I’ve been visiting some other blogs on wordpress.com and have noticed several were written from prospective writers. There are a few things I would like to share with you about the world of publishing I have discovered first-hand. Firstly, the ideal way of having your book published is that you’ll find a literary agent who will accept you and promote your book to major publishing houses: this is what happened to Stephenie Meyers (author of the Twilight series, and according to Wikipedia, she’d made over 30 million dollars off the Twilight franchise). But, unless you are one of the lucky few this will actually happen to, here’s what the rest of us found out: finding an agent that will accept you is tough. And most likely you’ll be turned down time and again. Some agents only take in published authors (meaning for those of us first-timers, we’re out of luck) and others only accept manuscripts that are a certain word count, (my 11,000 word books didn’t make the cut, as most books are around 25,000-50,000+ words).
In other words, I was extremely lucky to be selected by Tate Publishing. But about that: most would call them a vanity press, something similar to self-publishing, as you have to pay up front, (you’re not the one paid up front like you would be if your book was published by a major publishing company) And yes, I had to pay Tate Publishing ($4,000) for them to take on my book (no it was not a bribe: it was to pay for the marketing, and I only get the $4,000 back after I sell 1000 copies of my book (the books sold through Tate Publishing’s warehouse doesn’t count, either) and I’m getting 15% royalties (40% through sales directly from Tate Publishing’s warehouse).
But despite all that, I was ecstatic that someone thought my book had potential. Of course, if it hadn’t been for my parents, I wouldn’t have been able to afford the fee, as my bank account only housed half that amount. Also, I discovered that Facebook (or other social media) and blogging is a must. You have to build your ‘platform’. If no one knows about you or your book, you aren’t going to make many sales. And me, the most I’d ever done was e-mail, I was thrown head-first into the world of technologies. It was annoying, but a real eye-opener: two years ago all I thought I had to do was write a book and poof! it would get published and I’d be rich. But it doesn’t quite work that way.
And then, thanks to Facebook, I was contacted by a real author. Her name was P.n. Elrod. (I looked her up on Wikipedia and found out she’s a big-time author, having written the Vampire Files) and she told me about a way to get published and spend no out-of-pocket money! One word: e-publish. What? That’s what I thought. So I looked it up on amazon.com’s website (at the very bottom of the page there is a link that reads: Independently Publish with Us. I clicked on it. And now, I have my book available for all you Kindle-users out there, as well as a paper-back edition. And both are advertised on Amazon’s website. All for free. (Of course, for $25 your book will be advertised through major book stores too, though I opted out of that.) I get 70% royalties on books priced $9.99 or less, or 35% on anything over $10.00
And no, going this route probably won’t make you famous, but your name and your work is being exposed to an audience, no matter how small. After that, maybe an agent will at least consider your word, and maybe even give you a shot at the big times. As for me, thanks to Facebook, two e-book versions of my book has been sold, and I’ve got several orders for the paper-back version, via my local store, family members, and friends.
I am so glad P.n. Elrod wrote to me. I was (am) honored.
And I hope that this post will help at least one of you readers.