Sunday, May 15, 2011

My Gr.I.P.E. (Great Indie Pub Experiment)

Yes, good things still come in threes, and I’m starting an all-new series that will appear on this blog in three parts during 2011. They just won’t appear back to back.

After a variety of publishing experiences ranging from awful to awesome, the joy of saying “I told you so” to folks who told me that e-pub would never amount to anything, and years of “don’t go there” conditioning, I’ve decided to take my career in a direction I never dreamed I would.

I’m going indie. And I’m going to post the results right here for all to see.

Am I so dissatisfied with my writing career that I feel forced into self pub? Not in the least! In fact, my earnings have grown exponentially each quarter for the past year. So why take the plunge into the dark, scary world of indie?

I have a lengthy list of reasons for giving it a shot, but to wrap it up in one word, I’m interested in the POTENTIAL. The potential for books I’d back-burnered to see the light of day. The potential to control cover art and sales prices of my work completely—and to change them when I want to drive sales. The potential to pocket a much larger percentage of profits than even my generous publisher offers. The potential to get in on what is being likened to the California Gold Rush while the gettin’s still good.

So, I’ve decided to experiment with this idea and see where it takes me. Am I giving up on other publishing? Nope. In fact, I just started a 7-book series for my current pub, and have another book under consideration elsewhere. I’m merely seeking ways to expand my prospects.

Every quarter, in between each new three-part series, I will post the latest stats and info on how things are working with this experiment. My expectation is that things will start off very slowly, then build over time. My hope is to start seeing a modest, yet steady income from this enterprise within a year or so, and that posting about my journey will help some of you who might be considering this road.

Okay! Here are my starting point stats and goals for the next quarter:

Currently distributing on: Kindle, B&N, Smashwords

Titles currently out: 1.
(An erotic short-short story written by my husband, who agreed to be my first guinea pig!)

Days available: 3

Total sales: 1 (A copy sold on Smashwords the first day, which surprised me. I heard that it takes time to get sales, and that they are far more likely to happen on Amazon than other distribs.)

Total available by next quarter: 6
Total hours spent (per week) on promotion, learning curve, production: 40
Total sales projected: 30

Whoa! Hold the phone. Why on earth would I want to dive in with paltry projections like these? Patience, grasshopper. Patience. For one thing, at least two of the projected titles will be short stories, which don’t tend to sell as well as novels. However, they DO sell, and can later be bundled into a collection or offered free to entice readers. I’m also projecting low because of the expectation that it takes time to get things rolling, especially since these titles will be released under a number of different pen names (since I write different genres and will also continue putting out my husband’s work). Once I’ve got a substantial catalog of full-length work and bundled shorts, things should get far more interesting. Sales projections will rise each quarter, while hours spent on promotion/learning curve will fall. This is based on what I’ve heard from authors like JA Konrath and Selena Kitt who are making a good run at indie pub.

So wish me luck! And yes of course, you knew this was coming...I just have to give that first experimental indie title a plug here!

An erotic short story

As Annette heads for her car after a late night’s work, the last thing on her mind is the first thing she’s going to get.

When Annette’s longtime friend, Teddy, texts her about an unsatisfying date, mild “sext” flirting quickly gives way to a hot photo session right in the front seat of her parked car. But is she alone in the private parking garage?

Kindle version


Dragon Lady said...

That sounds awesome. Good luck!

Hey, they gave a great blurb about your husband over at B&N. Has he really written other erotica??? Way cool.

J.Rose Allister said...

Thanks!! He's working on a hawt m/m contemp cowboy short right now. Can't wait to see it!