Working With Publishers
(Trying again – Multiply ate my first entry.)
So, I’m still researching the whole publication situation off and on. Self publication costs money up front (unless you do print on demand, and with the exception of a few places, I’m seeing a lot of bad articles and reviews on them), or traditional publication. Traditional costs nothing up front, and you get a little cash, but damn – the royalty situation is bad (which is usually the case with most things that are based upon royalties – they always find a way to fuck you out of it, and just leave you with the advance.) Self Publishing you pay up front, but, the payback per copy is good.
The book it just too damned nitch for traditional publication in my opinion, but I also don’t feel like paying $800 up front for a good publishing company (by my calculations, I’d have to have 100 books sold to make that back. I’ll be lucky if I sell 50.)
Which leaves me stuck.
So I began thinking it through, what all the “other” options are, and what they would require. One option I had thought of was writting an iPhone app, and sell the book on the iPhone and through the Kendal DTP channel. (I also have identified and figured out more channels to do it – with exception of physical publication of a bound book, getting stuff on virtual shelves is pretty easy. Then again… I’ve done the same thing with video games, so it’s not new territory for me.)
This got me to thinking, and I thew an email to a self-publishing group that I made a semi-random connection at. She’s one of the marketing people – she’s not PUSHING me to publish with them, but, has thrown me information about them and let me make up my own mind. Good approach, really. So, I asked her how they were handling electronic distribution – and they were basically just testing the waters at the moment.
So I wrote up an “Hey, I got this idea that might benefit both of us” type thing – I’m planning on writing an iPhone app that’s just a wrapper for my book to sell it through the AppStore. Not a NEW idea, but, one that hasn’t been done to death yet on there. So far Apple has reported 300,000,000 downloads through the AppStore – considering there are only 10,000 applications in there at the moment, the visibility is HIGH still. (The AppStore has turned some developers into multi-millionaires already. Impressive selling power.)
She loved the idea – and gave me the contact to the CEO of the company to pitch a proposal to. Since it was a busy weekend, it sort of sat until Monday rolled around – I got a message from her: “The electronic distribution discussion is starting up within the company again – today would be an excellent day to send in your proposal!”
So I did of course. The CEO was interested, and passed it on to the team who’s job it is now to analyze the market and decide on all their options. The proposal kept the cost per book low, and dipped instead into longer term revenue streams.
Even if they don’t go for it, I now have an approach for attacking other publishers with the same questions 🙂
Figures – I may not make jack off the book, but, it looks like it could still result in some new opportunities. Lord knows I could use some 🙂
Facebook & Twitter
I’ve had an account on Twitter for ages, and didn’t do much with either. When I started writing The Story of Gamer Zone as a blog, it auto-posted the section names to Twitter, just so people could keep track of new entries. A few people here and there began following me.
Just recently, someone tapped me about doing another Social Networking site. So I figured I needed to pull out the Facebook account and get the full experience of it. Eventually I bonded the Twitter and Facebook accounts together a bit – my latest Tweet on Twitter appears as my Facebook status.
Then the right person found me on Twitter – she apparently tracks all the people who have Twitter accounts in Wichita. After chatting with her for a few days, she pulled a “Hey – everyone follow @MidnightRyder – he’s funny and intelligent!” Which resulted in more people following me.
A large number of them have Facebook profiles too (that seems to go hand in hand for some reason), so now I’ve got a growing number of people on Facebook too.
Twitter is odd – it’s like a continuous drip of Elysian Fields chat. No kidding. It comes in just a bit slower, like one bit of conversation stream every 5 minutes. It’s very “selective” – unlike EF where you had to listen to just about everyone that walked in, you select who you bother listening to (though sometimes you end up with one side of a conversation 🙂 I’ve got Twitteriffic with Growl notification turned on, so the chats just pop up on the left hand corner of the screen, which means it doesn’t affect my workflow unless I want to respond.
And with Twitter comes an idea that was sort of like the old EF days – Tweet-ups are where the Tweets (er, people who use Twitter) meet up in person from time to time. I got invited to a Christmas Tweetup, and decided – fuck it, it’s time to meet new people.
The first problem with a Tweetup was that I’m a n00b – I know no one in person, just online. Given that I’ve had my odd social anxiety issues lately, getting into the swing of things wasn’t particularly easy for me. I was a wall flower for nearly an hour – only talking to people who talked to me first. Eventually I started talking to people and having fun.
The crowd there was all Twitter people, held at someone’s local house (Fucking gorgeous house I might add – very artsy.) The gal that told me about the party was right – all of them were tech savy (but not all techies by trade), professionals (well, almost all), and intelligent. So I ended up meeting a lot of people, and possibly making some more business connections. There were people from The Eagle, various news outlets (including Anita Cochran), web developers, artists, just… a really interesting mix of everything. Even the competitors to Fountain Street Productions, one of my paid projects.
All things considered, I’ll be doing that on a more frequent basis.
Oh, and did I happen to mention – there are also single females of the right age group there 🙂
No matter what I do, I’m going to end up having to promote the book a bit. I’m not going to put ten tons of effort into it (unless it sells copies faster than I expected – then I’ll re-valuate that).
I’m going to use my Facebook and MySpace account as part of that piece of promotional effort, and use Facebook as a bit of connection point with the people I’ve met on Twitter so far. I’m going to “sanitize” my MySpace account, and remove all the blog entries that currently exist there – it’s going to move to all project type stuff.
All the friends I’d want to share my blogging-life with are here on Multiply. So, just in case one of the book projects actually takes off, I’m going to hide my Multiply stuff a bit – the account will become private to my contacts and immediate network, and all the blog entries will be set to the same thing. Basically, I’m going to put up a bit of a firewall around my personal life. If I become good friends with someone from the Twitter crowd, I might invite ’em to Multiply to keep up with the blog entries on here if they want. But for what is probably the first time, I’m going to make my private blogs private.
Heck, I might even change the blog name and a few other things, just to make it fall off the radar when someone looks for me 🙂