Everyone is talking about self-publishing at the moment. For those of us who have a backlist that is sitting there doing nothing, it is a good thing. If your book is out-of-print or just been out so long it really doesn’t sell at the publisher’s list price, self-publishing is the way to go if you can get your rights back. You can also put that book that is under your bed because it didn’t really fit anywhere and no publisher would take it, but you know it’s a good story.
I have several of my backlist up at Kindle and Nook. I am starting to put them up at Smashwords. What I learned with my first one, Wild Honey, was that putting it at Kindle and Smashwords was not the way to go. I took it down from Smashwords after seven months and put it on Nook myself. It had been on Nook through Smashwords. I made in one week by myself at Nook what I had made in the seven months it was with Smashwords at Nook. Smashwords does hit other sites, so there is some money to be made with Smashwords. It is a lot like the small publishers, however. Smashwords has to wait for the money to come from the sale sites and they are not that speedy at sending out payment.
The other side of self-publishing is the money. Some people make a great deal of money with what they publish. Certain books sell more than other books and there really doesn’t seem to be a reason. Western romances seem to be the biggest sellers. Others make a much smaller amount, but enough to make it worthwhile. I made as much on A Moment In Time in the first month at 99 cents than I had in the last four years. It wasn’t a great deal, but it was nice. I figure a total of approximately $500 a month for all my books is worth the effort.
It is worth the effort if you keep your expenses down to get it put up. Those who make a great deal of money, like Debra Holland, can afford to pay people to do the work for them. People like me, who only make a few hundred dollars a month, maybe don’t want to spend too much to put their books up. Me, I’m cheap and don’t want to pay lots of money to someone else. I can’t do covers, so I pay Lex Valentine. She does really nice work. The rest I have learned to do myself. I can format and upload so the only thing I pay for is a new cover. Jackie Hamilton learned to make her own covers so she can do it all.
I have formatted manuscripts for a some other people. The thing I learned is that it is tedious, boring work. It is even more tedious and boring than grading essays all day, which is my other job. I never figured I’d find something more tedious than grading papers.
I hope everyone is working toward their 2012 goals. I have one finished. Yeah!