Welcome to WWW!
Today, Aileen Fish (aka Ari Thatcher) romance author is here to share a bit about being open to change and willingness to grow as a writer.
Never Stop Growing
I am a hybrid author these days, something I’d never imagined when I was a kid telling my friend’s mom that I wanted to be a writer when I grew up. At the time, the method of getting published didn’t matter. What mattered was the stories I wanted to tell.
Know what? It still matters. Until authors began banding together to sell a gazillion books in one bundle for 99 cents, what made books remain on the bestselling lists was the story. One readers fell in love with. One they told their friends, their babysitter, their hairdresser (do they still call them that?) and the grocery clerk about.
The publishing world is changing by the minute, so authors need to stay on top of the changes to make a career of it. Self-publishing is a valid option alongside small press, ebook-first and legacy publishing. With the exception of legacy publishing’s larger print runs that show up in a brick-and-mortar bookstore for a few weeks or months, all of these books will end up on the major online sites competing for attention. All but the indie published will also end up on a publisher’s site, and in their release/marketing notification system, adding avenues of readership you might otherwise not reach.
A smart author will look into all possible homes for a manuscript in today’s market and decide what’s best for her. That’s the hybrid, choosing to independently publish some books while releasing others through a publishing house, whether ebook first/only or traditional. Look at all aspects, especially potential market, royalty paid and length of contracted rights in particular and compare them to your end goal. Greater readership to find your backlist and buy future books, or a lifetime of higher royalties and the ability to change the cover, blurb and category to find your readers?
No matter how your book is published, it’s ultimately your burden to find readers. We’ll pretend I mean “first readers”, the ones who love it so much they tell three friends, who tell three friends, until your book suddenly hits the USA Today list and the NYTimes list, and your agent is sending you notice of negotiations for foreign rights, movie rights, interplanetary rights…Yeah, I now. But if I wasn’t a dreamer I’d be nowhere as a writer, right? (And you do know you should never use an agent to independently publish, right? You deserve the entire royalty. Only pay a flat fee for services you can’t do yourself, never a royalty share.)
With any title, you are responsible for deciding how to let people know about your book. You can’t rely on them stumbling over it by chance. Blog tours and giveaways, Goodreads and Facebook ads, Twitter and Library Thing…say what? Library Thing? And what’s a triberr? Is my potential reader on Wattpad? Did anyone see my Instagram?
How many of these have you tried, or have a real presence on? They all need to be considered as you devise your marketing plan. Where is your reader most likely to see you? What’s that new thing that other author was talking about last week, and do I need to do that, too?
What readers want to read is ever-changing, as are the places to find readers. Don’t let yourself get caught in a rut or a particular mindset about your books, your business. The road to making a living off your writing isn’t a one-lane path anymore. Don’t be afraid to pull into a rest stop once in a while and recheck your route. That scenic side road might be more to your liking, and paved with readers waiting for your book. I can’t tell you what will work for your book, I can only advise you to research and network all avenues of publishing and marketing to stay on top of the changes.
And above all, remember it’s your story that is most important. That 99 cent boxed set might get you on a list, but if the story isn’t memorable, it won’t sell your other books. It won’t sell your name.
A hybrid author is still a storyteller, first and foremost. And that part of the publishing business will never change.
Aileen Fish is the “nice” side of the author whose “naughtier” works are written as Ari Thatcher. When not reading or writing, she can usually be found quilting while watching auto racing. She also sneaks in time to enjoy her two daughters and sons-in-law, and the greatest joy of their lives, her granddaughter, Zoey.
She can be found at:
Her latest release is a Regency romance novella, A PRETENSE OF LOVE, with Ellora’s Cave Blush.
Twenty-two-year-old Jean’s best chance of finding a husband is behind her. When her brother’s friend offers to pay for a Season in London in exchange for pretending to be his betrothed, she sees it as a miracle.
Ben needed a fiancée to convince his dying grandfather that he has settled down and is capable of inheriting and running his business and estate. But he didn’t consider how spending six weeks with Jane would make her necessary to his happiness. Now she’s in London and he’s in agony. A gentleman never reneges on an agreement…unless his heart is broken.
A Blush® Regency romance from Ellora’s Cave