It’s been quite a while since I’ve had a book out so I’m really excited to have, over the last couple of months, republished my backlist electronically. The Devil of Kilmartin, Charming the Shrew (The MacLeods Book I), and Daring the Highlander (The MacLeods Book II) are all now available through Smashwords.com, Kindle (US and UK stores), and at least Devil has been distributed to most other ebook retailers. The other two are in the pipeline for those other retailers and will, hopefully, show up there before Christmas day.
I never liked the way the business of publishing treated (most) authors in general, or me, in particular, so this has put the control, and the full responsibility, back in my hands, which is right where I want it. As a result of this empowering process, I’ve rediscovered the thrill of both publishing (it’s always fun to have books out where readers can find them!) and of writing, after a long lull. It’s particularly gratifying to be able to check the sales reports at Amazon and Smashwords and see books actually being sold!
Three dead books now have new life. What can I say – that makes me happy.
It’s been a steep learning curve just to get the books republished, and I’m now embarking on the brave new world of marketing ebooks – another steep learning curve from what I can tell. If you’re considering taking this path with your backlist, I’m happy to share my experience. If you have knowledge about marketing ebooks (and I know some of you do!) I’d love to know what’s worked for you, and what hasn’t. It’s been a few years since I had to play the marketing game and everything has changed just that fast.
If you’ve never been traditionally published, I’m not sure what my advice is on whether to independently e-publish or to stick it out and go for a traditional publisher. There is still a certain status that is conveyed simply by a traditional publisher taking a chance on you and your book. At the moment, there really isn’t an equivalent “gate keeper” on the independent publishing side of the business. I’m not saying there should be, just that we are in a between area right now and the judge of what makes a “professional” writer still falls on the side of traditional publishers.
But that’s going to change.
I’m not sure how that change will manifest or exactly when the validity of a well-selling independently published ebook will begin to bestow “professional writer” or “a writer to be taken seriously” status, but it’s going to happen and not that far in the future.
But in the meantime, there is still value to a writer’s career in going the traditional route with a traditional publisher. You need to assess that value when deciding which route you want to pursue in publishing.
So as Thanksgiving rapidly approaches, I find I have a lot to be thankful for, not the least of which is that once more these books that I love have been given a new lease on life, and I’ve been given a renewed sense of optimism about the book publishing industry. I think that’s a pretty good place to be.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!