Sunday, November 7, 2010
CHAPTER ELEVEN: Out of the box, a call to big name authors!
I hear all the time this phrase. Think out of the box, or get out of the box! What does this really mean and why do we want to get out of some box that we all seem to be in? Is the box uncomfortable? Is it harmful? How did we even get in this box? Are we all born in the box and if so why is it bad when we were born in it?
All these questions hit me and I started to think about it and how it can help me and other authors or business people.
The box as we think of it, is the same old thing, the hum drum and the I was taught this way and I shall do it even if it no longer works.
Some examples in the writing world are this:
Write in your genre: I do not like this one. I write for me, and if my writing crosses over into one genre to another so be it. This thinking of staying put is because the fans expect to read something and if you do something different they will get mad. Well, maybe it is good to make a reader mad every once in a while. Shake things up. Again, think of why you are writing... is it for some fan or for you and are you just trying to sell a book or write what you love.
Now be smart about it... might not be a good idea to mix romance with a story about hunting. Just a thought.
Sending out query letters and trying to find an agent: I am still amazed by the countless authors that still do this outdated and fruitless thing. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. The game changed about three years ago and the big publishers stopped taking new works. They sent out their agents to hunt the book shelves to find the next up in coming book and these agents also do not take new submissions unless you have a platform or a huge fan base.
Do you have a fan base and a platform? Do you sell 10K books a year to start? If not the agents you can get to look at your work are not the ones you want. If the big bad agents can't sell a book to a big publisher what makes you think a small agent can?
I am not trying to be mean but unless you are already in with a publisher it is not smart to keep sending letters into a black hole and wasting time when you could spend that same time writing and selling books and building a fan base. Besides, even if you make a publisher take your work do you really want 5-10% royalties? How do you plan to make a living on 12-25 cents a book? Just saying.
Best advice, if you really want to go with a traditional publisher find a small one who "thinks outside of the box."
Authors or Publishers who think eBooks are a fad: This one gets me. I make a living because of eBooks. i feed my family and do not have to work construction because of eBooks. A Fad? Really? Wait... even if it is a fad think of how long it will take to fizzle out? 10-20 years? By that time i will be retired on that fad and wont care that it was.
Or I talk to publishers that are going to look into eBooks in five years. Hmmm, by that time you will miss the wave. Why throw away money and fans because you are scared of the future? I know... I know... you think you will lose money, you think you need to keep the price high. Just keep it up, remember a little company called Apple? Yeah... remember the music business? Yeah... now what if a Apple decides that all eBooks should be 2.99?
Just a thought. It is not about what you the publishing makes... it is what does the author make and what does the reader have to pay. The future of publishing is changing and it is about time. The kingdom of Random House and all the other big guys is coming to an end and the ones who will be better off is the authors and the readers.
Here is my challenge. This is a call to a big name author. By this I mean a Dan Brown, James Patterson, Jason Pinter, Andrew Gross ect... Here is my offer. Let me and you team up and I will give you 50/50 royalties on print and E. We can market online just as good or better and lets do a brand new book. I will publish your book and it will go out into the same stores as you are in now, i use the same distributors, the same binders and printers. My cover art people are just as good if not better. We will try a OOTB experiment and see what happens when a author gets paid and I mean really paid for his or her work.
This is not a joke. I really mean it. If you want to make more on each sale and sell the same number or more let me know. Imaging making 2-6 dollars on each book sale... Imagine having control of your cover and how your book looks. Imaging taking control of your future and saying Enough to the way things have been done for the last hundred years. This is the time to do something different, time to try something new. Besides, what have you got to lose? If the numbers are half of your last book well... no wait, you will still make more. 50% royalties!
All I need is one to try this and see... do you believe?