Yesterday, after months of planning and ironing out distribution deals, I happily explaining to my husband that my debut novel would soon be available for sale everywhere that people buy books. He smiled and said, "Oh, so you're in bookstores now?", to which I answered, "No, I meant everywhere that people buy books online." That got me thinking...
The week had started off to be pretty satisfying. I had finally worked out all my distribution agreements and had an impressive list of e-tailers that would be selling my ebook.
Amazon in Canada, USA, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Brazil, Spain, and India; as well as Smashwords, Sony, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple, Deisel, Page Foundry, Baker & Taylor and 360, and Library Direct. The paperback version would only be available for order from Createspace/Amazon.
The more I prepared for my ebook launch, the more I distanced myself from the paperback version. I don't think this is a unique situation for an independent publisher to find themselves in, especially in today's transforming book publishing industry. But my husband's comment did make me do a second take on my poor little orphan paperback book. How was I going to set it free in the world to have it's own life?
So I did some soul searching, which included staring at the massive business plan I'd written on my wall to keep me focused, and I re-read my company mission statement: an independent e-publishing company.
Yes, this is where the transformation is happening and this is where I want to put my stake in the ground and carve out a little niche for myself. I don't want to forget about my little paperback book--print books are still very important and quite enjoyable to read--but it's an expensive model. It's a serious administrative and financial burden for indie publishers to print, ship, distribute to stores, and then handle all the returns of paperback/hardcopy books.
(ps. For those of you who follow my blog, you'll see that this wall strategy, divided into the categories of publish, write, and monitize, now covers the previous three pink circles that used to be my wall strategy. What's next? A tent over my house? ha!)
So I was right! Keep my eye on the prize for online sales. The print version of my book will still be available for order through CreateSpace/Amazon, and in a few bookstores in my local market, but that's it! My paperback will have a nice little place in this world, while I maintain focus on international ebook sales.
That is my strategy. And as y'all know, I will definitely be reporting back on my progress and sales, and of course, constantly learning and adjusting as I go!
Stacey D. Atkinson is preparing to release her debut novel Stuck via the independent company Mirror Image Publishing.