So I’ve been a bit slow in the posting here. Unemployment is depressing. Day Labor, while it brings in a little money, is depressing. Wife and daughter with medical issues while broke, yadda yadda.
Things are not so much looking up as I’m getting ready to shove hard on the lid. The bad news is it means I’m still going to be infrequent here and on my gaming blog. The good news is that rays of sunshine are absolutely brilliant in the pitch black.
So here’s what’s going on, which will undoubtedly create a comment or two down the road. I’m going to start a micro publishing business. It’ll do midlist genre adult and young adult fiction. No children’s, no erotica. The only non-fiction I’m even contemplating at this time is cookbooks, and it’s such a sideways leap I’ll wait.
See, all those posts a bit back about self-publishing? They’re solid. And digging into them and doublechecking my numbers has only increased my certainty. On top of this, I can edit. I can copy edit/proof read. And for at least some genres I can do structural editing. Layout/format? Done it. Cover design? That’s a sorta.
So why, when I think writers should look at self publishing as much as possible, am I doing this?
Well, let’s start by seeing that I’m offering two routes with my company.
Route one. You give me the manuscript. I edit (copy and structural), format, design the cover, and get it into distribution (electronic, POD, Audio). I market and promote. In exchange, I get 40% of the gross for five years from date of contract. Oh – gross meaning what I get from the distributors, not retail cover price. At the end of five years the rights revert. Extension requires mutual agreement. ummm, I get to set the price, though there will be contractual elements to ensure I don’t just give your book away for five years. Basically, you write it, I do the rest (either personally or through contract), we share the results 60/40 for five years.
Route two. I will copy edit fiction for $3 per 100 words (round up to 100 words). I will do structural editing for $100 per hour. I will format and do cover design, rates depending on a variety of options and issues. I do not send it to the distributors, I do not market it, I do not promote it. I get it ready for you to send to Amazon/Lightning/Audible, and it’s yours to actually release to the wild.
Having seen those two routes you probably get some intuition to the answer.
Some writers just don’t want to bother. It might be their first book. It might be that they just don’t want to mess with the editing and formatting and marketing. Regardless, they’re willing to let someone else do it – for much the same reason a lot of people pay others to clean house or change oil.
And because a lot of the services are one-time I’m willing to offer one-time fees. But only, as you can see, on the things that are one-time. Once edited, it’s finished. Same for formatting for a particular venue. Same for designing a cover. But some things, done right, are ongoing. Marketing is the big example. Continued promotion (which is and is not marketing). Banging on doors of new markets, advertising, and so forth. If I’m getting money for the next five years I’m going to do my best to see we get as much money as possible over those five years.
Why five years? That’s a personal wiggle. I despise the “own the right until I no longer have sales.” I am troubled as a sole proprietor at the idea of a friend’s children being stuck with a-holes who bought my company and so control the rights fifty years later. If the writer’s getting annoyed and thinking he/she should get all the money for my marketing, it gives us both a clean and known break that surprises neither of us. At the same time the renewal clause lets us both continue comfortably well if the book is doing well and I’m still doing my part to continue the sales.
Since I’m doing a micro-publisher there are a lot of frills that won’t happen. No advance – but I’ll pay by the end of the month after I receive the gross, and provide a receipts report with the payment so you know how many books amazon or ibook or audible (or whomever) sold for us. No book tours – though in certain circumstances I may pay to have you go to a convention. No “box of giveaway copies” of your book. On the other hand no returns.
That’s the gist. When I “open the doors” I’ll put the website in both a post and a page, both here and on my gaming site. And if you’ve got a book you’ve been considering pushing onward after NaNoWriMo, well, I happen to know this publisher…