Friday, January 18, 2013
Taking the Plunge into Self-Publishing by Jannine Gallant
Don't think I'm jumping in with both feet without doing a little research first. I'm a cautious soul. When it first entered my head that self-publishing might me the next path to follow in my career as a writer, I looked at who and what was selling in that particular market. I came up with what I think are a few keys to success.
Length - Small publishers who focus on e-book sales are asking for shorter books, 25,000 to 45,000 words. Maybe people just don't have time to read long books. Maybe something about holding an e-reader instead of a paperback makes this length work. Whatever the reason, sales seem to be better for shorter novels.
Sub-Genre - Has to be romance, but what type? Contemporary, Paranormal, Erotica. These genres seem to sell best. Erotica - I can't write it. I feel like a voyeur every time I write an intimate scene. Not going to happen, people! Paranormal - okay, maybe I can work with this one. I'm never going to write about werewolves (just not my thing) but I love ghost stories. Do ghosts count as paranormal? I hope so! Contemporary - lots of layers to this category. I'd probably be better off writing about a billionaire, but they just don't interest me. Suspense and action does.
Series - People love reading series. They want to know what happens to the supporting characters in a story. As I generally adore my supporting characters, I'm totally on board with this.
Price Point - Here's where the indie part comes in. Indie authors set their own price. Indie authors have the option of using "free" to promote. Indie authors can change it up when something isn't working. I like having a greater degree of control. The downside is, you get to pay for formatting, covers, and editing or learn how to do it yourself.
So, with all this in mind, I designed a project with a plan to self-publish. My premise - three twelve-year-old girls witness a murder and make a pact. Seventeen years later, each girl (now a grown woman) gets her own story. 30,000 words was my target length for each story. All include sexy heroes and lots of suspense. One has a ghost. The setting is a fictional town in the Sierra Nevada mountains called Ravenswood.
We'll Never Tell - Sam's story. The first book incorporates the witnessing of the murder as the prologue. When the woman's body is discovered seventeen years later, the threats begin. Sam and Ethan must uncover the murderer's identity before he shuts her up for good.
She'll Never Rest - Darby's story. Returning home to Ravenswood to work on a genealogy project for Logan's grandfather, Darby is determined to find peace for a restless ghost. But someone wants to make sure the circumstances remain hidden.
He'll Never Know - When Juliette falls for Shane, the man remodeling her new home, she has no intention of telling him all her secrets. While she struggles to walk a fine line between past disappointments and future dreams, a psycho with an agenda of his own is watching.
Currently, the third book is written past the half-way mark. Yea, me! Time to plan some important details. Covers and a name for the series. I NEED HELP! My working title is The Ravenswood Chronicles. My tag line: What happens when the past comes back to haunt you? I want something attention grabbing, and I don't know if this is it. Any better ideas for a series title? Covers - I want them consistent, and I want them to help sell my books. These stories take place in September, October/Halloween, and November/December respectively. They all have an outdoorsy atmosphere, but it's cold. My heroes aren't running around bare-chested in the mountains in freezing temperatures because they aren't stupid. LOL But should they be depicted that way on the covers? These are suspense stories - should I use that in the covers or go for sex-appeal? I'd love some advice.
Buy links for all my books can be found on my Website, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. Thanks for stopping by!