Self Publishing…Everything’s Changing, But One Thing Remains The Same. Let’s Party! …by Susan Lute

Yes, I’m late with my post, but there is SO much going on, and tons running through my head. I had two meetings yesterday, Steam punk girl with Typewriter.but before I get to that, there has been a lot of conversations going on in my house. One of them is storyteller versus writer. How do you go from being a good writer to being a great storyteller? I don’t know, but I’d love to find out. Of course, for the best storytellers, it’s a gift. One they’re born with. I also think you can learn to be a great storyteller. At least that’s what I believe today. I consider J.T. Geissinger a great storyteller (if you haven’t read Edge Of Oblivion, and you love paranormal stories, you must). And J.K. Rowling. And Jessa Slade. And Nancy Brophy. I think I write a good story, but a great storyteller? Not so much. This week I made a vow to figure out how to grow beyond being a good writer and it’s spiked my enthusiasm for writing, which okay, is almost always spiked pretty high.

So, the meetings – the first one was with Maggie Jaimeson, founder of Windtree Press. Maggie is a woman with a vision. If you haven’t had a chance to check out the Windtree website, take a stroll. Windtree Press is in it’s infancy right now, but one day it’s going to be the go-to place to buy good stories by Indie authors, the Sundance of Indie Books, so cleverly put by the fabulous Carolyn Zane. Which brings me to my next meeting, which was with the lovely Two Hot Mamas, Carolyn and Wendy Warren. They came to talk to Maggie, but when they were done, I got to horn in on their meeting about their current project, a romance for Entangled Publishing. Just talking series titles with these two funny ladies is a hoot and a half. I’ve wrangled them in for an interview in June. Their new book comes out in September.

Which brings me to the part about how everything’s changing. I’m looking out my office window, and the sun is out. The sky is that baby blue of a warming spring day. It’s going to be 60 plus degrees in my little mountain town. And you know what? New York isn’t the only game in town anymore. We all know it hasn’t been for a long time, but it’s getting easier and easier to be a successful writer without them. Don’t get me wrong, if St. Martin’s offered a contract today, I’d be hard pressed to turn it down, and probably wouldn’t. That’s an old dream that hasn’t died.

Here’s the thing. Technology is changing so much, and so fast, it’s hard to keep up with all the new ways to publish your own book. Today, I can write a story, polish it to perfection, upload it to Jutoh (others have their favorite manuscript converter; GMLT Cover uploadable 800x1200Jutoh is mine), make sure there are no bugs, then upload the .mobi to Amazon, the .epub to BN and abracadabra, you’re published. The process is easy, even for non-left brainers like me who have to practice the processes until they get it right.

Eighteen months ago, five intrepid friends set out to write an anthology. Twenty-four hours after uploading to Amazon, it’s published! The Girl Most Likely To, an anthology by Linda Kaye, Jessie Smith, Darla Luke, Nancy Brophy and me, Susan Lute is now available at Amazon. Here’s the thing that hasn’t changed. Seeing a book you’ve put your heart and soul into on the bookshelf, whether it’s virtual or physical, it’s the best dang feeling there is! Except for looking at your newborn baby’s face for the first time, it’s…liberating.

Now it’s time to party!

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About Susan

Author, wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, dreamer.

Posted on April 22, 2013, in General and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Checking in from vacationland 🙂 Thanks everyone for your comments. I just want to say. Be encouraged. Be very encouraged.

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  2. I think more and more authors are taking advantage of both choices. Though I’ve gone with a traditional publisher for my first three books, I’m toying with the idea of self-publishing too.

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  3. Su, congratulations to you and all your writer sisters on the anthology! I also love the options open to writers these days!

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  4. I’ve learned so much from watching your journeys and innovations over these years that I plan to publish in any and every arena/market/country and process that I can. Every option includes a direct link to the author website and no matter how a book is distributed to the audience, I will have the cover and BUY links there.

    Even if one books only earns 8-10% of the cover price and another earns me 70% of the price I choose, it’s all cash, and it all builds my career and connection to an audience that loves my stories.

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  5. And mega-congratulations on the new anthology! Love the title!

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  6. Love your upbeat posts, Su! Thank you for sharing info about Windtree Press. Your positive energy is contagious and inspiring.

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  7. It was a great meeting, and Carolyn and Wendy offered some amazing ideas for Windtree Press. Thank you, ladies!

    Susan, I think it’s great your dream to get a contract hasn’t died. I believe authors do not have to make an all or nothing choice between indie and a major NY contract. I truly believe hybrid works for lots of reasons (advances–however small–to put food on the table is one that immediately comes to mind). Entangled is a good example of a semi-traditional contract that bridges the world of indie and major NY. They offer competitive royalty rates for ebooks and all of the typical publisher support (editing, covers, marketing, distribution). Belle Books is another example of that bridge between indie and major NY publishing. Both of these presses have bestselling titles. Both of these presses have owners and editors and authors who have worked with big NY publishers in the past. IMO both of these presses produce quality books and do care about their authors.

    The good news is that authors HAVE choices now. In the past we did not. Whenever there is a monopoly on choice, there is the likelihood that payment terms will not be competitive. That is even more clear now that there is so much competition. No matter what direction an author chooses for her manuscript, there is a payment–a tradeoff that she makes. The tradeoffs are royalty percentages and time to market vs control of everything and having to DO/COORDINATE everything yourself.

    Just like weathering the rejections and running the gauntlet of traditional publishing tests the character of authors, so does going indie. Yes, anyone can publish now. But can anyone publish well? It takes the same fortitude to write your book as before. It takes the same fortitude to find a good editor and listen to him/her as it did before. It takes skills or money to get a cover that draws attention to your book, to understand distribution scenarios, to get noticed–all of this with no payment so far. In the end, is it any less heartbreaking to realize that only your 10 or 25 or 100 family members and friends have bought your book than it is to get a rejection from an agent or editor?

    Neither choice is easy. Neither choice is good or bad. Both choices can yield financial and emotional rewards if you stick with it, learn the rules, and have a long-term view of your career instead of a one or two book view. Isn’t it wonderful to have choices? You can try one and switch. You can do both. You can do one. Whatever you do, write the next book. Learn about the tradeoffs of your choices. Commit to a long term, multi-book career. Then put one foot in front of the other and the butt in the chair, and go for it.

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  8. I agree. The publishing world is now a place where the writer can choose and find their own path and make a living off what they love.

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