Rob Palmer (robpalmer.com), a writer and e-publisher, gave an interesting and inspiring talk on how to write and self-publish best-selling books. Starting by pointing out successful authors such as J.A.Konrath, Amanda Hocking and Barry Eisler, who have done it on their own, he gave us the following facts to ponder. Following the traditional publishing plan, nets authors, on average, about 7% of revenue, whereas a self-publisher of an e-book will net about 70% of revenue. E-books are a growing, and already large, market, which traditional publishers have so far failed to come to terms with. A self-published e-book will never go out of print on a publisher's whim and can provide a long-term income stream.
Rob recommended getting started by using Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) (kdp.amazon.com)which allows writers to self-publish their books and make them available on Kindle, iPad, iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Mac, and PC. Publishing is simple and can be done in 12 hours. According to Rob, it is worth concentrating on Amazon, which is responsible for 90-95% of sales, and KDP is simpler to use than other systems. A writer needs to get onto KDP, submit the book in Word format, get a good cover designed, add the book as a new title and submit it. The system works equally well for fiction and non-fiction books
Rob suggested that fiction books often sell well if they are part of a series. A writer can sell the first one relatively cheaply, in the expectation that readers will want to read further books, which can be more expensive. However, as readers tend to equate price with quality, books should not be too cheap. It is good practice to ensure the formatting is correct and that the book has been proof-read. Then it needs a compelling product description, a strong hook in the first chapter or two, a great, Kindle friendly, cover (square with colour and legible, attention-grabbing, title etc). After that it is a case of getting Amazon recommendations, and promoting the book.
In Rob's experience, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Google, and YouTube are not very effective. However the KDP Select Programme is, as it leads to better Amazon ratings. Other sites which are of value are Author Central (authorcentral.amazon.co.uk), Goodreads (goodreads.com), WeRead (weread.com) and Shelfari (shelfari.com).
Beyond e-books, Rob suggested CreateSpace (createspace.com) as a good and simple method of printing books on demand. In this case, print rights, translation rights and media rights stay with the author.
Rob has a number of books (for self help and publishing guides, see amazon.co.uk/Rob-Palmer/e/B007ZWDUBW), including:
No More Rejections! How To Write and Publish Your Own Fiction Profitably, Quickly and Easily...and Become a Bestselling Author Almost Overnight (How To Make Money With eBooks) amazon.co.uk/Rejections-Profitably-Easily-Bestselling-ebook/dp/B006Z22B8Q/ref=la_B007ZWDUBW_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1364762442&sr=1-7
How to Make Quick and Easy Money With eBooks - Even If You Can't Write and Can't Spell amazon.co.uk/Make-Quick-Money-eBooks-ebook/dp/B006WDIVCI/ref=la_B007ZWDUBW_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1364762507&sr=1-8
He also has a novel The Lovers from Hell, available from Amazon amazon.co.uk/The-Lover-Hell-Murder-ebook/dp/B00ARJOGBI, or from his website robpalmer.com/books/.
After we all had time to get a hot drink (it was a freezing night), the second part of the evening was an open mic with David Bailey (actor and writer), Howard Timms (writer and performer) and me reading, when our teeth stopped chattering long enough.
The next Writers in the Brewery events are on the last Thursday of each month, doors open 7pm for a 7:30pm start and 9:00pm finish. Price £4, which goes to the venue, New Brewery Arts (as does the bar money), so please also support the raffle which helps with the expenses of the speakers/performers. Events are organized by, creative writing teaching, Dr Rona Laycock.
- Thursday 25 April
2013 - Poets, artists and musicians John Gibbens and Armorel Weston, followed by
open mic. Check them out on myspace myspace.com/thechildrenofalbion. Find out more about Armorel
at touched.co.uk/phono/armorelweston.html and more from
John's collaboration with Armorel as The Children touched.co.uk/phono/children.html.
- Thursday 30 May 2013
- 30 minute creative wriing workshop, followed by an open mic.
- Thursday 27 June 2013 - Howard Timms will perform his solo play Let the Lady Sing. He is Playwriter at Chicago Dramatists, member of the Cheltenham Everyman Writers Lab and Cheltenham Playhouse Theatre Co, co-founder of Playhouse New Drama.Find out more about Howard on the Playhouse New Drama site howardtimmswritesite.com/
For more about Writers in the Brewery see the New Brewery Arts website newbreweryarts.org.uk/courses-events-and-groups/join-a-group/writers-in-the-brewery-c-453_312_361.html
And don't forget it is World Book Night soon on 23 April 2013 worldbooknight.org/