Breaking In, Breaking Out, Dropping Out
2. d. Did I SAY read that contract like a hawk? Yeah, hire an IP attorney, too. Because one of the things that could well happen is your house going under -- see where everything is in flux -- and you don’t want your book caught in that.
3 - You don’t meet or aren’t willing to follow the rules in 2 -- to be honest, I was never really able to, both by personality and because when I broke in I had very small children, so a lot of cons, and a lot of publicity were out of the question -- consider self-publishing. I say this with all the trepidation of a traditionally published author who still is afraid people will rush into publication with books they’ll be sorry they put out.
3.a - Don’t promote unless you want to. Unknowns are making more in ebooks than I ever made in my career.
3.b. - Write. More. Furiously. (This does seem to be something that DOES work in ebooks.)
3.c. - when you have ten books written, take the first one free for a month or so.
3.d. - There are no guarantees, but it’s at least as good a chance as in trad publishing and maybe better for the type of writer who “just wants to write.”
3. e - Before you go out half-cocked, research how to do this, so both your formatting and your covers look as good as possible. This might involve just looking at what’s out there, or taking a workshop, or whatever.
4 - Go with a reputable, small, indie publisher.
4.a. - This is only apposite if you are either too nervous to go it on your own and/or you are writing in a niche -- like erotica, say -- that some small publisher has made their own. If they have fans, it will rub off on you.
4.b. - Before you do it, research the market and what are reasonable terms.
4. c - Before you do it, research the house.
4. d - get an IP attorney to look over the contract. Even if the house is reputable, they might have some snags in there that even they aren’t aware of. And if they go under, you want to be protected.
Now, where I stand, I’m doing both. I am still writing for the traditional market and will do so for one house as long as they want me (debts you can’t pay are debts you can’t pay) and for the others if I think it suits my marketing plan, though some of these might be loss leaders. However, I’m also indie-publishing.
For a more complete version of this article, including my own experiences in the wonderful world of publishing, look here