Saturday, 17 May 2014

Paperback and Free Book

Good morning people!
So I have been sitting on something very exciting for the past month.  If you all look to the photo to your left, it might give a little clue.  And no, it's not to do with the new lamp I picked up for my new house (although I got a little giddy about that also).
I have indeed joined the ranks of writers that have their work published in print.
I confess that I put my reserved Britishness aside and did a few inelegant jumps around the living room when my copy came...
(Link to The Shadow Rises)

I have put off hard copies for a while, even though, as I am sure most writers would agree, I wanted nothing more than to see a physical copy.  To have it in my bookshelf, to be able to pick it up.  It seems to make it all that more real.

Why did I put them off?  To answer that, I have to also confess that after a year in the indie publishing world, there is so much still to learn.
When I first published The Shadow Rises, I researched possible hard copy production.  What I found were businesses designed much more for the traditional publishing route.  Those that, unless you ordered a thousand copies, had high costs for short runs.
Problem 1) The possibility that my book (which is only about 200 pages long) would cost between £5 - £10 to make.  I could never expect people to fork out that much for a skinny little paperback book by an unknown author.
Problem 2) Geographical limitations - so let's say I am armed with my 100 copies.  What then?  Perhaps if I was still living in London I could find plenty of indie book stores to take them.  But how am I going to guarantee that every witch-hunter, paranormal-loving individual is living within a 20 mile radius?  Because I can't distribute any further, unless I quit my job and spend my time pushing it.  But that won't pay the rent (and I am loathe to give up my shiny new house).
It would definitely be a problem in Doncaster - I love the place, it's my home; but it does not know the meaning of "indie book store".  Although to be fair, this little Yorkshire town was ranked the most well read city in the UK this time last year!  The actual news piece in the Telegraph - must read!

So, how did I overcome these two major obstacles?
As some of you will already by shouting at your screen and rolling your eyes at the fact it's taken me a year to find it - CreateSpace
It's a part of Amazon that allows you to create your own paperback, and sell it through the Amazon website.
1) Their production is designed for indie publishers, so their costs are low.  The Shadow Rises is currently selling for £5.99, which is a lower price than I could have hoped for!  Although, despite the higher price, I actually get more royalties from the Kindle downloads.
2) They make them to order, so there is no need for me to be lumbered with 50 unsold copies in my back room!  And not only making them to order, but they produce them in US and European locations, so the delivery is actually free!  Unfortunately, it doesn't help my friends in Australia, but that's their fault for moving out there and not taking me with!

But business sense aside, I don't care if I never sell more than a handful of the paperback books.  I know they will only really appeal to my friends and family; and those people that don't have Kindles yet.  I have the physical copy of my book I've always dreamed of, and that's a pretty good way to start my day.

Oh yes... I believe in the title to this little inner monologue, I put something about a free book.
To celebrate the fact that book 1 is available in print; book 2 will be a free download for this weekend!
The Shadow Reigns (Witch-Hunter #2)

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