Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Conf 658: Ta Da De Raa - Preparing To Go Indie

Exciting times as I near the end of my final edit on novel 3 in readiness for epublication. This was very nearly sold by my agent a couple of years ago but fell at the final hurdles. (2 editors wanted it but one was over-ruled by the sales team, the other by her CEO. Such is the life of an editor in jittery mainstream publishing.) Recently I took the big decision to part company with my lovely, hard-won, agent so that I could sell it myself.

I will be selling it as a PDF on my ebooks site, and on Amazon Digital, Apple iBooks, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Sony and more. There will be preview chapters for you to read here very soon. Meantime, (ta da ta ra, after 5 years of blogging about getting this written and published) the very first outing for the cover and blurb:

When baby boomer rock chick Sally Lightfoot is suddenly widowed at 50 she's torn between ageing gracefully or disgracefully. Whilst interfering but caring neighbour Val turns her on to Gardener's Question Time and cosy nights in with Sudoku and the telly, Ramone, her saucy ex backing singer mate, has other ideas. Sally must get out there again and lose her wididity, her born-again virginity, before it's too late. 76,000 words PDF.

I've spent the last year or so learning about the ebook business. At first, everything was in the US and, indeed, I made sure the text of my non-fiction ebooks suited US as well as UK audiences, but now things are moving fast and I think, for once, I may have the timing right. News is now coming in of the UK/Ireland's first big fiction ebook 'indie author' success story.

His name's Stephen Leather. His vampire novel Once Bitten and The Basement, a serial killer story set in New York, are numbers 1 and 2 in the UK Kindle bestseller fiction chart respectively. Another of his novels, Private Dancer, set in the world of Bangkok dancing girl bars, has been highly praised for its authenticity (he lives between London, Dublin and Bangkok).

His Kindle sales chart, which he's just published on his blog, shows clearly that selling ebooks at 99 cents brings in a great deal more sales than 'full price' ($2.99/$3.99). Since Amazon revised their royalty payment schedule last June, however, the 99 cent option is no longer open to new indie authors. The lowest price an author can now charge is $2.99 in the US and £1.49 in the UK, for which they receive a 70% royalty. However, to get this full 70% you have to fill in all sorts of complicated US tax forms, the subject of another blogpost coming soon.

Stephen Leather's blog: How To Make A Million Dollars From Writing Ebooks (or How I Learned To Love The Kindle).


Anne Brooke said...

So looking forward to your book! I'm assuming it will also be available on Amazon Kindle in the UK - I hope so! Sorry if that's a stupid question :))


blackbirdebooks said...

Thanks, Anne! Yes it'll be up on Kindle and all the others - iBooks, Nook, Smashwords...

Anne Brooke said...

Fab, thanks, Stephanie - I'm rapidly becoming a Kindle addict! :))

Talli Roland said...

Ah yes, Stephen Leather! He's done so well, as has JA Konrath, LJ Seller and whole host of wonderful writers.

I think ebooks open up such an exciting new market for writers!

womagwriter said...

Good luck with your publication!

It's interesting, reading your post makes me want to seriously consider getting an ebook reader, though I've resistant till now, preferring paper books. But it isn't one or the other, is it? I have an iPod but still buy CDs...

Stephanie Zia said...

It's all very exciting, Talli, as your own publication story is proving!

Womangwriter thanks for your good wishes. Everybody I know who's bought a Kindle hasn't regretted it. It's great for writers because you can view your own work in progress on it and make notes. Though it's a slightly clunky way of revision, and you can't transfer the notes back to your computer, I find the "one-removed" feeling of editing my own MS on the Kindle really useful. And, yes, real books aren't going anywhere. As William Boyd said recently when he launched my local library ebook lending service - velcro was a great invention but it didn't replace buttons.