Well, we finally came up with a workable plan to set an e-book to free without having it stuck there permanently (or so we hope). So it’s time to test this out. The novel Soul Cages will be available for free for the next few weeks to uncover any bugs in the system.
It’s already available for free on: Sony and Apple and Smashwords. I’ll post when Barnes & Noble and Kobo and Amazon do likewise.
Next year is going to be a very busy year for new work being published, so I feel comfortable doing this even if it proves to be an utter disaster (i.e. the novel stays stuck at free with the distributors). Also, I’ve always wanted to test out what Cory Doctorow and Neil Gaiman were talking about at their 2009 Worldcon panel. I think Neil Gaiman is right about how we discover new authors–we find them through libraries, friends, and other ways of sharing.
Check out Douglas Smith’s Foreign Markets for selling speculative short stories. This is a unique list of non-English markets. Make sure to read his guidelines if you decide to submit to these markets.
There’s a fascinating article about how literary agent Andrew Wylie runs his business, written by Craig Lambert at Harvard Magazine.
And Cory Doctorow has an update on his self-publishing experiment (and he continues to share the income and expense numbers), at Publisher’s Weekly as “New York, Meet Silicon Valley.”
Posted in Agents, Business of writing, Markets, Publishers
Tagged Agents, Andrew Wylie, Business of writing, Cory Doctorow, Craig Lambert, Douglas Smith's Foreign Markets, e-publishing, foreign markets, Markets, Money, Publishers, self-publishing
Cory Doctorow has offered himself up as a guinea pig to test two areas of hot debate: 1) does offering a work as a free e-book lose or gain the author money in the long run, and 2) would an author make more money on a book by self-publishing or by going with a traditional publisher.
Here’s what he says:
I’m a contrarian on both of these propositions: that I’m losing money by giving away e-books, and that I’m losing money by using a publisher. I have a nice little Goldilocks gig going—not too hot, not too cold, just the right amount of DIY, independent publishing and just the right amount of professional support and administration from my publisher to sell. But I’m as curious about both propositions as anyone. While it’s fun to argue about whose intuition is more correct, I think facts on the ground beat a priori assumptions every time. So I’ve come up with an idea to get some facts in evidence, while making some money and raising a little hell.
So Doctorow’s third collection of short stories With A Little Help will be done using a self-publishing model, and he’s going to keep track of the sales numbers and actually share the data.
Data he’ll be tracking: Profit & Loss, E-book, Audiobook, Donations to him, Print-on-demand trade paperback, Premium hardcover edition, Commission a new story for the book for $10,000 (already sold), Advertisements, and Donation of books.
He’ll be posting monthly to Publisher’s Weekly. His first post is here.
Keep an eye out on what happens with this experiment in the next year or two.