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05-19 Sarah Raplee – Riff on 7 yrs. Of SPAM & a Giveaway

Thursday, January 5, 2012

2011 – What happened in the world of publishing…

Gosh it’s January 2012 already! I don’t know about you but I’m excited about the coming year. When I look back on 2011 I’m pleased it’s over. It wasn’t the best year for me personally, or for New Zealand. The earthquakes that destroyed Christchurch and killed so many rocked our little country. And don’t let’s forget the devastation in Japan, tornadoes in USA , and other natural disasters around the world.
Also, in 2011 the world of publishing changed.For the better if you ask me...
I’ve a feeling 2012 will be a great year. I’m not really one for New Year resolutions, but I do set myself goals. My 2012 goal is to gear up my writing so that my output doubles or triples even.  I’ve set myself weekly targets, realistic weekly targets, so that I can publish three novels and at least three novellas this year (and still work at my other job twenty hours per week). I know, it’s a big task, but if I work hard enough I may be able to give up the other day job.
The real driver is that I want to move to a rural part of New Zealand where jobs are not prevalent and will therefore have to rely on my writing income. I have bought a one acre section, with my sister, in the Hawke’s Bay wine region. Here’s a photo of my section – see the view. We want to build a huge house with swimming pool on the site, and move in Christmas 2012. Sigh – I need my writing career to take off to achieve that dream.My section is a huge incentive
That’s a lot of writing, I hear you gasp? I need this output because of the word SELF-PUBLISHING. I’m traditionally published at present, but I’ve decided I’m not sitting back and letting a traditional publishing house tell me when my books can be published. My current contract allows me one book a year. You can’t make a living off that. In fact, I have learned that to make money in publishing you have to publish at least 4-8 books a year.
So I’m going to self-publish this year. I’m not sure if I shall also traditionally publish, that will depend on my contract obligations. I have decided to look at the self-publishing model for several reasons:
1.       Book runs are diminishing. A new author is no longer building their brand through book-store distribution. If that is true, then why do you need a traditional publisher?
2.       Digital books are outselling print books about 4:1 in the romance genre and an author owns their online marketing space not a traditional publisher
3.       I can put books to market when I want, and when it’s right for me
4.       I can price the books competitively. Currently I’m a debut author with a book priced at $14 and an e-book at $8 – how do I compete and build my brand at that price? I can’t.  Ebooks are setting the price at around $4.99 (Avon’s new ebook price)

It also means I have to find time to do the marketing, but I had to do that anyway.
My first self-published book, a novella, I’m releasing in my favorite romance month, February – ready for Valentine’s Day. I love the whole concept of making time for romance. It’s the little things we do on Valentine's day to show someone how special they are to us. Breakfast in bed, romantic picnic lunches (remember it’s summer in NZ), the candlelit dinners, and romantic cards from anonymous admirers.
So, watch out for my first self-published novella, due out on Valentine’s day (14th of February 2012). It’s a 35,000 word novella called, To Dare the Duke of Dangerfield. Here’s the blurb:
Caitlin Southall’s temper has finally got the better of her. She’s challenged Harlow Telford, the Duke of Dangerfield, the most notorious rake in all of England, to a wager. She wants her house back. The one her destitute father lost to Dangerfield in a card game. But if she doesn’t win their bet, she not only loses her home, she loses her dignity and pride and damn it all, maybe her heart... For the handsome Duke has decreed, when he wins, she must spend the night in his bed.

Harlow Telford is amused by his hellion neighbor, Caitlin, or Cate to her friends, who seem to encompass everyone on earth except him. When she bursts into one of his private gatherings, he mistakes her for the entertainment. Her slap across his face sets him straight and raises the absurd desire to seduce the unconventional beauty into his bed. When she issues her daft challenge to win back her father’s pile of rubble, the terms are set.  And he’ll do anything to win—except fall in love...

I’m looking for reviewers. If you’d like a free copy of To Dare the Duke of Dangerfield in exchange for a review on Amazon then contact me on romance at bronwenevans dot com.

Happy New Year! I hope you achieve your goals this year.


Diana Mcc. said...

Happy New Year to you Bron! Boy the publishing scene has sure changed, hasn't it? Thanks for your insights into the business end of publishing. Good luck on your dip into self publishing. At least you have a fan base to follow you.

Judith Ashley said...

I love the picture of your section. The view is fantastic and if I had the picture next to my computer, it would be a great incentive to write, write, write!

I also do not go the Resolution route but I do set goals for myself. My writing goals include a final polishing on two completed ms.; start and complete a first draft on a third; query publishers; and seriously consider Self-Publishing in the Fall.

Thanks for the information that 4 - 8 books a year is a guide to being able to support oneself by writing.

Don't forget to send us the release information for your novella!

Bron said...

Hi Diana and Judith

Happy New Year

I'm currently in the Hawke's Bay on holiday. I'm sitting looking out the door on a sunny morning, swimming pool is calling.

Good luck Judith on your writing.

Judith Ashley said...

My new color is 'green' - not sea sick green but envy green. One of my favorite views is of water - ocean, lake, river, stream - it really doesn't matter. I can see it all now - lounging in a comfy chair, cool drink on table to the side, dark glasses, sun hat - and view seen between bare feet.

Enjoy! and thanks for the visual...

Anonymous said...

Great post!

Sarah Raplee said...

You are an ambitious woman, Ms. Evans! From the looks of it, you have the necessary motivation (I, too, want to live at the coast - the Oregon coast in my case!)

Your points about making a living as a writer are well-said. Two best-selling traditionally-published authors, Tech Marketing Guru Seth Godin and Multi-Genre Author Bob Mayer, set the ebook price point at $2.99 to $4.99 US, which is in line with your views.

Self-publishing looks better and better, doesn't it?

As a slow writer, I'm interested in how you plan to increase your output. Do you have tips to share?

Thanks in advance, Sarah

Margaret Tanner said...

Great blog Bronwen,
Being your neightbour here in Oz, I can certainly sympathize with what NZ, in particular poor Christchurch, has been going through.
Good luck with your self publishing ventures.