I went to the eWomen Network conference in Vancouver for one reason. To learn more about the three modes of publishing with a view to choosing one (or more) for my upcoming novel. Every session I took in contributed to my knowledge of and final decision about this topic but I was most intrigued by a panel at the end of the first day. Panel members were Jo Blackmore, Margaret Reynold, Carla Rieger, Michael Schell and Charmaine Hammond. The excellent moderator was Narges Nirumvala.
Hare are some of the points I picked up and which I am pondering:
1. Personality makes a difference in this decision. Interesting. An outgoing dynamo of a marketer-type author does better self-publishing than a shy person with no interest in self-promotion. This makes sense.
2. Authors make a higher percentage on their books if they self-publish. Thirty percent versus ten percent. Of course these are rough figures and I am not sure whether the 30% figure is net or the costs of promotion still have to come out of this.
3. An author has much more control with self-publishing and can establish a platform and promotional vehicle, which all needs to be in place whether you self-publish or go the traditional route.
4. On the other hand the access to the publishing world which publishers have helps move the book.
5. A good editor (or 2 or 3) is absolutely imperative to help overcome the bad reputation which sloppy books-that-have-come-before have earned the genre. A great cover design is a must-have as well.
6. Proofreading cannot be stressed too much. It was noted that some traditionally published books have errors which should have been caught by a good proofreader. Whichever mode an author uses, proofreading is paramount. The idea of self-publishing does not mean being sloppy. If anything the writer must be even more careful to put out a perfect book.
The Barnes and Noble version of the eBook platform, Nook, was mentioned. I have downloaded to my iPad Kindle, Kobo, iBooks and GoodReader as different stores use different readers. One of the panelists mentioned that we need to publish in the eBook world along with our print publishing but no one knows where this market is going. Since the conference Amazon announced that 55% of their sales are in eBooks. And there is talk of them making their format compatible with competitor formats. Sounds to me like eBooks are here to stay.
One of the panelists finished off her comments with suggesting that new writers use a self-publishing company for their first book and then do it themselves for the next. Start your own publishing company, she suggested. And another self-published panelist stressed the importance of hiring a publicist. She did this six months before her launch date and the book was reviewed before the launch took place. Way to create buzz!
What am I doing? Learning as much as I can while I revise, rewrite, reread and work on making my dream my reality.