Thursday, November 11, 2010

Rejecting Traditional Publishing & Rejectionists Policies via Ebook PubbX

I am going to keep this short and sweet and to the point. If you are like me and sick to death of having perfectly good work rejected or a series character killed off by your publisher(s) due to nothing foreseeable or reasonable (had two series cut that were both earning good money via one phone call to my agent once), then you may want to join me in Indie Publishing via kindle bookstores. You will find a kindle bookstore in just about every home in the country now...a kindle bookstore near you.

But you say publishing in hardcover with Random House or Penguin is so prestigious. Fine, then go seek your prestige while I sell books, far more books than I ever sold in either paper or hardback with Penguin, working out of their bargain basement line--Berkley Books. The same foolish folk who killed off my Jessica Coran Instinct Series and my Lucas Stonecoat Edge Series same day. Cut me to the quick they did that day. For no apparent reason, and none given. Nothing that held water at least. Myself, I believe it was in-house politics and I had a guilty editor to scaffold my suspicions.

But like a terrible, rending divorce, in the long run it may have been the best thing to ever happen to me as since have discovered how to publish my own work at my own pace in my own time with my own title attached along with getting to make all the decisions involved in publishing work in a professional manner. In essence, although I was rejected by traditional publishing, perhaps even black-balled (certainly felt so), I can now say without impunity that I REJECT them...and reject their whole way of doing business. You know the type of business wherein you are expected to be professional, to be ethical, to be loyal and such but the company owes you no respect, no professionalism, no loyalty, no ethics as they don't need to be honest with you, despite thier expectation of all of the above from you. Sound familiar? That's cause it is not just in publishing but in a myriad of businesses across America.

The sweeping upside of all the accumulated rejections I have gotten over the years is that now I am the only one in a position of such authority over this writer (employer) to reject or fire me as I am also the boss (as kids say, "The boss of me!"). In my other life as one of the stable of mid-list authors for NYC publishers, I was held accountable for the win or the loss while not given any of the responsibility to make that win or loss a reality. In other words held accountable for actions I could not be a party to. Not so with Indie publishing with books. Win or lose, all decisions will have been made by me, and I cannot tell you how freeing up that is, being my own boss, running my own book show. I feel like Barnum and Bailey at this digital platform age of publishing.

Rather than even attempt to read a publisher's royalty statement now I read a daily, hourly, minute-by-minute sales report telling me precisely how many units have sold with returns already figured in or out as it were, with returns hardly worth mentioning as to number, and a readable report at that. I can tell at a glance what titles sold how many in a given day, week, or month. It is the opposite with the infamous author's royalty statement which one sees only six months to a year depending on publishing house, and even then the numbers are unreliable and downright confusing.

In addition, in Indie publishing with the percentage on every book is seventy percent to the author, thirty to Amazon. Amazon is not acting as publisher but rather giving you--as publisher--the wherewithal to distribute and or display your wares on a platform seen by millions. The dynamic is absolutely new and different and has traditional publishers crying in their pillows at night.

If you have thought of placing up an ebook, first go with -- as this is where all the action is -- but by all means do it yourself or hire some expert to do it for you for a one-time fee. Turning it over to a publsihing house to do for you, or giving it up for your agent to do for you is tantamount to asking these others to rob you for the duration of the life of the book. In a two-step process made as simple as it can be, anyone can put up a book at for ebooks and for P.O.D.'s...
so let no one baMboozle you; do it yourself.

Look at how lovely my Children of Salem came out, or more recently my Titanic 2012 looks on the Kindle Shelf. You can have a sneak peek at:  http://ningit/97tRIE

Please leave a comment, ask a question, wave a flag, correct a typo under comments!



Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Rob, I love what you've done, but I've been with e-publishers who have printed book on POD. I'm really happy with what they've done for me. No, I not raking in the money that you are, but these small presses have treated me a way heck of a lot better than when I was published by a New York house.

I've given many authors the same advice you're giving out, but still I'm happy with my small press/e-pubs.


Morgan Mandel said...

And I'm hiring your son to do my cover for Diary of a Nervous Baby Boomer. All I have to do is finish the darn book! Getting there.

Morgan Mandel