What Richard said.
I've had 46 novels published (plus some nonfiction books, some short fiction, more than 130 comic books/graphic novels, etc.). Most of those were from the major houses--Penguin, S&S, HarperCollins, Warner, and the like. I was making a living as an author, and enjoying it quite a bit. (Incidentally, I'm also a bookstore owner and have worked in publishing in various capacities, including marketing and editorial.)
But lately the business has been changing--the economic situation, combined with the rise of the e-book, has been hitting it hard. My agent has been out with a novel that has earned exceptional praise from editors and other heavyweight authors--only the praise from editors is always followed by the "but" sentence that explains why they can't buy it. I haven't given up on traditional publishing, but I have started looking at self-publishing and smaller presses as alternatives.
So far, I have self published as e-books:
The Slab, a reprint of a small press trade paperback horror epic (my only small press book to date). This book got some amazing reviews, but had very little distribution, and at $16.99 it was expensive. The e-book is only $2.99.
The Devil's Bait, my first original e-book thriller for adults. I'm currently in negotiations with a small press for a print version. Terrific blurb from e-book bestseller J. Carson Black (it's on the linked Amazon page so I won't repeat the whole thing here).
Nine Frights, a collection of horror short stories, some previously published and others brand new.
Carnival Summer, a teen paranormal/horror/romance/thriller.
My success with these has been very limited so far--many more people have read my worst-selling print books than have bought any of these. But this is all new to me, and I'm still getting the word out there. I'm hoping that as I do more e-books, they'll start to pick up steam.
So again, what Richard said. You can definitely get your book out there as a self-publisher. Whether or not you'll be successful depends on your goals, your definition of success, and your ability to promote and promote and promote. And then promote some more.
Thanks, RYCJ. If you're not up for horror you might try The Devil's Bait--purely a suspenseful thriller, with no horror to it.
After collecting manuscripts for years, this spring I self-published three on Lulu, Smashwords and Kindle. They are all YA/middle grade American historical fiction. It's been a great experience, but self-promotion is tough for someone who'd much rather just write. And I'm finding the YA ebook market may be a little tougher to break into than adult markets, as kids don't always have ereaders. But that may just be an impression. At any rate, seeing my work in print has been incredibly rewarding.
CreateSpace has been good for me. I've got 8 children's books and while I'm hardly getting rich, they are selling. The comment about getting an editor is important. I am rewriting my chapter books after finding a good editor. Self promotion is difficult but if you have a need to get your work out there, self publishing does work.
My books are all on Amazon and can be seen there or at my website. www.bentrim.info
I would be curious to hear from those of you who are using CreateSpace. I'm still waiting on my designer for my cover, but have heard some interesting things about the ProPlan through them (essentially paying a fee--- $40?--- in return for higher royalties and cheaper author copies) as opposed to their regular free plan.
Can anyone speak to this? I may also post this under the main forum. It sounds like Donald knows what he wants to do next.
Paul D. Dail
www.pauldail.com- A horror writer's not necessarily horrific blog
Donald, I sought representation for a year and a half. I got thrilled at the many request for partials and fulls. I kept my fingers crossed only to receive rejection after rejection. They were very nice and flattering however a rejection is a rejection no matter how sweet the letter. I decided I would let the public decide if my story would be a seller or not. I put my book on Amazon in early May as an ebook. In three months time it has sold right at 1,000 copies and it is climbing fast on the charts. At the rate it is going it should hit Number one by October! I have received great 5 star reviews from people all over the nation who I have never met but are loving my story and so many request for it to come out in print. I have decided to put it in print and save the 20% agent fee :)
If you believe in your work and feel others would benefit from your story then put it out there as an ebook first and see what happens.