I ‘d like to give a very warm welcome for Azure Boone today who’s agree to share her personal journey from being contracted with an e-publisher to going Indie.
Hi, Mimi, thank you so much for having me.
#1 - How many books have you written, Azure?
I've written eleven so far, and I'm working on the twelfth right now with my awesome writing partner and best friend, Kenra Daniels.
#2 - What happened to you with your publishing company?
Well, like every aspiring author, I wanted to get published. I decided that my book was just pushing too many genres to get accepted and I decided to self- publish. I was even in the process of creating my own cover and asking for opinions on the cover when an editor approached me and asked me for a submission. Okay at this point, I'm thinking, is this God or Satan. LOL. How many times do we wonder if it's a blessing or a curse? Seemed so good! And you know if I had to look back now, I'd say I should have stuck to my guns when I'd prayed about what exactly to do for quite some time and concluded self-publishing was the answer. Well, I decided that maybe this was a good thing. And honestly, it was in a learning aspect. I would not know what I know now if I hadn't made that choice. Now, let me be fair and say there are a lot of positives to having your book published at a real life e-publisher, mine was Loose ID. Out of all the companies, I'm thinking I really lucked out with them. I got a super great editor, whom I still love and have learned a ton from, I got great edits as far as grammar goes and delivery at a sentence level, lol, but then there were the following things that today, have put me in the position I am in. A self-published author.
1. These companies have rules and policies that serve them first. Yes they try and serve the author as far as they can I think, but if there's one man left standing, it's not set up to be you, the author. Which makes complete sense as a business. Now, as a self- publisher, I get to make my own rules and look out for me one hundred percent of the time. I sort of need to do business that way.
2. Royalties were the best around at the time, I think 35 percent. But then they priced your book at $6.99. A new author with no previous experience or social media presence. That meant a pathetic amount of sales. Who wants to take a chance with a new author, except for those who buy through the publisher’s website. And apparently the competition is stiff because I might have gotten maybe 5 sales from the site in all of 10 months. Weeeeeeeee. NOT. Plus they price their books higher at their site so it makes sense nobody buys from there.
3. Publicity. You got listed at their website, you get one mention of your release on Facebook along with a few other authors who were releasing at the same time as you. And you get listed at a couple of e-book stores. You have to pay for your publicity and work behind the curtains yourself - for reviews, blog tours, and whatever other publicity you want. It's that way usually with all companies except the high paying traditional ones.
4. Edits. I have to say they were excellent in the editorial department. They put out quality material, thank goodness for that. I've seen some crappy stuff coming out of a lot of these e-pubs. And their cover design, they had amazing artists, no problems there.
You might be wondering, why did I decide to self- publish then if they are that great? Well, I'll tell you why.
1. I have to be in control of my books. I decided I don't want to compromise there. They asked me to change the entire plot to accommodate more sex in my story at a more erotica genre trope timely fashion. Like in the FIRST chapter. And hell, that was their business, so, they weren't asking for anything out of the ordinary. I could have said no and taken my story elsewhere, but I didn't. And it just so happened that if my character had sex, he damned the women to hell that he slept with. Well, you talk about MAJOR overhauling of a story and I did it. However, I think I like the story (except for the sex too soon part) better than before.
2. I want to be in control of my pricing. I have that with self- publishing. I can set my books at competitive prices and actually give books away. Something I feel is extremely important for new authors. Why? Because I asked myself this - Do I want to get quickly known or quickly rich? Well, if I'm a good writer, I must first become known before I can become rich. And for me, this was more about time. Yes, I may have become known with Loose ID but at fifty times the "time" it took for me to get known with self- publishing. Why? Because with Amazon's KDP select, I have the power to give away books. After giving away say, 1,000 books, I will turn around and sell 200 in a month. While I sell 10 at the publishing company, and that book has better editing!
Yes, I price my books at .99 cents, or $1.99, (which you only get 35% royalty) but these are novellas anyway. I price longer works at $2.99 and then Amazon gives you a 70% royalty! So you're looking at $2.00 per sale of each book. Not bad at all. Now I can sell less books for a fraction the publishing company charges and still make decent money.
I liked the results of self-publishing a lot more than the e-publisher on every turn. I kept writing and I began to slowly build a monthly income AND a larger audience. Every book I wrote, I did the exact same thing with Amazon's KDP. I began at $25 dollars a month and am now at about $300 dollars a month. I began self-publishing in September of last year, so in a matter of nine months, I have gone from making $25 a month to $300. It will likely be more this month because I just added the third book to my Brokenseries. It’s not a ton of money, I know. But it's a living that I'm carving out for myself and I absolutely love doing it as my own boss. No deadlines except those that I make. And I do make them, lol. I've published an average of one book per month and don't plan on stopping until I am raking in more money. It's work, yes, but it's worth it. I'm getting paid to do my passion, I can't complain.
Now the more you become known the more books you will sell, the more money you will make, it really is a snowball effect and I'm simply creating that effect the way I want it created. So, to sum it up, yes you can e-pub and do great with it, a lot of people do. I have nothing against e-publishers, I just think with self-publishing you can also do as good or even better.
So what about the COST of e-publishing? Nothing to you.
What about the cost of self-publishing?
You're looking at around $250 (a good price) for a solid edit.
Cover art: Around $50-$100 (good price)
The rest of the cost you're going to pay for regardless of which way you go, advertising etc.
HOWEVER, I'd like to tell you what I spend on self-publishing. I spend $4.00. Yes, that's four dollars. And that is for the image I purchase for making my own cover. If you knew how easy it was to use Power Point to create covers you'd vomit. I'm not kidding and I think I may video myself doing one and put it up on YouTube. But then I write contemporary erotica, so, it's easy to find the images I want. 123rf.comis where I shop for all my images. They're extremely cheap. What about editing? Well, I paid close attention to what my editor did when we edited. I used all that I learned with her, continued learning how to write, and got better as I went. I rarely hear people say "this person needed an editor, her work was shite" Out of 32 reviews I might get one “poorly-edited” remark while the majority will say it was very well written. That means there are grammar gurus out there that will spot weaknesses but the majority of the audience who are well read usually, do not. You have the same issues with traditional publishing and many of the e-publishers - none of them are perfect… e-publishers especially.
My books: (Did all the covers)
http://www.amazon.com/Broken-Desires-Series-ebook/dp/B00B5GH7HM/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1Broken Desires Book 1
http://www.amazon.com/Broken-Lies-Series-ebook/dp/B00BL5VNRWBroken Lies Book 2
http://www.amazon.com/Broken-Souls-ebook/dp/B00CM1ZMYYBroken Souls Book 3
I did these covers too:
http://www.amazon.com/Kassern-Archangels-Creed-ebook/dp/B00AC6S4NMSummon Kassern (Book 1 Archangels Creed series)
http://www.amazon.com/Summon-Dorn-Archangels-Creed-ebook/dp/B00BYH107ASummon Dorn (Book 2 Archangels Creed series)
The angels on these covers were created by me using Daz3d. I LOVE them.