Thursday, September 27, 2007

Self Publishing -- at what cost?

Today I read an article about a young girl in my town whose first book had just been published. Yeh! Whoo! Hoo! and all that. But wait just a minute, the article made it sound as if this young person, who is nineteen years old had done so well for herself. Well maybe she has, it depends which way you look at it.

I Googled the name of her book and the author name and found it was published by a company I hadn't heard of. So, I Googled that too and felt dismayed for the girl that she has parted with around £800.00 to see her book in print. It's a vanity press.

I've just taken a look at the contract at the website and for that price the author gets five free copies of their books! Excuse me while I cough a moment. I make that a cost of £160.00 per copy. Extortion if you ask me. Not only are the books that expensive, but if she wants it properly edited the contract says she has to pay the editor £35.00 per hour. All of this adds up to a tidy little sum for the company but not for the author.

I know her book will now get an isbn number and that it will be reproduced by print on demand but how many books would she need to sell to break even. Her book costs around the £8.00 mark [without postage and packing], so she needs to sell more than one hundred copies.

It makes me sad that people don't try the traditional publishing route. I don't mean they have to submit to a large publishing house because few new authors sell to those anyhow. Some smaller publishes will accept a book if it's any good and at no cost to the author.

I made the mistake of getting my first book published by a company that charged me a $90.00 set up fee [around £45.00] but even that amount seems small potatoes compared to the amount the young lady is being charged.

Before you think I'm anti self publishing, I'm not. I've published a couple of books via who don't charge the kind of fees that young lady's publisher charges.

I expect she'll live and learn as I did last year. Luckily, I've left the publisher in question and have got two superb new publishers who haven't charged me a penny to see my work in print.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Can you believe I almost missed this review?

I was going through one of my e-mail boxes just now, [this is an e-mail address I don't use that often as it gets inundated with SPAM], and I had to look twice. There was a post marked 'FAR It Happened One Summer'. It was dated 10 days ago. I can't believe I missed it.

Anyhow, the upshot is that it's my first new review for this book since it was updated and re-released by The Wild Rose Press. Here's what the reviewer had to say[she gave it four angels]:

It Happened One Summer by Lynette Rees is good enough that it kept this reader up almost all night turning the pages. I was glued to this story, almost hypnotically. It’s suspenseful enough that I jumped when the dog smacked her tail on the floor! I anticipated what chased Sandy chased me, too!

Sandy and Matt meet when he comes into the shop where she works. Purchasing an item sort of like the customer from Hell, he irks her at the start, especially when he chastises her, then informs her he’s the new area manager for the store. They get past their initial impressions of each other, and become very close. But when odd things happen at Sandy’s cottage while she’s not home she’s convinced someone may be trying to keep them apart. How to explain a stalker to someone she’s just met? Matt’s feelings for Sandy make an immediate explanation a moot point. His main goal is to keep her safe.

This is a very thrilling read, especially when I imagined Sandy’s stalker could be at a dinner party with her. That idea was creepy enough to give me goose bumps! Sandy and Matt seemed like an improbable couple at first, what with the way they met, but as the story progresses his compassion for her and the stalker situation is obvious. He cares, and it shows. In turn, it makes the reader care. I wanted Sandy to be safe, and I wanted Matt to protect her. I won’t say how this turns out, but I can practically guarantee readers will keep turning pages long after dark on this one. I know I did, and it was worth losing sleep over!

Reviewed by: Carly

Thursday, September 06, 2007

A star went out last night

I was sitting in my garden last night under a star filled sky just contemplating, when I saw a star fall in the sky. I haven't seen one of those for years but remembered the old saying about how when that happens, you'll hear of a death. I told my husband about it.

Then this morning he woke me up with breakfast in bed [okay I don't get that every morning] to tell me Pavarotti had died. Of course, it's probably a coincidence, people are dying all the time. But you have to admit the man was a star.

I felt the same when Diana, Princess of Wales died, as if a star in the heavens had somehow stopped shining.

Perhaps Luciano is standing at the Pearly Gates singing Nessun Dorma as I write this.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Three cheers for The Wild Rose Press

A year ago, I left my old publisher. I won't mention the name here as I don't want to get sued but let's just say the parting was amicable. I wanted to leave and I suspect after all the fuss I made, they were glad to see the back of me.

You see, I knew they weren't serving my needs as an author. There was a distinct lack of communication from them, plus I was expected to pay a set-up fee for the privilege of publication. I got to thinking I deserved better as an author. So as soon as I was released, I sought a new publisher.

Following my experience with that publisher, I had certain expectations I wanted to see fulfilled from my new publisher. The first one, I wanted good communication. The second, they would respect me as an author, so I could keep my particular Welsh voice and British spellings. The third requirement was that they would spell my name correctly, the last publisher hadn't even managed to do that.

I had heard about The Wild Rose Press from somewhere, I can't remember where it was now, probably an online writers' group or something, and thought I would give them a go.

I was delighted when It Happened One Summer and Return to Winter were accepted for publication.

I have to say that The Wild Rose Press has exceeded my expectations as a publisher. Communication is fantastic. If I send an e-mail to one of my editors or anyone else on staff, it's answered within a reasonable amount of time. Unlike my old publisher where I tried to contact three members of staff one week on an urgent matter and not one of them replied!

I have been treated so well as an author by everyone. Today, I sent off the contract for my third book, Watching You, for publication next year. I was just as thrilled to get this one accepted as I was last year with the other two.

My romantic suspense editor, Ally Robertson, has gone above and beyond the call of duty as an editor. She's inspired and encouraged me and Watching You is dedicated to her.

The Wild Rose Press is an exceptional publisher in my eyes.

Three cheers for The Wild Rose Press!!!