A Look Back At A Year of E-Publishing

by | Dec 22, 2011


It was a year ago that I dove into the world of e-publishing with the release of WITH A VENGEANCE.  Despite all the errors that resulted from my stubborn insistence on doing pretty much everything myself, WAV went on to sell extremely well and was singled out by some reviewers as one of the best books of 2010 (for which I am grateful!). 

Since that time I've published (or re-published) NO OTHER OPTION, AIR MARSHALS, LOVELADY, JOHNNY WYLDE, and most recently TOO WYLDE.

What have I learned?  Well I'm not going to position myself as a pundit of e-publishing; I'm a scribbler first and foremost.   So I'm not going to go on and on about social marketing, price points, and all that other silly shit.

What have I learned?  Listen to my readers.  Give them what they want. 

Seems simple, huh?  Like most great truths.

Write a good story.  Create characters that engage them.  Interact with them and let them know who and what you are.  Be as loyal to them as they are to you.  A story that illustrates that point:  I have several readers who, during my six year hiatus from writing, tuned in EVERY SINGLE WEEK to my website to see if there were any updates or new books.  EVERY SINGLE WEEK.

How do you thank you someone for sticking with you for that long?

Write a story.  Write *lots* of stories.  And get 'em out there.

I've found that my readers are willing to overlook and forgive the errors in my learning curve (mistakes in formatting, typos and editorial problems, etc.) as long as I give them a good story, engaging characters, and the interaction they want.  And my readers are great for pointing those problems out (and yes, I do go back and pull the electronic files and correct them!).

I've learned that a traditional publisher is no longer required (though they will try to convince you otherwise).  I've learned that a high-speed agent is no longer required (though will try to convince you otherwise).  I've learned you need a great cover artist (and the best there is Maddee James at www.xuni.com), and you need a proof-reader or copy-editor, as more than one set of eyes really helps.  I've learned that while authors don't see a big advance up front (and while authors will try to convince you otherwise, the high five figures and six figures they *used* to get are no more while publishers flounder around) e-publishing is the laboratory and the proving ground for The Long Tail.  So get used to earning a little bit that grows over time and will be earning for you for many, many years.  I've learned you don't have to ask a publisher's permission to change your cover, kill off a character, try something new, go back and change something, make a mistake, or go off on a tangent.  You can choose to do it yourself, and accept the consequences of your choices directly. 

I've learned that a lot of "independent" e-pub authors are using the e-pub platforms to wrangle a contract of some kind with a traditional publisher.  I've learned that Amazon is morphing itself into some variant on a traditional publisher and roping indies into their corral.  I don't judge anybody for that — just not my choice.

I relish the independence of doing it myself, my way, and I accept the consequences of that choice.

And judging by my readership, they like it that way, too.

So thanks to all of you, so much!  Have a Merry Christmas and a blessed holiday season!

The continuation of the Wylde Saga that began in JOHNNY WYLDE.  Arms dealers, mobsters, outlaw hackers, off the books government operators, strippers and cops who run on both sides of the law — that's life on the dark side of Lake City.  "Jimmy John" Wylde has a ghost from his past stalking his every step as he tries to find a way to protect himself and his family of friends.

TOO WYLDE on Amazon:

TOO WYLDE on Smashwords: