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Rust & Relics Novella and 99-Cent Urban Fantasy Boxed Set

| Posted in My Ebooks |

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Destiny Unchosen CoverIt’s been a while since I first published Torrent, Book 1 in the Rust & Relics series, but I’m finally getting back to that world. There will be a new novel ready to go this fall, and I have a novella for you right now. Destiny Unchosen is from Temi’s point of view, comes with a lot of adventure, and gives us a peek into Eleriss and Jakatra’s world (Are those guys elves or aliens or what? You get to decide… :) ).

Blurb:

Before tragedy left her crippled, Artemis “Temi” Sidaris was a world-class tennis player at the height of her career. The sport was her passion, her dream, and all she ever wanted to do. Fighting monsters… was not part of the plan. 

But when a pair of pointy-eared strangers offers to heal her injury if she’s willing to wield a powerful sword to protect humanity… how can she resist? 

Destiny Unchosen is a 21,000-word novella that takes place between Torrent and the forthcoming Thorn Fall (September, 2014).

You can grab Destiny Unchosen from Amazon, SmashwordsBarnes & Noble, Kobo and Apple (coming soon).

I think you can enjoy Destiny Unchosen without having read Torrent (quite a few spoilers though!), but if you haven’t given the first novel a chance yet, you can grab it for… about 10 cents right now. It’s part of a nine-author, nine-book urban fantasy bundle that’s only 99 cents.

Here’s a little more information on the bundle (I think it’s a great way to try out a lot of new authors and new books for a very inexpensive price):

NINE BY NIGHT: A Multi-Author Urban Fantasy Bundle of Kickass Heroines, Adventure, & Magic

nine-by-night-coverNine books. Nine bestselling authors. Nine heroines that take names–and chances–while confronting dark foes, whether by force of arms or magic, that threaten their entire world.

From NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author, SM REINE - WITCH HUNT — Shaman on the run. Isobel Stonecrow speaks with the dead…for the right price. She brings closure to the bereaved and heals broken hearts. But when she resurrects someone for the wrong client, she ends up on the OPA’s most wanted list.

From NYT and USA Today Bestselling author, CJ ELLISSON - DEATH’S SERVANT — Jonathan Winchester has clashed with his werewolf alpha one too many times. He returns to Virginia to find work and meets a young waitress, Raine. As their relationship progresses, Jon’s embroiled in more intrigue than he bargained for and a danger bigger than he can handle.

From bestselling author, LINDSAY BUROKER - TORRENT — When Delia chose to major in archaeology, she imagined herself as the female Indiana Jones of the Southwest. She didn’t imagine herself stumbling across decapitated bodies in old mine shafts or learning that monsters are real…

From USA TODAY bestselling author, ANTHEA SHARP - SPARK — What if a high-tech game was a gateway to the treacherous Realm of Faerie? Superstar gamer Spark Jaxley’s life might look easy, but she’s part of an elite few who guard a shocking secret; the Realm of Faerie exists, and its dark magic is desperate for a foothold in the mortal world. 

From bestselling authors BOONE BRUX and CJ ELLISSON - DEATH TIMES TWO — The V V Inn has a ghost problem. New grim reaper, Lisa Carron, accepts the job. She quickly learns the hotel is full of the dearly departed–and she’s working for vampires. Throw in Asa, a young vamp hot enough to melt the Arctic ice, and Lisa realizes she’s way out of her element. 

From bestselling author, JC ANDRIJESKI - ROOK: ALLIE’S WAR EPISODES 1-4 — Like most humans, Allie distanced herself from Seers, a race of human-like beings discovered on Earth. Yanked out of her life by the mysterious Revik, Allie finds out her blood may not be as “human” as she thought, the world is nothing like it appears to be…and she has more in common with Seers than she ever wanted to believe. 

From bestselling author, ANNIE BELLET - JUSTICE CALLING — Gamer. Nerd. Sorceress. Jade Crow lives a quiet life running her comic book and game store in Wylde, Idaho. After twenty-five years fleeing from a powerful sorcerer who wants to eat her heart and take her powers, quiet suits her just fine. Surrounded by friends who are even less human than she is, Jade figures she’s finally safe. As long as she doesn’t use her magic…

From bestselling author, JESI LEA RYAN - ARCADIA’S GIFT — Teenager Arcadia (Cady) Day’s family tragedy unleashes a hidden power. After experiencing what can only be called a psychic episode, her home life crumbles. As her emotional control slips away, Cady begins to suspect that her first psychic episode was just the beginning…

From Urban Fantasy author, KARA LEGEND - WILD NIGHT ROAD — One innocent hex sets off a chain reaction of trouble among the shifters of the Kinraven that threatens war between werewolves, seraphim and witches. Lilith Darke will do anything to be free of her seraphim master. All hell breaks loose when rival packs face off only to discover a new, deadly threat that will take all their magick to survive.

Pick up the collection at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple, and Smashwords.

Are Facebook “Promoted Posts” Ever Worth It for Authors?

| Posted in Advertising |

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I’ve talked a lot about buying sponsorships on book blogs and mailing lists such as Bookbub, Ereader News Today, Pixel of Ink, and sites of that ilk, but I haven’t covered pay-per-click advertising much, not since a very early (three years old now) post on my experience advertising on Goodreads. The main reason is that it’s hard to make pay-per-click advertising work when you’re selling something with as small of a profit margin as an ebook. If you have to pay for every click, and each click costs 40 or 50 cents and only 1 in 10 people end up buying the book, you’re not going to make money on a 99 cent or even 3.99 ebook.

Facebook operates under the same paradigm. You can buy pay-per-click advertising and create little ad campaigns (limited space to type in your copy), or you can pay to promote one of the regular posts you make on your author page (no limit on space). Either way, you’re charged when people engage with your ad (i.e. click on it or like it).

You may be thinking, but wait… shouldn’t people who like my author page see all of my posts anyway? Alas, no. That hasn’t been happening for a while. Facebook openly admits that you’ll only reach about 16% of your audience with your page’s posts. If you want more people to see those posts, you have to pony up the money and boost your post.

The cost varies based on the number of likes you have and how many people you want to reach. With 3,000-odd likes, Facebook recommends I spend $100-$200 to boost a post these days. It used to be more like $30 to $50. (Fortunately, you don’t have to spend as much as they recommend.)

So… is it ever worth it? Should you pay to boost a post when you have a new release?

I’ve tried boosting posts a few times over the last year, and it never seemed to do much in terms of sales. I usually use my Amazon affiliate link when I plug one of my own releases, so I can see how many sales I get from those plugs. The trend is for Twitter to be negligible, for Facebook to be slightly less negligible (promoted posts or not), and for the vast majority of my new-release sales to come via my newsletter (I’m only counting the ones I can measure with my affiliate link of course).

A somewhat different experience with a multi-author urban fantasy bundle that I’m in

This weekend, a group of us launched Nine by Night, a nine-author, nine-novel, 99-cent urban fantasy collection. We’re staggering our newsletter announcements, and I’m not supposed to do mine until later in the week, so I haven’t done a blog post about it yet. However, we decided to try and kickstart things by announcing the release on the social media sites.

Yesterday morning, I wrote up a quick Facebook message with a link to the Amazon page (an affiliate link, of course). I was on my way out the door for a Sunday morning hike, so it wasn’t the most scintillating marketing copy — I’m sure you could do better! I decided to pay $100 to boost it to people who like my page and their friends (in most cases, I’ll boost these to people I target by sex/age/interest such as women who like urban fantasy, but since a couple of the other bundle authors were already doing that, I went with the people who have already liked my page (and their buddies since that’s built in)).

For my money, I got a reach of about 25,000 with a post engagement of 327 (note: this includes likes, comments, shares, etc., not just clicks on the Amazon link). That’s a much lower engagement percentage than I get on organic posts or on posts where I ask a question or do something that encourages more interaction, but when I’m paying for the likes, clicks, comments, etc., I don’t necessarily want people to engage just for the heck of it. I want people who are going to buy the book!

Overall, those 327 “engagements” translated into 108 sales (actually, it’ll probably end up being more like 150 since this ran for 24 hours, and I can’t yet see Monday’s affiliate sales). That’s actually not bad at all — much more than I usually get for promoting my own single-author releases on Facebook (doh!). I suppose that’s not that surprising since this is an awesome deal for readers (a chance to get nine complete novels for 99 cents).

In this case, I felt like the promoted post was worth it, not only for the sales, but because when you start adding those kinds of numbers to other promotions (i.e. newsletter announcements and blog sponsorships), you can potentially get the momentum you need to appear on the top of Amazon category lists where browsing buyers can find you organically. As I type this, the ebook is at 346 overall in the store, two days after its release (I’ll do another post later on that covers how the bundle went from my point of view, but it’s already been a cool experience; it’s great having multiple people with something invested and thus multiple people working on promotions.).

Note: I spent a lot more on the Facebook promoted post than I earned (about $10 in affiliate commissions; if I’d been the one to publish the book, I would have earned another $40 or so in sales), so in the case of making it into the black, it’s a money loser. Frankly, that’s going to be the case with any 99-cent title and a pay-per-click campaign: you just can’t ever make that work in your financial favor. That said, if it’s a loss leader and you have more books in a series for people to go on and buy, you may be able to end up ahead of the game, especially if you’re doing this in conjunction with other promotional pushes. Your mileage will vary, so track your advertising investments!

How about you? Have you tried Facebook’s promoted posts scheme? Good results? Bad results? What do you think?

Blood Charged Is out & Enter to Win a Signed Paperback of Republic

| Posted in My Ebooks |

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The latest adventure with Sardelle, Ridge, Tolemek, and Cas is out, the third novel in the Dragon Blood series. You can grab it at Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo (Apple coming soon).

BloodChargedCoverForWebSardelle Terushan, sorceress and healer, should be lying low. Magic is forbidden in Iskandia, and magic users are drowned, shot, or otherwise slain. The problem? She’s fallen in love with ace fighter pilot and national hero, Colonel Ridge Zirkander, a man whom everybody notices, including the king. It’s not long before Sardelle has spies dogging her steps and people trying to blow her up. Worse, her presence is jeopardizing Ridge’s career. If she can’t find a solution to the nation’s centuries-old hatred of magic, the only way to protect Ridge—and herself—may be to leave.

Ridge Zirkander isn’t used to worrying about more than shooting down Cofah airships and keeping the officers in his squadron alive, but his world has gotten more complicated since giving his heart to Sardelle. It’s difficult to keep people from noticing a mysterious and enigmatic woman, not to mention her chatty sentient sword. He’s been passing her off as an archaeologist to his fellow pilots, but when the king calls him in to a private meeting, Ridge fears his secret has been discovered.

But the king—and the rest of the country—has a greater problem. Cofah military scientists have acquired something that shouldn’t exist in the world any longer: dragon blood. In addition to having countless mysterious properties, it’s a powerful energy source that can be used to create devastating weapons. Ridge, Sardelle, and their allies must travel to the empire as part of a secret strike force to steal the dragon blood. If they fail, the Cofah will finally have the power to destroy all of Iskandia.

In addition to having the new book out, I’m giving away some signed paperbacks of Republic (yes, I’ll ship anywhere in the world). You can enter here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Update: It looks like some people are having trouble responding to the Rafflecopter form (I didn’t want to require Facebook likes or Twitter shares or anything like that, but RC wouldn’t just let people plug in an email address to enter). You can also leave a comment here at the bottom of the blog post (favorite character from the EE series or anything you’d like to share), and I’ll pick some winners out of there too. I have ten books to give away!

Last Update: The contest is now closed, and I’ve picked winners, four via the Rafflecopter widget and four from the comments here: Lindsey, Gwynneth, Cath, Daniel, Natalie, Genevieve, Anna, and Joanna. Thanks for entering, everyone! 

Pricing Strategies for Ebooks in a Series

| Posted in E-publishing |

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I’m about to release the third book in my Dragon Blood series (the opening chapters of the first book are here if anyone is curious), and I have some advertisements scheduled this week for the first. Since this is officially a series now, pricing is on my mind. Just now, you ask?

I originally wrote the first one as a stand-alone. I had an idea for a steampunk romance (stolen from inspired by another story), and I thought, hey, let’s do it. Then it turned out that I enjoyed the characters and the world and wanted to revisit both. Thus a series was born.

I released the first book at $2.99, lobbied for reviews (something I hadn’t bothered to do much of before), and sent an announcement out to the mailing list (they were more interested in the Emperor’s Edge book that was also coming out that month, but some people did give the new adventure a try). It turned out that it did well, hanging out at the top of the steampunk rankings for a couple of months on Amazon. I released a second one in late May, also at $2.99, and, as I mentioned, I’m getting ready to release the third.

After the first three months, sales on the first book dropped off some, as you’d expect, but the Amazon ranking was still under 10,000 most days, which isn’t too shabby for a more obscure category. I just dropped it to 99 cents for a Bookbub ad this weekend, and it’s had a nice boost again (Pixel of Ink mentioned it yesterday).

I’m deciding now whether I want to do a $2.99 release for Book 3 or bump it up to $3.99 (it’s nearly 100,000 words, so it’s longer than the first two). I’m also going to watch how Book 1 does at $0.99, because it may be worth leaving it there longer than the planned week if it does well after the ads have come and gone. That would fit into one of the main series pricing models I’m going to talk about below.

(I like to stay flexible and experiment, rather than committing to any particular pricing model, especially for more obscure niches like “steampunk romance.” Sometimes some books are just never going to be huge sellers whether they’re free or 99 cents, even when they have lots of good reviews, so in that case, it might make more sense to stick with a $2.99 price tag to at least get the 70% cut on sales that do come.)

I’ll update y’all on my doings later on, but I mostly wanted to write this post for others who are trying to price their books to get the most (earnings and visibility) out of their own series.

Common Series Pricing Models for Indie eBooks

Option A:

  • Book 1: 99 cents
  • Book 2: 2.99
  • Book 3 (and subsequent books): 2.99 – 4.99

Option B:

  • Book 1: free
  • Book 2: 2.99
  • Book 3 (and others): 2.99 – 4.99

Both of these options let you draw in new readers with Book 1 that’s priced lower than the rest of the series, in the hope that they’ll be more likely to try your work, like it, and go on to buy the rest.

My Emperor’s Edge series needs a facelift and some loving, but it’s earned me the bulk of my income over the last three and a half years (I published the eighth and final-for-now book earlier this spring). I’ve tried a number of strategies, but I’ve been pretty close to Option B for the last three years. I started out with the first two books at 2.99 and made some sales, but gained a lot more readers when I released Book 3 and made Book 1 permanently free (I also had some luck early on when, with two books out, I ran sales of Book 1 at 99 cents.)

In ye olden days, Amazon listed the Top 100 free next to the Top 100 paid in each category (no need to click over to free books to see the covers), and you got a lot of visibility if you were in the Top 20 free for your category. I’ve talked more about whether or not free is still a good strategy in other places, so I’ll just say here that, yes, it can be, but prepared to pay for ads and promote the freebie, because there’s less visibility for those lists than there used to be. Free still works very well as a series starter in iTunes and Kobo (people always ask how to sell books there, and I always say that I didn’t sell much of anything in those stores until I had a free Book there).

That said, I haven’t made anything else free of late. Part of it is because I’ve mostly been writing pilots this past year, trying to figure out what my next big series should be, but part of it is because 99 cents seems almost as viable, if not as viable, for enticing people to try a series. And, unlike with the free books, you show up in the paid listings alongside all of the other paid books — being 99 cents when the surrounding books are 2.99 and up can make yours look like as much, if not more, of a bargain as a free book surrounded by other free books. There’s also the consideration that people may be more likely to jump right into reading a book they paid for, whereas they might randomly download heaps of free books and wait until much later to check them out.

As I go forward with the Dragon Blood series and other new ones (I have my pen name project in mind here, too), I’ll probably stick with something closer to Option A. I may do free sales, i.e. permafree for a couple of weeks in conjunction with advertising, especially after I have 4+ books out in a series, but I don’t think I’ll do another permanently free book for a while.

With pricing a series (or anything), I think it’s useful to be flexible and try different numbers. Keep track of how much you earn from the series overall, rather than from any individual book, and see what works best. (I wrote a post on this last winter: What You Think Your Book Is Worth vs. The Point at Which It Will Make the Most Money.)

Other Series Pricing Models

What if you just don’t like either of the two options I mentioned? Or maybe you’re also writing a series in a less popular niche. Maybe you’re in an extremely popular niche where it’s hard to get noticed even at 99 cents. Here are a couple more models to consider.

Option C:

  • Book 1: 2.99
  • Subsequent books: 3.99+

This one keeps you in the 70% range for earnings.

There are a couple of reasons you might consider this. First, if you already have a fan base or your new series ties into an old one, you might not need to make the first book a loss leader, as they say in the biz.

Also, if you don’t have the rest of the books in the series out yet, running sale prices on Book 1 may not do much for you, in terms of your income. Yes, it can bring in more readers, but if you don’t have anything available yet for those readers to buy, will they still remember you when you publish Book 2? Maybe, maybe not (don’t forget to include a newsletter sign-up at the end of the first book!).

Lastly, if you’ve already tried 99 cents combined with sales and there just didn’t seem to be enough interest to give you the boost you were hoping for, you might as well go back to the 70% cut. That way, when you do make a sale, it’s at least latte money (or Americano money, anyway).

Option D:

  • Book 1: free
  • Book 2: 99 cents
  • Book 3 and beyond: 2.99 and up

I see this fairly often in the romance genre (especially with series). Giving away the first two books for nothing or next to nothing is hard to stomach, but it’s possible you’ll get a lot more visibility and readers getting invested in the series this way. You’re in the free lists for people who surf there, but then you’ve also got a 99-cent title (remember how this appears as quite the bargain next to more expensive titles) in the paid listings.

I’ve done sales like this with my EE series, and, for me, the second book never sold well enough at 99 cents that I was tempted to leave it there for long. If, however, you’re in a popular genre and have written books that really give people what they want, a pricing strategy like this may get you the attention you’re hoping for.

Okay, I’ve burbled on for long enough. Do you have any thoughts on pricing a series that you would like to share? Please leave a comment!

New Authors, Should You Self Publish or Seek a Traditional Publishing Deal?

| Posted in Writing |

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Since I’ve been self-publishing for three and a half years now, and it’s all I ever did, it’s hard for me to imagine what things would have been like if I’d been dead-set on finding an agent and publishing traditionally. I know I wouldn’t have quit the day job after the first year and sincerely doubt I’d be making six figures a year now. But it turns out that I write fairly quickly and publish often, so I’m not necessarily representative of the typical indie author experience (of course, some people who write in more popular genres, and/or are just better at writing/marketing than I am, have a lot fewer books out than I do and make a lot more, too).

I thought I’d do a bit of a comparison (as much as I’m able from my side of the fence) for those who are wondering which route is best for them. Before I jump into that, I want to make one point that often gets forgotten in these discussions:

Most people will never be offered a traditional publishing deal.

Not with a big house anyway (and I’m not a big fan of signing with small publishers, just because I don’t feel most of them bring much to the table that a moderately savvy indie can’t accomplish him or herself). It’s not as if you get to just decide that you’ll traditionally publish, remember. You can try to find an agent and try to find a deal, but there aren’t any guarantees.

Of the couple dozen people who I kept track of who were in the same SF/F online writing workshop as I was back in 2008-2010 or so, I only know of two who got agents and traditional deals (one is now a hybrid author, self-publishing in between her regular releases). Both worked very hard to get those deals, one by writing tons and tons of short stories and racking up some pro magazine sales before having her third or fourth book picked up. The other really worked the RWA route, entering all the contests and going to the conventions to meet agents and such. (Note to other science fiction and fantasy authors, if you have romantic elements of any sort in your novels, that organization seems to be a lot more helpful for new authors than the SFWA.)

So, just to be clear, what we’re talking about here is whether you should self-publish from the start or try to find a traditional publishing deal.

Advantages of Self Publishing

  • Speed — I finished a manuscript last week and sent it to beta readers, who should get it back to me this week sometime. I’ll spend a couple of days editing it, based on their feedback, then send it off to my editor, who should get it back to me a week or two after that. I have someone working on the cover art right now. I expect to publish this book in mid- to late-July. I started writing it in mid-May (and wrote some other stuff in between the first and second draft).
  • Calling all the shots — I can pick the cover I want, write the story I want, and choose whether to make changes an editor suggests… or not. I don’t have to worry about someone not publishing my story if I’m not willing to make changes that may or may not be in line with my vision.
  • Control over pricing — I suppose this falls under calling the shots, but it’s such an important part of the equation that I think it deserves special emphasis. It’s one of the main reasons self-published authors have been finding so much success over the last few years: news flash, nobody really wants to pay $14.99 for an ebook. Even $9.99 is a lot for an author you’re not already a fan of. At $4.99 or $2.99, your books will look like a deal. Of course, you can try higher prices if you want. You can change the price every week if you want to, until you find that sweet spot.
  • The ability to take advantage of opportunities — As the publisher of my own novels, I can change the price anytime I want to take advantage of promotional opportunities. I can go in with other authors to bundle my books for a chance to reach tons of new readers. I can say, yes, absolutely if Amazon emails and asks to make one of my books a daily deal. I can see, within days of release, if a new book is going to be a winner and, if it is, start writing a second in the series right away. Or, if it’s not looking like a winner, maybe I’ll shift focus to another project.
  • The ability to track sales hourly and adjust marketing tactics — I don’t think this gets mentioned enough. You are so in the dark if all you’re able to do is look at an Amazon sales ranking and get twice yearly royalty checks. I can only imagine how tough it must be to stay enthused about promoting a book when you’re not actually able to go in and see if your efforts are making a difference.
  • The potential to earn more money and sooner — It’s not easy to get the ball rolling as an indie (advice you’ll see over and over is to write the next book and the next book because there are marketing opportunities that come to those with series that just aren’t there with stand-alone books), but if you’re prolific, you have the potential to turn this into a career much more quickly than you can with traditional publishing. Sure, there are exceptions (every now and then you hear of someone getting a huge advance or becoming a best seller with her first book, but I can point out indies who have had freakish success too), but you don’t have to be an exception to start making a regular income. Note all the comments/success stories on this post about Indie Authors Quitting Their Day Jobs.

Advantages of Traditional Publishing

  • Someone else foots the bill — I put together my first novel, The Emperor’s Edge, as inexpensively as I could at the time, without sacrificing what I believed were necessities (professional editing and cover art), paying around $800 total back then (I’ve since redone the cover once and am planning to again). I threw away $200 on someone who was utterly worthless as an editor and learned a lesson about people who claim that they’re good editors because they’re teachers, ahem. These days, I have my people lined up, and it costs me $1,000-$1,500 to get a novel out there, depending on length. That’s for an ebook and paperback. Brian McClellan recently did a post on how much his publisher had invested in his book to get it out there. I don’t believe for a second that every publisher is putting that much money into their authors (there are too many really bad or really simple covers out there for me to believe every publisher is coughing up $4-$6K for cover art!), but the point is that he didn’t have to pay any of the costs to publish ebook/hardback/audio for his book. The publisher covered it.
  • You’re in more stores and get more exposure — Even if I buy all of my books from Amazon, that doesn’t mean everybody does. A traditional deal should get you in all the brick-and-mortar stores. I imagine there must be something cool about seeing your book on a shelf at Barnes & Noble or in the airport bookstore.
  • Extra income from foreign rights sales — I’ve priced the cost of book translations, and it just doesn’t seem like it would be worth it to me, not when I’m looking at doing it for a seven-book series. At the same time, I’ve had inquiries from publishing houses in different countries, asking about the rights to my books. I keep meaning to look into that (or find an agent who might be willing to work on it), but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. From what I’ve heard from other authors, you don’t usually make a lot in each country, but if you sold the rights to a whole series in ten different countries, I’m sure it would add up. (Note: savvy indies can negotiate their own foreign rights sales; I’m just someone who prefers focusing on the marketing and on writing the next book, so I’ve definitely lagged behind here, and with audiobooks too.)
  • More review copies sent out and more sites/blogs willing to review trad published books — I’m a little dubious about how much this actually helps, especially after you have a mailing list of fans built up, but it can certainly be tough getting the first 10-20 reviews as a new author.

One thing I didn’t mention up there, and it’s one of the big myths, is that you won’t have to worry about marketing if you sign with a traditional publisher. The only time that seems to be true is if you get a big advance and they’ve got an investment they have to make sure earns out. If you got a 5k advance, and twenty other authors in your genre got that same deal this month, they’re probably just throwing darts at a board and hoping one lucks into hitting the bulls-eye, not even particularly caring which one it is. Most authors have to market, and I’ve heard that most agents look at a new author’s “platform” before thinking of signing them.

I’m sure this isn’t a complete list (if you have anything you’d like to add, please leave a comment), but I hope it’s enough to help those of you who are on the fence. There are pros and cons whichever way you go. Some people are just cut out for one path, more than the other.

For myself, I was determined to make a living at this, and that’s something I sensed I could do much more quickly as an independent author, because I was willing to write and publish a lot and to figure out enough of the marketing stuff to have a chance. I also have the patience of a toddler on a sugar high. It would drive me nuts sending off a manuscript, then having to wait two years to see it in print.