publishing. She just wants to write. Don't we all?

I commented on this subject on the Kill Zone blog (see my links section) the other day. I'll try to summarize it here the way I did there:

Big publishing companies have enjoyed a monopoly in the business for decades because they control distribution. No one outside of the Big 6 gets their book in WalMart, or Safeway, or Borders. Up until recently, there was only one way to become a professional writer: Sell a book to a major publisher, and then settle for 15% royalties (and give 35% of that to a literary agent). That's all changed now, and what we're seeing is very similar to the heyday of pulp fiction in the early 1900's. The pulp area came about because the technology to produce books (printing and paper) became extremely cheap. For the first time, it was possible for anyone with a middle-class income to have their own library of paperbacks. Publishers found themselves scrambling to keep up with demand. They put out cattle-calls in magazines and newspapers, begging new authors to come work for them. They published just about everything they could get their hands on.

And a lot of it was crap. There was very little editorial oversight, the art was quickly and cheaply produced, and the writers were producing low-quality works as fast as they could type. But ironically, a lot of last century's biggest names owe their careers to that period. Many of them published hundreds of books between the 1920's and the 1960's, and went on to become some of America's most celebrated authors.

Jump forward to this century, and the digital revolution. With the advent of the Kindle, the Nook, and other similar technologies, it's easier and cheaper to produce a book than ever. In fact, the majority of books being published this year will never see print in any significant way. Print is now a way for an author to subsidize his brand... to make his books available to the stragglers who don't yet own an e-reader. The print market is drying up faster than anyone imagined it could. Brick and mortar bookstores are going out of business left and right.

Obviously the best thing publishers can do right now is to embrace this technology the way they did with pulp. They can snatch up aspiring authors by the thousands, give them a worthless contract for a share of the profits, and publish their books in about an hour. It's a win-win situation. Struggling authors get a break. They get a real honest-to-God contract. They might even make some money. In the meanwhile, they'll be building a career. AND Readers get thousands of new, cheap books.

Only that's not the way it went down. Publishers saw this coming a few years ago. They moved quickly... in the opposite direction. They shut their doors to new authors. They dropped their midlist authors like bad habits. They put all of their money into pushing crappy celebrity books, and fixed their prices on e-books to a minimum of $9.99.  No kidding. In some cases e-books from the Big 6 cost $15 or more -more than their  paperback counterparts.Meanwhile, thousands of writers are now without work. Thousands more are desperate to pursue their dreams of being published, and there's nowhere for any of them to go.

And along comes Amazon. And I think you know the rest of the story.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Indie Books Blog interview coming March 20, 2011

My interview (re: The Tinkerer's Daughter) with the Indie Books Blog is scheduled to be featured this Sunday! If you have a chance, check it out. You can download a sample or buy the book from the scrolling ad to the side, or from any of the links below. Links to the rest of my books are also posted above, in the books tab.

As of this weekend, my titles are finally going live at Barnes and Noble as well, so I will be updating the links directly.

Amazon - Smashwords - Barnes and Noble


The Tinkerer's Daughter:

Breeze is an outcast, a half-breed orphan born into a world torn apart by one thousand years of war. Breeze never knew her elven mother. When her father -a human soldier- is called back to the war, he leaves Breeze in the safest place he knows: in the care of a reclusive tinker.

The Tinkerman's inventions are frightening at first; noisy, smelly, dangerous machines that have little practical use. But elves mature quickly, and Breeze is no exception. When the war comes home, Breeze sees an opportunity. If she succeeds, she will change the world forever. If she fails, Breeze will be considered a traitor to both countries and she'll be hunted to her death.

Monday, March 14, 2011

to the grindstone...

I've been extremely busy the last few weeks, but I've made progress. My e-books averaged four sales per day for the month of February, and in total I've had about one thousand downloads since I started this process in January. I hope that number continues to grow, but in the meanwhile I'm not sitting still. I've got paperback versions (almost) ready to go. I'm waiting on the galleys right now. If they look good, I will give my final approval and the books will be available sometime in April.

I've also started two new manuscripts that I hope to have finished by the end of spring, and published sometime this summer. (Okay, it's actually three new manuscripts but I'm already waffling on one of them. I may have to rethink my approach. It's a a sequel to "The Darkling Wind. The truth is, I had never planned to do a sequel to Darkling, but I've had so many people ask for one that I think I might... but not if it's not right. I'm going to give it some time because I don't want to rush something out just to say I have a sequel. Be patient with me.)

I had hoped to spend more time doing promotion stuff the last few weeks, but I'm wiped out. Between work, family, and other real-life obligations, it's hard enough just to write. Never-mind posting regularly on my blog, updating my multiple profiles and book pages, visiting the forums and blogs, and keeping up with... well, it's not that interesting, but it's all time consuming. I did take the time to update my blog (as you can see) with some new links and minor tweaks.

It's shaping up to be a busy year, but hopefully the hard work will pay off. I have some goals listed out that include at least three new books this year. God willing I might even get more, but I'll be happy with three.

Contact

Jamie welcomes your questions and comments at: JamieSedgwick@sbcglobal.net