INDIE AUTHOR: Being a 21st Century Author Means Re-Thinking Your Path

Kris TuallaI’m rearranging the order of things and having a guest columnist talk about her adventure into becoming an award winning bestselling indie author! Please meet the talented and savvy Kris Tualla. She’s stopping by during her blog tour during the release of her first trilogy. Please give her a warm Writer’s Fun Zone welcome!

And comment to win a free e-book of the first book in the trilogy. I’ll pick a winner at the end of the day Tuesday, Feb. 22, 9pm Pacific / 12 midnight EST.

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I have an agent. I have full manuscripts requested by major publishing houses. So people ask me all the time, “What made you decide to pursue independent publishing?”

Well… The traditional publishers did. “We don’t do American historicals… no one can sell Scandinavia… publishers LIKE their boxes…” I’ve heard it all.

And this is one of the rejections I received: “I think LOVING THE NORSEMAN has a lovely cast of characters, and a nice, cinematic quality to it. I also liked the balance Ms. Tualla creates in Ryder’s character, allowing him to be vulnerable yet strong. That said, medieval Scotland is a very crowded market…” Blah blah blah.

Looked like it was time to take my “lovely cast” to the people myself.

But there was a huge risk: self-published authors usually produce books which are severely sub-standard. From the writing to the editing to the formatting to the covers, these ignorant hopefuls have worked in a vacuum and have no idea how awful their books are.

So with my agent’s blessing, I took my American-Norwegian historical romance trilogy to e-publishing and print on demand (POD). And I did all the work myself.

Be warned. This is not a path for the faint of heart. The key is adequate editing – because it is IMPOSSIBLE for any author to edit themselves. Even traditionally published print books go through 3-4 rounds of editing before they are released – and many still have typos!

So for anyone reading this post who is considering this path, here is my process:

1. I write a draft which goes to 4 or more beta readers who evaluate the content: plot, characters, GMC, pacing, etc. These include readers AND authors.

2. I edit and proof multiple times, based on their comments and my own level of knowledge and skill. Emailing my manuscript to my Kindle is a favorite tool.

3. For Print on Demand (POD) I use CreateSpace by Amazon because there is no contract, no required purchases, and fabulous distribution.

4. I print completed books and give them to 3 or 4 readers to be edited/proofed. This costs no more money than printing manuscripts at Kinko’s and is so much more productive!

5. I go through 4 rounds of printed-book edits/proofs until 12 different sets of eyes have picked the books apart.

6. When I’m done, I publish paperbacks on Amazon and B&N via CreateSpace.

7. I upload my e-books to Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Sony and Smashwords.

It’s true: all indie-pubbed authors have to work twice as hard or more at production and promotion. It all rests on me.

On the other hand, indie-pubbed authors make 35%-70% in royalties per book (payable monthly). And sales numbers will never determine whether or not another book is released. And indie-pubbed books never go “out of print” creating a perpetual backlist for the author. Backlists are gold mines.

Any traditionally published author who has regained rights to manuscripts should be re-editing and re-publishing those books themselves NOW!

The older generation of READERS using e-readers is going up 200% every year. And the next generation of READERS reads on their phones. E-publishing with POD is the only viable future for authors of genre fiction.

 

And my going independent is the only way you could have ever met Nicolas Hansen. Are you ready?

For every 10 people who comment here, I will give away one free e-copy of A Woman of Choice – the beginning of the trilogy.

BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE!

At the end of my blog tour on February 24, I’ll give away one SIGNED PAPERBACK SET of the trilogy. Here’s how you can get in on that deal:

1. Go to http://www.kristualla.com/ and find the “Secret Word” on my home page.

2. Send an email to [email protected] with “Signed Trilogy Giveaway” in the subject line. Put the secret word in the body.

3. Comment on any blog at any time in the tour to activate your entry. Each day’s blog location is listed at http://kristualla.wordpress.com/blog-tour-dates-locations/

A Woman of Choice, A Prince of Norway, and A Matter of Principle are all available at http://www.goodnightpublishing.com/

About A Woman of Choice – Missouri Territory, 1819

A woman is viciously betrayed and abandoned by her unfaithful husband. She is rescued by a widower uninterested in love. In desperation, she becomes engaged to his best friend. One woman, three very different men. Life is about choices.

ABOUT THE GUEST COLUMNIST

Kris Tualla, a dynamic new author of historical romances, writes with a fast-paced and succinct style. Her plots are full of twists, passion, and very satisfying outcomes! She started in 2006 with nothing but a nugget of a character in mind and has created a dynasty – The Hansen Series.

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11 Responses

  1. Dana M says:

    When we’ve heard “self-published” in the past, I think many of us have heard “Vanity Press.” This is a whole different begonia, and smacks of keeping-up-with-technology. The Indie concept is a new one to me, but it makes sense that if you’re willing to work hard and get the help of other talented individuals the outcome will be a quality product. Kris has done her research and it shows.

  2. Beth Barany says:

    Thanks Dana! It’s a whole new world out there, one in which authors can control and profit from the whole publishing process. Kris has indeed done her research and it shows! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Kim Bowman says:

    WOW! Thank you so much for all the insightful information. Thank you so much for the detailed explaination of how the process works. Congrats and good luck.

  4. Bobbye Terry says:

    Oh so true, Kris on all points. I’m pubbing my teaser, a 13,000 word story, for a sci-fi series coming in March. The novellas roll out starting the next month (or so is the plan). Do you have a recommendation re: spacing between books?
    Bobbye

  5. Kris Tualla says:

    Bobbeye – Hello, BTW! 🙂

    Spacing is so odd. I have a friend who pubbed through Dorchester & they released her 2 books only 30 days apart! (Probably so BOTH would be on bookstore shelves at the same time, since each gets an 8-week window…)

    I stretched out my 3 trilogy parts 60 days apart because of the work involved… But decided that I will release the next 2 books simultaneously in September. They are connected and don’t have a 3rd installment, so I’ll try that.

    The thing about non-bookstore sales is that there isn’t a reason to drag them out because backlists are the best marketing of all. Once someone finds one of your books, they look for more. Might as well GIVE it to them, is my way of thinking.

    Kris <–still figuring out this brave new world 🙂

  6. It’s been refreshing to read positive posts about indie publishing. That was a rare thing back in 2007 when I went that direction. Thanks, Kris, for all you’re trying to accomplish.

  7. Bobbye Terry says:

    Kris,
    Thanks for your answer. I’m thinking one a month but may change the formula as I go along. We need to keep in touch to see how the experimenting goes.
    Thanks again!

  8. Beth Barany says:

    Thanks for everyone’s comments! Keep ’em coming! I’m under the weather, so will go to bed. But my husband, EZra Barany, will pick the winner at 9pm PST / 12midnight EST using http://www.random.org/sequences/. And he’ll announce it here!

  9. Beth Barany says:

    Congratulations Dana M!

    You won an ebook copy of A Woman of Choice in your choice of format!
    We will email the coupon code within 24 hours.

    Again, congratulations!

    -Beth

  10. Beth Barany says:

    Dana M: Please email me at BETH at BETHBARANY dot COM to claim your prize. Thanks!

  1. February 22, 2011

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