Feeling a bit better after my decision to stay small. Trouble is finding somewhere to hold the book signing on Halloween. Originally I asked Quex Barn who said yes, then when Waterstones said yes too, I informed Ian at Quex I wouldn't be using their premises. I think he was a bit disappointed, now I think I'm going to have to go and grovel and apologize and ask if he minds again.
It seems there are no local independent bookshops anymore, unless you count second-hand ones. I did think about Wyevale but my guess is it would be the same result. Shell out loads of money for little or no return. While I know writing doesn't earn much, JK Rowling willing, I don't want to be much out of pocket.
Talking about JK, why when you mention you write etc does 'everyone' and I mean everyone, say "Watch out JK Rowling"? I could scream. I'd be rich if I simply charged people £1 each time they uttered those depressing words. Do you know how depressing her name is?
Not least because she couldn't get published for 6 years under her own first name (because she was female) She had to resort to her initals to get a look in. Now you've got me started, I better stop...
TIME MARCHES ON
It feels sad not taking up Waterstones offer but I need to be realistic, I simply can't afford to shell out thousands for little or no return. Perhaps someone will see a copy? No that's not unlikely given that Thanet is in the next galaxy - compared to England - it might as well be. There's optimistic and living in cloud cuckoo land - which I haven't found directions to - yet.
I originally wanted to self-publish this novel specifically because it might only appeal to a small market and therefore not be of interest to mainstream literary agents and publishers.
Frankly they have so much stuff thrown at them I imagine there are tons of excellent writers that get overlooked, especially since I've heard the job of reading off the slush pile is given to the most junior, straight out of Uni staff. If Shades of Grey is anything to go by my next book Aquasapien is more likely to be up their proverbial street. It's adult themed about a mercenary team of ex-SAS type men.
If WOTW sells well, I'll publish the follow up story Gristle's Revenge next. If not, and judging by the responses to my blog, it's not looking good, I'll move on to publish Aquasapien.
I think I might be having a low cynical day today
A COMPLETE 180
at Yesterday I was all set to use Gardeners and Waterstone, Today I'm doing a complete 180. That's after reading advice and information on-line. The mark up they probably want is 65%. So say I want £10 per book, they will take £6.50 of this and sell my book on to Waterstones for £4.50. Out of my whopping £3.50 per book I will have to cover my growing costs for everything. To achieve anything like a profit I'd need to print 2,000+ books at a cost of £20,000 not 200 at a cost of £2,000.
I'm going to see if an independent bookshops still exist and whether they might be interested. But time is running out for my deadline launch on Halloween. If I do go to Gardeners, which I'm getting cold feet about, they want a minimum of 3 weeks to consider my application form.
And I thought writing a book was nerve-racking I'm going to need balls of steel to get through this.
No comments on my previous post which is disheartening.
IN FOR A PENNY...
After thinking it through and speaking to my relatives and friends I've decided to go the long haul and use Gardeners and Waterstones. These stand the biggest change of success in terms of sales. To assist with my ordering and printing costs I would appreciate folk making a comment after this blog goes out on whether they might purchase and copy and if so how many.
This way I can get a rough idea of whether, at the end of all this, I'll be poorer or ever so slightly richer (who am I kidding) Please leave your comments and numbers below. The book will be coming out at a cost of £9.99.
This is a novel primarily for young adults, though it's content is such that I feel any age will enjoy it who like urban fantasy stories.
Its the journey of a city troll called Onk. He rescues an unborn fairy and, after some encouragement from Harty Springfield a tree elf, agrees to leave London to keep the baby safe. They have many adventures as they travel south and end up in Thanet by mistake. Meanwhile, an evil witch Gristle, is tracking them intent on gaining the fairy babe to use, crushed, in a youth potion.
Many thanks who ever responds.
The book is coming on well. I'm on page 240 of the final read through. The proof editor is scanning the wordage at 10 and 20,000 intervals. The formatter is on line and the printer is waiting, and then there's publishing.
To join the big boys I need to sell at Waterstones and Waterstones will only allow poor folk like me to use one supplier which is Gardeners. Gardeners have already turned me down for a credit account - which amazes me since my credit history rating is triple AAA+. I decided to contact their Customer Care department and the girl there advised me to email an sph address in their company - it doesn't exist. Back to square one.
I went on to the Gardener site again and found a link to independent publishers through which I found another link to Supplying Waterstones and then a further Traders Application form. Said form asks lots of questions I don't have answers for, like how much per cent of my RRP will I give Gardeners? I thought you paid them like everyone else to do a job, I didn't realise they wanted royalties too. The more I make the more they make, that's not usual is it? Then Waterstones will want their cut.
Originally I expected to break even after paying for proof editing, illustrations, formatting, ISBN, barcode and printers, Now I reckon I'll probably make a loss of £3,000 but Waterstones and Gardeners will make a profit so that will be ok I guess?
If anyone would like to comment on how to deal with this aspect of publishing I'd be forever grateful. I'm beginning to see what work publishers do.
Despite all this the Book Launch Party will be 30th October 6 - 8pm at Quex Barn Birchington and you will be able to purchase an advance copy there. Followers of my blog are welcome.
In addition I intend to recommence the follow-up book whilst on holiday next week, completing during NANOWRIMO month - which should be fun.
BE STILL MY BEATING HEART
Can things get any more wonderful? I know there's going to be a fall but for now, I'm going to live the dream, as they say. My proof editor is doing a fabulous job and he has suggested my story is not too dull - which is good. I reckon to have half proof edited by beginning of August and hopefully the rest by the end - at the current rate he is going. Can't share his name yet because I don't want him overloaded, but any of you waiting to have your books PE I will recommend - if he wants more work. For now need him focused on my pathetic offerings.
Joy oh Joy I've got a formatter!!! An internet buddy, and excellent writer of fantasy fiction in his own right, Gary Bonn has agreed to format the book. not sure about costs yet, hoping not an arm and proverbial leg. He is most welcome to advertise his novels here too.
Printer tells me they want everything together but if I can deliver by beginning of October they will have order completed for book launch date on 31st.
Next I need to go back to Waterstones and get something in writing. Also regarding the book launch party. I'm thinking Quex Barn - early evening on the Friday before 30th. Need to go speak to Ian the owner for that too.
In-between I'm sorting out detail for the Public Event raising the profile of Soroptimist International (SI) at ST Augustine's Westgate on 19th September at 2pm. I would dearly love to get a SI Thanet going. The event is to tell folk about SI and all that it does. It's a brilliant organisation and one that does so much good work. It makes you feel alive belonging to it and doing things to help other women and girls. I'm hoping for a big turn out, need to get the press release written next. That will side-track me off the book for a night.
Hope you enjoyed the illustration yesterday - feedback always appreciated.
So the illustrations are in. I've got to choose how to display them through the story next.
Sneak preview for my followers of one illustration.
The final proof edit is underway and 20,000 words in. I'm still champing at the bit to find a formatter for the hard copy. Gardeners the distributors are still speaking to me which is something.
Problem is holiday is looming and everything will go on hold at that point. I'm desperately hoping the printer will still be able to print in time for a Halloween launch.
I've been asked about a launch party but haven't a clue how to go about organising that. If any of my friends out there have any knowledge on how to hold one and would like to assist I'd be eternally grateful.
I'm going to contact the printer to see if we can begin on the cover while the rest is being done or whether she needs it all together after formatting.
It's getting very scary now and very exciting. I can actually see this happening.
Yes definitely more excited than scared.
The Saga continues...
Feeling positive today. On page 91 of the final read through. (310 in total) Found a promising final proof editor. Used fivesquid site and had 1,500 words checked to test him out first. Came back good so dipped in for some more wordage. Only problem is using such a system is likely to take more time, so fingers crossed on that front.
Illustrations to be inserted next. Getting excited about that part, plus Jim the illustrator, gave me a few extra drawings free of charge, if I want to use them.
Following this I need to find a reliable and trustworthy formatter. That's the main stressor at the moment.
My first attempt at filling in the USA tax forms on-line gave me such a headache I wiped it. Will try again before publication but hard copy is likely to be first at this rate.
Recontacted Gardeners Distribution business to see if they would consider some sort of account with them after the local Waterstones agreed to holding my book launch on Halloween providing I have an account with them. No word from them so far. Might need to phone tomorrow.