Somehting to think about . . .

Hunger and the fear of failure . . . when you hit the wall, the only way left is up.

~Lorelei Bell

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The New Age

When I began writing, believe me, you were at the mercy of publishers--no mater what you attempted to write and then get published, short stories, poems, articles, or novels.

Of course, back then, there were "vanity" presses, which were exactly that. You gave them your manuscript and they would tell you how wonderful it was, and as long as you paid them $XXX., you would find your words between the covers of a physical book--and then be stuck with all the copies and you had to peddle them off yourself. It never would see light of day, otherwise.

Some people were able to earn their money back. Many, no.

I had sworn to never do this. I felt it was cheating the system. But then I turned 50. With no published book in existence, I felt enough was enough. I was sick of being rejected. I had no idea why I was rejected (because their writing "not for us" in the margins of the rejection slip is not enough of explanation for anyone!).

I looked around for a P.O.D. publisher that would not take my life savings. Just a portion of it. I believed in my work, and felt that I could garner sales if I got enough friends to buy it and get a book signing or two. My husband was behind me 110%. He wanted to see me published too. My work would be on Amazon, as well as other places from this new Print-On-Demand publishing, I felt that their contract was honest, and fool proof. And it was. I had full rights to the book I chose to publish.

That was in 2008. Today if you are able to figure out the formatting to self-publish at Amazon and so forth, and have the patients you can self-publish. I've decided to go this route with the book I sent to this publisher and have taken it out of their hands, and into mine. I intend on making edits first and then publish it as an e-book to bring the price way down. Let's face it. People are buying ebooks more because first the price difference is incredibly cheap. My original book, Spell of the Black Unicorn was put at $18.95. I had no control over how much they would price it at. I felt even at that time it was expensive. But I did manage to barely make back the $499. I paid to have this book available.

Just this past week, I thought I would try and get a short story published. First of all, I had sent it into an anthology. It was a late entry, and probably had no chance of getting published. They had to reject many, they said. In the past the rejection would have devastated me. I wrote the story specifically for their altered history/horror anthology. But when they rejected it, I went to plan B. Plan B would probably net me more $, anyway, since I was only to get $20 flat from this publisher, and see no royalties at all.

So, Holy Devil has had new life breathed into it. Self-publishing is not easy. I had trouble with it. I had someone format it and when I couldn't even get the thing to up-load, or my photo for cover to go in, I had this same friend do it for me.

The difference in 20 or even 40 years ago, when I began writing, you had no choice. You were at the mercy of publishers and agents. If your work didn't hit them like a cold title wave, which ever way their whims took them at that moment, then too bad.

Now, you can do it yourself. Should you? I think for the most part that there are good books and short stories out there. But hopefully the author has learned how to plot their story and write. Editing is a must.

I do have a publisher for my Sabrina Strong Series. He was the first publisher who believed in my writing. As a micro publisher, he has done it right with the POD. He asks nothing up front. He publishes the book in both formats. Why do all these others ask for money, when they can get their cut the same way as my publisher does? I have no idea. Further more I don't have to format my work. They do that and find a wonderful cover for it.

The new age in publishing. It's the best of both worlds, as far as I'm concerned.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Changing Seasons & Change of Scenery

I just thought I would do a little spring cleaning. I've found this place for free blog backgrounds called Dotty Dot Dot you should go and check this out, if you're tired of the old and want to bring in something bright and cheery. You will find a help section, and it was really easy.  I only needed to use the HTML/java script to copy and paste the script onto my blog. You see the Dotty Dot Dot logo on my sidebar, and you can click on that if you want.
She has something for nearly every one. Even the vampire series isn't bad (under Twilight series), and I found one that I thought was pretty good and used on my Vampire Writers Retreat--you might want to take a look at that one too. On Lorelei's Writing Journal, I used one called "Notebook" a very spring-like, light background that is more fitting for what this blog was to be about.  As well as my main blog Lorelei's Muse.
I've been very busy working on these changes. I hope you like them. And if you do, go and check Dotty's out. She even has free blinkies. I've got one here that is sort of nice. She has Halloween (and other holidays) blinkies and backgrounds and I'm thinking of using one for one of my blogs during the season. These are really cute!

My one warning is that you will find it aditctive. Hope your connection is faster than mine, it took me forever to get these pages up. But well worth my while.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Winners Win, Losers... take another road

Lorelei @ book signing for Vampire Ascending
at BORDERS before it closed a few months later
With my second book in the series I was apprehensive about securing a book signing with the OTHER bookstore. I knew what they would say, and it was that everyone who wanted a book at the book signing would have to pre-order and pre-pay for it. Which I thought was a tacky way of doing business in a big store. I felt tacky having to tell everyone this. "Hey, by the way, if you want one of my books to be at the bookstore the day of my book signing, you have to pre-order and pay for it right then." Because they don't want to order it and not have you show up--dear God they'd be out ten bucks (or whatever they paied for the copy)!

But I put out the announcements, I sent off letters and emails explaining what needed to be done and all the other information such as when and what time etc. That was four or so weeks ago.

Now come down to two weeks before the event, and I get an email from store personnel who was handling my book signing telling me that no orders have been made. No one has bought my book (pre-paid for it, that is). It didn't surprise me. And after I got over the news I mulled over what I should do.

The thing is I wasn't angry at anyone but the store--the big greedy corporation who has made this decision to not allow anyone with a small print-on-demand book to take up room on their shelves and God forbid they might go under for ordering a dozen books for a damned book signing for a LOCAL author.

I didn't tell my husband until the next morning. I hate hitting him with such news after a long day, so waited until this morning. I told him we'll just stay home that day. I was to be there from noon until 4 pm. I didn't like the idea of being held captive for so long in one place, but now I won't be.

I didn't rant back at the person who was coordinating this book signing. I tried to keep it on a professional level. I did tell her I wouldn't be stepping into their store ever again. I felt as though I was treated unfairly. Actually, I felt as though I were treated like a beggar.

I told them that I sold 20 copies of Vampire Ascending  the night of my last book signing in Borders.
20! That's pretty damned good for an unknown author. Julie, the bookstore manager of Borders absolutely loved me. I brought in people. Some walked out with 2 books, and one (my niece) bought 3! One for herself, one for her sister, and one for a friend.

The thing is they think they've won. They haven't. Eventually this book store will go the way of Borders. I promise you, it will. Those people will be out of a job too. The e-books are here to stay. We who want books--the kind with real paper pages--will be forced to order on-line or buy at Walmart, or Target, or your local supermarket. Gak!

Since this isn't about ebooks, I'm not going to go into my opinion on them right now. What I will say is this: I'm glad that I got to enjoy at least 3 book signings in a real book store because it looks as though those days are gone. I will find places or ways to sell my books to those who want a physical copy. I haven't lost anything. I would make more money by selling the book hand to hand than through royalties, actually. And the bookstore is the real looser in the end.