This is the cover for my next book.
This is the novel that began life about three years ago as “And It’s Only Love.” I changed the title because I wanted it to be clear this was a novel about the tragedy of Paul Collins in particular. Otherwise, it is unchanged from the finished version of a couple of months ago.
I published this book using CreateSpace; it was entirely free. Except for purchasing the ISBN. The cover design came from a provided template; I designed the interior, and got permission from the artist to use his oil painting on the cover. I set up my own publishing imprint: B & B Books, Boulder, Colorado. (My younger grandchildren’s names are Brooke and Brenna.)
I have also completed the three main digital versions: iBook, Nook, and Kindle — because I have done digital editions of previous novels myself, that was fast and easy. It is currently live on Kindle and still pending on Nook and iBook. Kindle usually puts digital books up within 24 hours, while the other two can take a week or more. I don’t know why, except that I don’t think Kindle is as careful as the other two. Having viewed books on all three digital platforms, I much prefer the way they look on the iPad, more authentically realistic.
I have not yet received the proof copy of the print book, so it is not yet for sale via Amazon, or anywhere else. I will put out a notice when the print edition is available.
I intend and expect to use B & B Books to publish all my future writing. Is this to say that after 30 years as a traditionally published author I have given up on traditional publishing in favor of the auteur way? Yes. I would not turn down a decent offer to publish from a traditional publisher, but I am not soliciting one any longer. It took a while, and I struggled heartily against it, but I finally figured out that the changes in publishing that have been on-going for nearly a decade, are here to stay — there is no going back to the way traditional publishing used to be, and writers of literary fiction (like me) have essentially no place in the new publishing model, which has killed off the midlist and focused its business model on that of soap or cars or women’s clothes — the standard model of all conglomerate enterprises.
I am enjoying the amount of control I have in publishing my own work. It is also not unpleasant to receive 80% or more of the income generated by my work, rather than the usual 10%. I am also capable of doing at least as much marketing of my work as any of my previous traditional publishers ever did — more, really. The only thing I don’t have that traditional publishers offer is a wider distribution network. But if the publisher barely uses, at best, that network for my work, then it’s irrelevant. If bookstores disappear, then having a distribution network covering them is useless.
I believe that now the majority of all books (digital and print) are distributed by Amazon … and Amazon owns CreateSpace, providing a natural and obvious incentive to feature and promote their own products. I may, and do, bemoan the demise of bookstores as I knew them for most of my life, and I do bemoan the demise of the traditional publishing companies I knew and benefited from most of my writing life, but bemoaning their loss does not bring them back. Whining is just whining.
During the years left to me as a writer, for as long as my brain works to tell stories, I would rather my work have an audience than not. I would rather have readers than stacks of wilting paper in a box or computer files that will one day be unreadable when formats change again.
The best way to get my work to its audience is to do it myself. Maybe it is now the only way for serious writers of literary fiction.
Stay tuned, folks.