Welcome Evelyn David.
The (Digital) Writing on the Wall
If somebody hasn't already said it, we will: e-books are the 21st century answer to mass market paperbacks. In fact, we think that in the next five years, mass market paperbacks will go the way of the VHS tape. In many ways we're sorry to see the end of an era, we love print books as much as most of you do. But we believe the (digital) writing is on the wall.
So what does that mean for authors? With the opening of virtual bookstore to all writers, including the self-published, you now have the opportunity to see your work in (digital) print, whether or not you've got the imprimatur of a New York publisher. In fact, if you're willing to put the time in to learn how to format your books for the digital market, you can sell them in places like Amazon and bn.com, and with each download, pocket more money on the sale of a $2.99 e-book than on 10 mass market paperbacks.
We're not saying it's easy. Authors are being asked to assume even more responsibility besides the paramount one of writing good books. If you go the self-publishing route, you need to learn how to be, or will have to hire, an editor, cover designer, formatter, and publicist. At least, however, you won't have to package and mail any of your self-published e-books. They're just a download away for the buyer, and unlike traditional publishers with the twice a year royalty payments, markets like Amazon, bn.com, and Smashwords pay for sales on a monthly basis. You will be limited only by the quality of your work and your willingness to promote it.
All of which explains why Evelyn David has jumped feet first into the self-publishing, e-book pool.
While our paperback publisher had released Kindle and Nook versions of our first two mysteries, Murder Off the Books and Murder Takes the Cake, starting in October, we became our own e-book publishers for a new series, The Brianna Sullivan Mysteries. We researched the process and taught ourselves how to do it. While there are lots of guides and blogs out there for authors on how to format e-books, we never found one that gave us the amount of detail we needed. The best information we found was at Smashwords, an e-book publishing and distribution platform. You upload your manuscript there and Smashwords converts your book into multiple e-book formats, including Kindle, Nook (e-pub), PDF, Apple i-Pad, etc. Smashwords has a "free" guidebook for getting your manuscript ready for uploading to Smashwords' "meat-grinder." Read it carefully, more than once (like maybe a dozen times), before following the instructions. It's complicated but do-able.
We're not saying it's easy. Revolutions rarely are. But we're enjoying our new role of controlling our own publishing destiny. You can too. Good Luck!
Marian and Rhonda, being in charge of your own publishing destiny sounds both exciting and scary! But it’s pretty clear you’ve done your research to prepare yourselves. Thanks for telling us your experience and pounding out a path for the rest of us.
Undying Love in Lottawatah
Remember yesterday when I said I’d tell you a secret about Marian and Rhonda (aka Evelyn David)? Well…despite all the books they’ve written together and all the promoting at conventions, Marian and Rhonda have never met in person!
Feel free to ask them a question or tell us your own experience with going digital.