Aspiring authors know how difficult it is to get something from an idea to the pages of a hard back book. Some might say it’s impossible. I, like many others, have never put forth the effort it takes. One of the main reasons is the frustration created by the roadblocks put up by the industry.
Most legitimate publishers will not accept submissions directly from unpublished authors. Such submissions must come from an agent.
Since most agents will not accept new clients unless they’ve been previously published, it’s almost impossible to find an agent. Self-publishing through the “vanity” presses doesn’t count.
So, what does that aspiring author do? If he or she found a way to be a celebrity of some sort – professional athlete, well-known recording artist, or politician – he or she wouldn’t even have to possess writing skills. He or she could find a ghost writer (with the help of that agent who can’t be bothered with people who write well) and lead everyone to believe that the celebrity has multiple skills.
Fortunately for me, and many others like me, I never needed the money badly enough to grovel. After several futile attempts, I just let my work gather dust.
Then along came the e-readers and self-publishing was given a new meaning. No longer does an author need to pay a vanity press thousands of dollars to print a stack of books that will gather dust unless the author is really good at marketing his or her own work. The author can now simply go to one or more of several sites and upload the work for free. After that, it’s a matter of watching to see how many copies are sold.
Perhaps the most difficult part of this free process is determining what price tag to attach to each book. If a person has invested a year or two in creating his or her masterpiece, he or she might want to see people pay the kind of money they would pay for a Stephen King novel. But, how many books by an unknown author would people buy – especially if the price is high.
On the other hand, if a bargain basement price is attached, people might not think it’s worth anything.
So, you pick a number that sounds reasonable – reminding yourself that the reader isn’t even getting a hard copy of the work. Then, you sit back and hope it will continue to sell after all your friends and relatives have been shamed into buying a copy to help you out.
Short of buying an ad in USA Today, I’m hoping the people who read my work will provide glowing reviews to their friends and relatives and encourage others to read my work. Social networking and blogs supposedly have ways of causing things to go “viral” – a term with which I’m not totally enamored. So, for now, I’m going to avoid the USA Today ad and see what happens.
Before I end this post, I will include some information on each of the books I currently have available for sale. When you see the list of choices, you might think I have yet to find my niche or genre. That may be true, but I have my own thoughts on that.
Ian Fleming is famous for the James Bond novels he wrote. I know for a fact that Ian Fleming wrote in other genres – “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” is one most people would not have guessed. At least Fleming continued to use his own name regardless of what he wrote. Many other authors used pseudonyms when writing something other than the genre for which they were known.
The truth is that all writers like to write about lots of things. Establishing a “voice” is more important than getting boxed into a specific genre. If you like the style of someone’s writing – it’s easy to read and makes you feel comfortable with the use of the language – it doesn’t matter what he or she is writing about.
So, that should explain the works I have published to this point.
The first to hit the stage was:
This work was born out of a dinner conversation in New Orleans. A friend of my bride was asking us about various trips we’ve taken and finally suggested I write a book about how to have a great trip at a reasonable price. This book is available for both Kindle and Nook readers.
Next came my murder mystery.
This book was written in 1996 shortly after I learned that my teenaged daughter had been raped and was pregnant. I was out of work and depressed and started thinking, “What could be worse?”
The ordeals experienced by the little girls and their parents in this book are far worse, and should be a warning signal to all parents and grandparents.
Every time I see a parent simply drop off a child and go off to do their own thing, I shudder to think what could happen. People need to wake up. “Stranger Danger” is a stark reality!
Currently, “Shattered Princesses” is only available on Kindle.
Next came this:
This is a collection of magazine articles and essays I’ve written over the years. It clearly demonstrates that we writers like to write about anything that strikes our fancy.
Like my travel tips book, this one is available for either Kindle or Nook readers.
So, there you have it. The three books I’ve published so far. There will be more.
The most expensive of the three is the murder mystery. It sells for $3.99.The other two sell for $2.99.
With all three, you can download the first several pages and see if you’d be interested. If you like my style or get caught up in the plot, you can go ahead and buy it.
Finally, if you buy it and like it, please encourage your friends and relatives to take a look. I’d appreciate all the support I can get.