The Latest from Barb and J.C. Hendee…
Any writer who has tried publishing as a "hybrid" (meaning doing both traditional publishing and self-publishing) quickly begins to understand that these are two very different worlds.
Almost everything works differently—even the mindset with a new release.
In traditional publishing, when a new book comes out, it is an "event." If there is any marketing or publicity done by the publisher, it is all done before the book is published. Pre-order numbers are watched carefully, and a book's success or failure is decided in the first week of publication. Of course… most are considered failures and thus abandoned.
With a self-published novel, the writer puts the first book of a series up, does a little marketing, and gets started immediately on the second book… and then the third. We don't expect to be making much money or to gauge how the series is doing until book four—or even five—goes up. That's also when serious marketing begins. That's when a writer tries for an ad at BookBub. With BookBub, the writer has to apply and show that the series has some potential, and a BookBub ad is expensive, but if you manage to arrange for one, you can really get your series "seen" by thousands of readers. A self-published writer is looking to "grow" a series readership, and this is not a sprint, it's a marathon.
Traditional publishers have begun taking advantage of BookBub, but again… mainly with the first book of a new series that is being "launched." Again, the success or failure of the book is decided in the first week of publication. After that, if it's not a huge success coming out of the gate, the book is considered "done."
This is apparently changing somewhat, and I am both surprised and very happy.
I received a message from my publisher, Ace/Roc (Penguin Random House) letting me know that they are going to drop the price of the e-book edition of The Mist-Torn Witches (book one) to $1.99 from October 16th - 30th and pay for a BookBub ad on the 21st. They are beginning to realize there might be potential in an existing series. I am astonished, but I'm happy.—Barb
Hello! While this is not Noble Dead news, for those of you who enjoy Barb's emotional, fast-paced style of writing, she is crossing genres this year and will be publishing some romance/suspense. This is book one in a new series. Here is the e-book link:Amazon. Your can also learn more over at BarbHendee.org in the “Fiction” section.
Everybody has already heard of Kindle Unlimited, so no need to bother with that one. Many are unaware that it is (1) not the only such service, (2) not the best deal for your money and/or (3) offers almost no professionally published books. It all depends on what you want, from professional authors and publishers, independent authors, those inbetween and (yes) whether you get to keep those ebooks.
Did that last point catch your attention? Unfortunately, the one I was thinking about is currently having problems, so more on this in a later installment.
Barb here. Okay, that title probably lays out the point of this blog post pretty clearly, but this is a complex topic.
Of late, I’ve heard some rather “loud” voices in the industry telling new/hopeful writers that not only do they not need an agent to be successful, but that an agent will actually be damaging to their careers.
In one online discussion, I recently (stupidly) jumped in to say, “Well, of course if someone is self-publishing, he or she doesn’t need an agent, but if a novelist wants to be traditionally published, an agent is necessary. How can a writer get a manuscript on the desk of a New York editor without an agent?”
I was instantly—and quite vehemently—told that I was “wrong,” and that no writer requires an agent to get a manuscript on the desk of a New York editor… and that unagented writers sell novels to New York editors all the time.
I bowed out of this discussion quickly, but I did worry that a lot of new/hopeful writers were listening to what I considered very poor advice.