Accentuate Writers Forum

The REAL Difference Between Trade & Indie Publishing

Michy - 9/8/2013 at 03:47 PM

So I received an ARC of SKY JUMPERS, a debut novel by a new writer named Peggy Eddelman. She's been sharing the process of her novel with her readership on her blog as it goes through the trade process, and I've really enjoyed reading about it.

First of all, she's published with Random House--which I think you guys all know was at one time my dream-target publisher.

First, her book is on NetGalley--if you haven't looked into what it takes to get on NetGalley, it's several thousand dollars to do a full blitz campaign on that site. $250 per week for front page placement, $500 per week for a certain promotion, and then there's the basic cost for the publisher to register with them and then a cost of $350 for individual titles and $750 per title for big publishers... it's crazy-expensive for a small indie author to use, but for a major publisher, this is a legit expense they frequently use. The pay off can be some major book blog buzz and lots of readers who might leave reviews. So it's an A+ situation that her publisher put her book up there.

Second, the publisher hired THREE illustrators to work on her cover. Each offered a concept, the concepts were reviewed until they got one that worked for what they wanted, then the set out to work on narrowing it down to the perfect cover. She said it fit just right. It took about 18 months to plan, design and approve the artwork on the cover.... 18 months!

Then there was the editing process and the grade-level determinations and getting it registered with LOC and getting into the ISBN/books in print, and doing the advance listings with distribution catalogues, getting it into the retailer pre-order programs (something that amazon is now finally offering to select indie authors), doing the audio version, and this awesome book trailer--with real hired actors and green screens and all that--NOT just stock images.

That's a lot of money to put into a book before that book ever launches, and it's money that indie authors do not put into their books.

Her pre-order, pre-sale ranking on amazon is better than my sales ranking for my best-selling book on Amazon, and her book hasn't even been released yet.

and THAT, my dear writing friends, is what one of the legitimate, big traditional publishers can do for you and your book. She'll likely have over 100 reviews in her first day after reviewing becomes available for this title.

THIS is why I still, even with all the indie hype, want to go the traditional route, with at least one book, in my lifetime, through a major publisher.

Nancy G. - 9/8/2013 at 05:34 PM

I've just finished reading an ARC of The Rosie Project, by Graeme Simsion. Simon and Schuster publishers. It won't be released until Oct. 1 and it already has 375 reviews on Amazon and 965 on Goodreads. It is averaging over four stars. I predict it will be a movie fairly quickly.

And here I am unable to drag up reviews for Spirit Ranch, even though several people have told me how much they like it. People just don't like to write reviews. I think when you give away books in order to get reviews, the percentage is higher, but on a Goodreads forum I read authors griping because they are giving books away and still not getting reviews.

Skwerly - 9/8/2013 at 05:51 PM

I hear you, Michy. If Iím being honest with myself, Iím kinda sorta pretty much in a way hoping that Iíll somehow be Ďdiscoveredí through my indie crap. I know, I know, I may as well hope my next tank of gas is free because the gal at the register thinks I bear a striking resemblance to Brad Pitt.

Still, thatís what I would want.

Michy - 10/27/2013 at 03:20 PM

Derek, I think we all harbor some fantasies of being discovered like that--from something we wrote, a book, a blog post going viral, a publisher or agent falling in love with something we said or did--and because it happens to like 1% of the people out there and we hear about it, we sort of see that it CAN happen, and even though we know it's rare, we hope... we wish... we dream....

I think that's normal!

And sometimes, people who might not necessarily 'deserve it' by our standards of thinking will end up with wild successes we wish we had.

But in the meantime, and more often than not, those who get 'discovered' and make it big do so with a combination of luck/fate/coincidence and hard work. The better you write, the harder you work, the more you put yourself out there, the more you promote yourself and do what you're supposed to do--the more likely you will be discovered.

After all, luck exists--it's just that we create our own luck more than anyone realizes.