Sunday, August 12, 2012

Self Publishing in a Changing Industry: What Do You Want?

Summer is winding down for some of you, but for those of us in Florida, we have the hottest few weeks ahead of us. At the end of this blog today find out about when you can expect to catch Were Cat Fever by Eliza March.
Hi all my friends, readers and fellow authors,

After much speculation and lists speculating the pro's and con's of my options, I've decided to self publish my next book. There are several reasons I'm turning to self publishing from small press or even traditional publishing companies. I've learned so much about the industry over the years, and recognize the changes taking place. Hard as I try, I've had difficulty keeping up with them all as many of you probably have too.  First I have to say thank you to small presses for changing the industry and giving authors the new choices. I don't think we'd be where we are now without them. (I know, e-readers helped.) I'm an editor for a small press. Love the job. Love my authors. Love the books I put out and love the people I work with. I also edit independently with the same satisfaction. 

For many years before I began writing and editing, I worked in merchandising and marketing. Product promotion through demonstration, education, and trade shows were my way of life, and when I left that world behind I never expected to do it again. HA! Fat chance of that. How can you avoid putting yourself and your work out there if you want anyone to read what you've written? You can't. And those of you in this industry already know that. Introverts BEWARE! You can write in your cave, hide in your fantasy world but sooner or later, in this social world of the Internet  if you get read, or want to be read, you'll get discovered or have to slink out of the cave with your book cover and say, "Look at my book." Despite what I've done all my life, despite what everyone sees when they meet me...I AM an introvert.

My persona, Eliza March, is make believe. My real identity would be out of character with what I write. Are you going to accept a sixty-five year old mother of five, and grandmother, who's been married for 45 years to the same man, as the author who's writing these menages you like so well? Could be hard to imagine. Although I have to tell you, I'm pretty hot for my age, or any age. One of the great things about being over fifty is being able to say things like this. I'm better now than I've ever been at almost everything except stamina. LOL But the publishing industry can't afford to take chances with older writers. Authors are an investment for them. I understand.

After following the rules in the beginning, I learned a few things. I discovered the rules weren't going to work for me. I'm a good rule follower  usually, but they don't work for me anymore. I'm too old to fit into the traditional role of young author seeking representation, shopping my work around, and signing up with a big New York Publisher as one of their stable writers. ( So I dare someone to  contact me and make a liar out of me. I doubt it. I'm not very malleable.) I don't fit their mold. 

Suddenly I noticed the traditional publishers' approach is changing.  Things are different now than they were when I signed with a small press and published my first book published a little over three years ago and followed it with another by another small press. Several books later, I've discovered I want more control over my career.

Things I want and why: (Perhaps you can leave a comment and add to this list?) 

1.  I want a fair contract.
What that means to me is I get paid for what I create. Any rights I sign away, I should be paid for. If you want audio rights, pay me and commit to pursuing getting the book produced audibly. You want movie rights? Pay for them.
2.  I want control over my cover.
E-books have a millisecond to get a reader's attention. My cover better grab her. If my book is buried in tons of other covers what's going to make a reader notice mine before another?
3.  I want the same level playing field as every other book out there. (Okay this is still an area where I'm skeptical.) Some small presses are releasing so many more books in the same genre, I have to question if it benefits an author or the publisher. If we depend on a publisher to be discriminating than just how many romantic suspense's can they release on a given day? Does it muddy the waters? Does it affect an author's exposure and sales? Hell yes. I at least want my publisher to believe in my book enough to keep me visible at their website for  a reasonable amount of time.
4.  I want input on pricing. I'd like to be able to offer my book for sale at a reasonable price. I'd like to discount it occasionally. I'd like to do cross promotions with my books or with other authors.
5.  I'd like to offer paper backs at a reasonable price. Can't we go back to smaller sizes?
6.  If I sign with a publisher, I expect the publisher to protect my copyright. E-publishers should be making it more difficult to download and share files. I can share it on my web page if I don't expect protection.  
As an artist and an author these things, among other, matter to me. Do you want to hear a little about my next book? Read on... 

My poor heroine in WERE CAT FEVER is suffering in the Texas heat from a virus the CDC can't identify. Some of her symptoms are similar to rabies and others, to cat scratch fever. When Lacey can't take the heat, she rides into the mountains nearby and visits the caves. She's an authority on southwestern mammal biology, so why can't she identify the tracks recently appearing near her ranch? ( you have to guess)

Bryan is back after five years...different and, in some ways better...but only for selfless reasons. He changed when he discovered what he was and wouldn't risk Lacey's life. Now he's discovered that making love to her that last night infected her. Something prolonged her reaction, but his friend says she's suddenly showing symptoms. Bryan's brother, Hunter, is the only one who can control the mountain lion Were inside Bryan. It'll take both of them to help Lacey through her change.

Hunter is only along for the ride. He's insurance that Bryan can stay in control and as an adviser to help explain the questions Lacey will certainly have. He never counted on Bryan attacking and infecting him out of jealousy. Now his mountain lion has imprinted on his brother's mate and all hell is going to break loose when Bryan and Lacey find out. They either will have to accept Hunter as an equal mate for Lacey or Hunter will be facing a lifetime of full moon cycles chained in a cave...and sex life. 

Damn Lacey's going to be pissed when she finds out her life will be turned upside down. 

Lacey is determined to find her father's killer, even if he turns out to be the one man she hasn't stopped loving for five years. Will she turn him in? The man who broke her heart is back and his brother is as hot as he is. She can't resist either man, and they're trying to tell her, her life is about to change. Everything she ever believed in is skewed. There are other biological life forms she's never heard of. How had she missed this?

If you think house cats can be dangerous when angry, you've never encountered a furious female mountain lion. Be Prepared to "Spread The Fever: WERE CAT FEVER" coming ... from Eliza March later this month. Follow me here or on FACEBOOK for release news.