While I’ve been concentrating on writing, the publishing industry has changed again, making self-publishing paper books a better idea than ever.
I’ve always wanted to take the CreateSpace plunge and get my novels out in paper form, but I’ve held back so that I could spend my limited time getting through the 1000 Souls series to book four. Many of you already know that first I wrote Vampire Road (book four,) and I’ve been plugging the holes of books one through three since it launched.
I knew that by using CreateSpace’s service to publish print-on-demand (POD) books, I’d be able to buy paper books to give to friends and family, and I hoped that some of my fans might order (through Amazon) a copy of one of their favourite (blush) novels for their bookcase. Wider distribution in paper seemed unlikely until now.
Kristine Katheryn Rusch has an excellent blog post explaining that as of April 2013, two of the major distributors of books to bookstores have started lumping all POD books in with books from traditional publishers. Better yet, they’re offering the same price deals and returns deals for indie-published and small press POD books as they already do for traditionally published books. This means that if you have extended distribution with CreateSpace, any bookstore can order your book, and there is no price/return barrier between the little guys and the big guys.
But the news gets better. Bookstores have moved towards a more environmentally friendly system for book orders. Rather than ordering fifty, selling twenty-five, and ripping the covers off the rest to return to the publisher for refund, they’ve adopted an ordering style closer to just-in-time supply management. Order a book, sell it, order another copy, sell that and so on. Finally that big pile of wasted books (and ink, trucking fumes, and the great addition to the recycling mountains) is starting to go down. Returns are slowly becoming a thing of the past. As they should. POD books always worked on this model (not printing unless there was a buyer,) so this works great for small presses/indie-pubbers.
This doesn’t mean that book stores will order my novels, of course, but it’s nice to know that it is now possible for them to put in an order. Until this April, it was next to impossible.
So here’s my checklist of things to do:
1) New covers for the whole series that match.
2) New title for Apocalypse Revolution. That title isn’t working for me, and I’m open to suggestions.
3) Another editing pass through each of the novels because I shifted the odd factoid as the series progressed, and I want the world to be consistent.
4) Publish books one through four in paper.
5) Write book five. The one I’ve wanted to write this whole time, but I’ve held off while I dutifully wrote the first four books of the series to lay ground work. This is the novel that’s been eating my brain for a decade. It’s going to be fun.