E-Publishing: What’s in it for me
Okay, I promised this post a few weeks ago now. I’d been holding off, hoping I could get the blurb of my soon-to-be-epubbed novella together, but it’s still in the works. Darn if that isn’t proving to be the hardest book ever to blurb.
Anyhow, I posted a few weeks ago about my belief that e-publishing is good for the romance genre. And today I’m posting about why I think it’s a good move for me. I have a NY print contract and three books coming out this year. In terms of royalties and readership, realistically speaking, my e-pub novella is not going to come anywhere close to my print figures. So what’s in it for me?
1) Exposure. I wrote this novella largely with hopes that it would build interest in my print books and draw traffic to my website. My original thought was to post it for free, perhaps in installments. However, I changed my mind when I realized how much time and effort I’d have to spend on promo to draw a significant number of readers to my website. The freebie idea might work well next year, but right now I’m an unknown author. By going with a well-known e-publisher (Samhain), I’ll get my name and work in front of their already-large readership. Even if they don’t all buy the book, hundreds (I hope thousands) of people will read my excerpt and get a little taste of my voice, and maybe remember my name. My e-book will also be available via the Amazon Kindle, and my excerpt available in the Kindle store. Also, Samhain books are frequently reviewed by online review sources. It all adds up to more name recognition, which is a top priority for me, as a new author.
2) More creative freedom. This novella was pure fun to write. Even though it’s a historical at heart, it has a paranormal hook. (Don’t anyone start worrying I’m changing subgenres. It’s not a real paranormal, it just references them in a lovingly humorous way.) It’s not something my print publisher would likely be interested in (and my agent checked with them first, to make sure), but e-publishing offers me the opportunity to write a little outside the box and have fun.
3) Community and support. Since e-book sales and promotion are so author-driven, Samhain offers great support and continuing education for its authors. Classes on promotion, opportunities for group advertising, and more. Just today someone posted to the authors’ loop a fab tutorial on using Amazon Connect. I don’t really get that kind of thing from my NY house–and I’m not complaining, just noting that it’s a different focus. My print publisher’s emphasis is on doing promotion FOR me (and boy am I grateful!), instead of helping me learn to do my own. But the information and resources I get as a Samhain author are useful to me in all my promo efforts, for all my books.
4) Money. Yes, I will make some. I’ve already received a small advance, and I’ll receive 40% of the cover price ($3.50) on all direct sales. If my e-book sells 700 copies, I’ll have made about $1000…which to me is pretty good money for a few weeks’ writing. I don’t know if I’ll sell that many copies in the first month, but the book will still be for sale after my print books release, so I’m hoping for a second wave of sales from people who are introduced to my print books first, then come looking to see what else I’ve written. Because it’s an e-book, it will never go out of stock. Taking into account the free promotional benefits, I see it as a very worthwhile endeavor, financially.
5) Fun! Self-explanatory. The whole process of this book, from writing it to editing it to filling out my cover art request, has been fun. And fun is important, at least to my career. I write my best when I’m having fun.
So that’s how I came to be an e-published author. If anyone has questions about what the process has been like, I’m glad to answer them! And I promise, that blurb and excerpt are coming soon! And hopefully some cover art…can’t wait for that.
So do you have an exact release date on the novella yet? I’m trying to plan when exactly I should start carpet-bombing everyone with “buy your first Tessa Dare novella!” 🙂
What a great way to explain this and a terrific look at the pros of e-publishing. Many in my local RWA chapter are e-published and I see them working so hard to promote their own books, I sometimes wonder if it’s worth it. But then I see how happy their are and I know it is.
One question – Would you have written this story and looked to e-publish it if you didn’t already have the NY contract?
What an excellent blog, Tessa! Definitely offers a whole new perspective on the e-book industry. I know I’ll definitely be buying a lot of e-books when my Kindle arrives(it feels like I’ve been waiting FOREVER for it). I’m definitely adding your book to the list.
And, like Courtney said, let me know the release date so I can recommend over at First Edition!:)
CM and Kelly, thanks for asking–the release date is set for May 12th, but Samhain tells us never to completely bank on that until it appears on the company website. But I have no reason to think it will change.
Terri, that’s a hard question…I just don’t think I ever would have written this particular story if I hadn’t sold GOTH, so it’s hard to say. If GOTH hadn’t found a home in NY, my first priority would have been to write another book that I could sell to a major print publisher, no question. It’s always been my goal to make a livable income, and while that’s certainly possible in e-publishing, I haven’t seen anyone do it who isn’t writing erotic romance. But if I’d sold a different novel to NY, I would have seriously considered releasing GOTH as an e-book – again, to reach a different readership, make more of my work available, etc.
I totally understand, Tessa. I think it’s very business savvy of you to use this opportunity as a tool to aid in your career. As the business chick, I love that kind of thing. LOL!
I’m glad you did sell to NY (or anyone!) because I love your stuff and think everyone should have a chance to read it. And I’m not kissing up to get an ARC either. LOL! Here’s to getting it anywhere we can.