Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Which Way Should We turn? Ushering in the New Publishing Era…

As many of you may know, I've been pretty big on the thought of traditional publishing. I'm a fan of the Big 6, let me tell you! And in all honesty, it would be a total dream come true if I had one of my books published through them. It would be a dream come true if I had one of my books published traditionally, period… through an indie press or otherwise!

But as many of you also know, the publishing world is shifting… sort of tilting on its side right now. Getting "published" is not nearly as hard as it once was. Now we have e-readers that (to my chagrin) pretty much eliminate the need for paper books. (Not that they eliminate the want for paper… I will always be a paper lover, myself. There's nothing quite like opening a brand new, physical book to the smell of freshly printed ink on white or cream paper. Mm-mmm!)

Not only do we have the e-readers, but with the dawn of digitalized books, the way of the indie publisher has become much more traveled than it ever was before. The Self-Published are not as far down the reading list as they used to be. Once at the bottom of the proverbial publishing shark tank, now there are authors out there making more money, selling more books, churning out even more reading material a year, and gaining more fans much faster than they would have if they had gone a Big 6 rout. There're people like Amanda Hockings and Joe Konrath that pretty much make their living on just writing books. (Isn't that where we all want to be someday?) Then there's John Locke, an originally self-pubbed author who just signed with Simon & Schuster, and managed to do the seemingly impossible as well: hold on to his e-book rights. These people and many others have dipped their toes into the waters of Indie Authorship, and they've succeeded. Not only that but they've kept their rights: that's something that all authors wish for, but few actually see happen.

And then we have people closer to the Christian Publishing World and the genre's included in Christian Speculative fiction (the genres that interest me. ;D) . We have Jeff Gerke, who started his indie company Marcher Lord Press around the years of 2007 and 2008 in order to fill a niche market that he saw needed filling. Now his company is topping the list of indie publishers interested in Christian speculative fiction, and several MLP books have won awards in the Christian industry… we're talking the Christy, here, people: the highest award to be offered in Christian Fiction! Author, Jill Williamson, has already won two Christies for her Blood of Kings trilogy, and I know that several other books have been nominated in the past, as well as books that have been nominated for other awards. (I know there was another author that won a Christy, or who was at least nominated for one... hmmm...)

We also have Scott Appleton, who started his Indie Company, Flaming Pen Press, in order to publish his book, Swords of the Six, which sold over 3,000 copies in one year and went on to be picked up by AMG – one of the leading traditional publishers of Christian speculative fiction. He now has a contract through AMG for all seven books in his sword of the dragon series. FPP also published Kestrel's Midnight Song, the amazingly engaging fantasy written by 19 year old Jacob Parker. Kestrel's Midnight Song went on to receive a Children's Moonbeam Award and (if I remember correctly) also sold over 3,000 copies since its release last September. Now FPP is getting ready to release a new novella titled Out of Darkness Rising, written by the talented Gillian Adams. (And I mean talented here, people… I've read some of her work already. It's truly inspiring.) The novella is set to be released in the summer of 2012, and I know that it will be a success.

Next we have Port Yonder Press, run by Chila Woychik (I hope I spelled her name correctly) which strives to appeal to the artful, the literary, and the speculative. PYP is getting ready to release a new speculative work titled Dawnsinger, written by Janalyn Voigt. I've been looking into this book for a while, people… I'm totally stoked about reading it when it finally comes out! PYP has also released the book Sylvari: an Anthology of Elves in which one of our fellow teen writers, Christian Miles, is published and in which our very own Mirriam Neal has some of her beautiful illustrations displayed.

And of course we can't forget this new movement by Bestselling Christian Fiction authors Christopher Hopper, Wayne Thomas Batson, and the brothers Christopher and Allen Miller. They've decided to start a Writing/Publishing Guild titled Spearhead, in order to provide quality Christian Fiction for readers of all ages. They've given new meaning to the words "Indie Publishing" since they've set out to be independent together, and I just have to wonder where this movement will go? Already they are releasing books through their Guild… (I believe that one such book is titled "Mech-Mice" written by the Miller Brothers, and Wayne Thomas Batson's newest work "Ghost" is (or else soon will be) available through the guild as well, as will Christopher Hopper's latest book in his White Lion Chronicles.)

Then last but not least, we have Andrew Peterson and Rabbit Room Press. Andrew Peterson is an award winning Christian Songwriter who also writes Christian Middle-grade Fantasy. (I'm a fan of both his songs and his books!! :D) In the past, the first two books of his Wingfeather Saga have been released through Waterbrook Multnomah, a division of Random House. But just recently, Mr. Peterson released the third book in his series through his own company, Rabbit Room Press, and let me tell you… it's just as good if not better than the first two books! (Expect reviews of all three of his current books in September for the CSFF Blog Tour.) Just within the last month I was lucky enough to meet Mr. Peterson in person and ask him about his books. I said that I saw he had published The Monster in the Hollows through his own company, and I wondered why. His reaction was similar to Mr. Batson's blog post about the new Spearhead Guild: he'd published his book through his own company because he thought he could get it out to his readers faster and more efficiently than if he had to wait for another publisher to do the work. Besides that, he'd come to know the business and had sort of created his own brand, what with his song albums and his books taking over Christian America. Why not publish the book himself? (disclaimer: Those were not his exact words, but you get the gist. I can't remember exactly what he said, word for word… but I can lay down what I remembered of the conversation in my own words.)

Could it be made any clearer? The world of publishing is shifting severely. In my mind it's pretty well balanced out 50/50 at the moment between Indie Presses and other larger companies, where it used to be about 90/10… or perhaps an even smaller percentage for those who took on publishing by themselves. And everything is quickly tilting towards indie publishing and ebooks. Even for those who are opposed to the change, there's no stopping the advance. It's happening… all around us. Constantly. And now Borders, my favorite bookstore, is going out of business… mostly because of the rising success of e-books and the seemingly decreasing need for traditional bookstores. Amazon is taking over everything.

With all that in mind, I've started seriously rethinking some of my previously unwavering notions about becoming published. I'm still a firm believer in traditional publishing, paper-back books, the Big 6, and physical bookstores. But now I'm starting to see Independent publishing as a possible option as well. I've considered it before, of course (who hasn't?) but the idea is starting to grow on me more and more. I am just not sure anymore whether I want to pursue publication through traditional means (with a possible agent, and queries, and lots of waiting involved, and so on…) or whether I want to step up to the task, be the entrepreneur that I've always known myself to be, and start an Indie Press of my own.

I just don't know anymore. *shakes head* And it's quite conflicting.

However, I have been weighing the options. I've been asking myself the questions that need to be asked when it comes down to new businesses … How would I do it? What would it be called? Could I handle it? Who would be willing to step out with me? What about marketing? That sort of stuff.

My dad had his own business since before he married my mom. Granted, he was an artist, but then again, writing is a form of art too. And he became known throughout the states! (but don't look for him on the internet… he never was very web-savvy; his business took off simply through word-of-mouth and personal advertisement. We had rough times, but so does every other business. *shrug*)

I keep wondering that if my dad could do it and succeed, then why couldn't I? My mom and several other respected people that I know have always told me that they think I should go indie as well. I know I have the spirit for it, and the drive. I know that I'm the type of person who strives for success and perfection… and I never stop striving for it. (yes, I do know that about myself… it's a complicated knowledge, but it's what has kept me in Jr. College for 3 years and will keep me in Jr. College for another 2 before I transfer… Double major here. *points to self* <_< It's that drive that has also kept me rewriting my books until I feel that they are perfect… which also tends to drive me crazy. But in a good way. Lol! :D) I'm the type of person who can look at the impossible, see possibilities, and then I will try to make those possibilities happen.

So why couldn't I start an Indie Company? Why not? I've always known I'm supposed to work in publishing… I just
KNOW it. So why not?

I don't know the answer to that question yet, but I've decided that while I'm considering the options I will look at the problem through two different perspectives. I'm still rewriting SOTD, and I will continue to work on my query and cover letter as well, while also considering publishers and agents for both of my current WIPs as I work to stay up-to-date on the publishing news, markets, and venues. But I've also decided to think out a few things, just in case I do choose to go Indie. I thought I would post some of these thoughts here, and see what you, my readers, think of them. Perhaps you can give me your input to consider; advice and thoughts are always welcomed. I'm not saying it wouldn't be hard work… in fact, I quite expect it to be hard work. And should I plan to explore this option, I will definitely work hard at it. (And, hopefully, I won't be alone in my endeavor either… but I'll present those thoughts in a later post.) I'm just saying that I'm considering it.

First of all, if I went Indie I would want to publish other books, not just mine. I have a passion for creative writing, especially speculative fiction, and especially for the Middle-grade and YA. I know that this passion is real because every time I start to talk about it, something jerks around in my heart and I just want to start crying. My Grandma says that a person's true passion and calling will make them cry, so I know that this calling is real; I know that God has called me to write, and I know that no matter what, I will strive to keep writing and keep spreading His messages and my passions for as long as He allows. I want to be an encouragement to other writers and I want to spread my passion through my words (and I'm starting to think that my passion would touch more people and spread much farther and faster if it wasn't simply limited to only my writings and perhaps a traditional publisher… What if I could help other writers and authors who aspire for the same passions that I have? Wouldn't that be great?! *looks around, then clears throat* ahem…). I want to help other people understand the wonders that are waiting within the pages of a good book; I want to help people use their words to explore the wonders of the amazing, magnificent, breathtaking, ultimate possibilities revealed in God… because with Him, ALL things are possible! Not just some things, but ALL things. And I know that I could do just this by starting a company whose mission shares my passion. I've been thinking and praying about it a lot lately, and while nothing is really set in stone or decided yet, it's just starting to feel like this might be the right road after all.

Second of all, I've been thinking about branding and names. A company name must symbolize everything that the company represents. I think I would mostly be looking to publish speculative fiction (as that is my preferred genre), but I would also be open to looking at other forms of literary works such as poetry and creative essays and short stories for anthologies. I myself like to write poetry, creative essays, and short stories, so why would I try to exclude them?

But what sort of name can capture all of the eclectic marvels that make up the essence of Christian Speculative Fiction… while at the same time including opportunities for those poets and literary writers out there who share similar passions?

That's when I started to really think about the word "eclectic". When I think of "eclectic", for some strange reason a picture of a Magpie comes to mind. Those birds seem extremely eclectic to me; much like crows or ravens, they are always looking for shiny objects that they can take to their nests and keep as treasures and they are curious and not afraid of humans. But unlike crows and ravens, they don't have the symbol of evil hanging over their heads. Some people call them thieves, but if you really think about it, they are treasure-hunters. And as an Indie Press, that's what I would want my company to represent… not in the money sense, but in the essence of passion and words. There is a richness to a well told story that just cannot be denied. I would want to find those stories, polish them up, and let them shine. The only difference would be that instead of hiding the shinies away in my nest, I would want to spread them out to as many people as possible. It's only then that this zeal can be truly shared… when people are touched by the hand of God through the passion of a writer. And so, I've decided that if I ever do step up and take the mantle of an Indie Press (or perhaps I should say "when", as I would now claim that the idea is becoming more and more set in my heart), I would call my company "Magpie Publications", or something along those lines. It is the only brand name I've ever considered that actually feels right.

Third of all, I've been thinking about marketing. I know it would be a difficult obstacle, and perhaps the biggest hurdle that my company would face. Especially since I have not yet taken business or marketing in college. However, I also know that the resources are out there for those who have the drive to seek them out and use them, and I am willing to do the research. I know that I have that drive. It's what has kept me going as a young writer, it's what has made me look past the hardships of college and see the reward at the end, it's what will continue to drive me in life until my aspirations are appeased and I have created new goals, and then it will help me reach those new goals and beyond. It might be hard, but I already know that; nothing in life is made easy… nothing. And I don't give up easily; I know I have what it takes, and the doubts I might have whispering to my mind are not big enough to sate my thirst for truth, nor chain my dedication or God-given zeal. With God all things are possible; I just have to keep remembering that. Perhaps the marketing plan that I present in my query for SOTD can be built upon in order to create the perfect marketing plan for an Indie Company. *shrugs* Who knows? But the possibilities are limitless!

So what do you guys think? I know this was a pretty long post… one of the longest I think I've ever written… but if you've gotten this far and have any ideas on the subject, please let me know about them. I am very open to ideas right now. I'm not actually saying that I'm going to undertake this project soon… it may not happen for several years yet, (though I think it will happen eventually…). It's just been on my mind a lot lately and I thought I would share. What are your thoughts on the turn in publishing, or perhaps the changing market? What would you think about a new company such as the one I have envisioned above becoming a reality? What would you do? Feel free to share in the comments. :D



Colleen said...

What a cool idea! I say go for it. You have a lot of passion, and this is what you love. It wouldn't be easy, but I think you know that. You're extremely talented and your enthusiasm would do wonders for authors who would submit work to you. You would, however, have to be careful about how you selected what you wanted to publish. You're an awfully nice person and I think sometimes you'd have a hard time saying no! But that's a skill you can develop over time. The options are out there - and I fully believe you can make it happen. You've got the heart and talent for it.

Consider coming up with a team that might help you with the business - I think it'd be hard to go this route on your own!

Gillian Adams said...

Wow! Nichole! That is super exciting! I will be praying for you as you figure this out and decide whether this is the route God would have you take!

It would be a lot of hard work! But as someone who's written for a long time, you're not afraid of persevering when times get tough! :) I agree with Colleen that having a good supporting team would be very helpful, especially when it comes to rejecting/accepting manuscripts!

It's obvious that you have really thought this through and that this is something that is very close to your heart! I can't wait to see what you come up with!

John said...

Um, I wish I was a Christy nominee. My book with MLP hasn't been published yet, though. So unless you're getting some divine messages about the future (from your mouth to God's ear, LOL!), you're probably thinking of Marc Schooley. Or Kirk Outerbridge.

Star-Dreamer said...

John: AH! ^_^ It must be all the hype I've been following about your contract then. ;) I'm excited for you, and let me finally formally congratulate you as well. So CONGRATS!!

*goes to edit post*

Star-Dreamer said...

Colleen & Gillian: Absolutely. I would most certainly need a team for this.

And Colleen: You're right... <_< I can be too nice sometimes. (I'm told I get it from my mother...) I think I have a good idea about what makes a good story, and I know what I like to read... As far as submissions go, before anything was accepted I would have to be hooked on the query, and then if I like what I see, I might decide to request the full manuscript... (I would start by reading just the first three chapters, and continue on if those first chapters caught my interest).

(And of course, this would all happen in the future... not just yet. ;D)

The only thing is that I would definitely need several sets of eyes. I feel like I would be overwhelmed if I tried to take on the whole thing by myself. Maybe I could do it with just MY book, but it would probably be a different story if I opened it up for outside manuscripts (which is exactly what I want to do.) I wouldn't want to be bias or anything, and there are other aspects of the publishing world that I'm not so savvy with.

Any chance you might be interested, Colleen? ;)

Jill Williamson said...

I love your passion and drive, Nichole! It's people with vision and tenacity who succeed in God's perfect timing. And if over time you decided to do this, you certainly could succeed, as long as you respect this dream enough to put in the time to master all the things you would need to do—or learn how to hire the right people who already know how, if that makes sense.

My book with Zonderkidz hasn't come out yet, so ask me next year for a better comparison on indie versus traditional publishers.

I will say that many self-publishers or indie publishers fail because they don’t have the experience or they make poor choices in editing, covers, or marketing. You are an incredible artist, so I know without a doubt that your book covers would look amazing. I’m just now getting to know you, so I don’t know your major at school and haven’t read your writing or had you critique any of my writing, so I can’t comment on your editing skills. But it might be the professional editing and marketing that would be your biggest challenges starting off. Are you in a critique group? If not, I can help you find a good one.

I can’t speak for the other authors here, but a few that you mentioned were traditionally published first and have decided to start their own presses years later. But they have a fan base ready to buy whatever books they write, so that is a huge part of why they succeed. With Jeff Gerke, he didn’t have a fan base for Marcher Lord Press, but he had many years of editing experience from working at Christian publishing houses and some great contacts for covers and copyediting. So that helped him create a great product. And if you have a great product, the marketing isn’t as big of deal because word-of-mouth will sell the book.

So those are a few things to think about while you consider chasing this dream. I hope that helps some. Keep me posted on Magpie Publications, okay? I worked as an acquisitions editor for a while years ago, so I can share with you some other things that you would encounter as a publisher.

God bless!


Star-Dreamer said...

WOW Jill! That's some good insight you gave. I'm going to try and reply to everything you said (just because I can. ;D). This comment may get super long. <_< If so, please excuse my wordiness. :P

1) What you said about mastering the skills it takes for publication is absolutely right. That's partly why I know I'm not ready to jump into the process right now. I know there's so much I should learn first; I have a lot of research ahead of me before this dream can ever become a reality! :) I'm still learning how to build a solid online platform and presence. After all, I've only been at it now for about a year... maybe a year and a half. It's a very intriguing experience and process for sure, but I feel that I should be 100% confident in my abilities at online networking (or at least 90%) before I try to promote something that isn't mine, or something that isn't connected with me personally and emotionally. Hopefully my experience and abilities will continue to grow as I move into the future!

2) Your faith in my art is extremely inspiring. :) And quite humbling. I'm so very glad that you like it. ^_^ I still have much I want to learn, and I'm by no means what I would call a "master" yet... I've a long way to go and much to learn, by God's grace.

3)I'm double majoring in English and Music. (English for writing, editing, teaching, or working in publishing... trying to cover all my bases. I'll probably end up in Editing. Music for vocal performance and perhaps teaching.) :D Originally I was going to try to do a triple major and add Art or Graphic Design to my list of beloved subjects. I finally decided that I had better cut that down, and my dad was a professional artist for years so I can still take lessons from him (and they don't cost me a thing! ;D)

4) Professional editing and marketing will definitely be a challenge... but I believe that marketing will be the biggest obstacle. I really need to take business and marketing classes in college. I'll need to do that before I transfer. <_<

I'm not a professional editor for sure, but I think that editing is one of my stronger points. I also have a very, very good family friend who just happens to be a professional editor... and I have just now become a writing consultant at my school as. I'm so excited to see where God takes me on this trail of my life. ^_^

Star-Dreamer said...

5) The point you made about how most of the people that I mentioned above(authors and publishers alike) have been previously published or have worked in publishing and so have built a following is very, very valid. I've thought through that as well, and it's definitely one of the reasons that I'm not jumping into the creation of Magpie Publications right now. I haven't decided yet as to whether or not I will work to publish my book "Song of the Daystar" by myself, or continue to seek out other traditional and Indie routs. As of this moment, I'm still working to perfect my query and strengthen the manuscript, as well as my pitch. The improvements that the manuscript has undergone over the past year is like the difference between air and fire: I certainly wouldn't want to present anything less than my best! ^_^ And you are right, if I were to be published traditionally or through another indie company, It's likely I would build up a stronger fan base... and it would improve my social networking skills, as well as my experience within the publishing world. All of which must be taken into consideration.

6) Last but not least, writing critique circles. :) I'm forever searching for good critique groups. Currently, the only one I'm a member of is "critique circle" on the forums at writersdigest.com. I'm "star-dreamer" on the sci-fi/fantasy forum there. I also do some beta-reading on the side. I have several authors I'm reading for at the moment, including Robert and Adele Treskillard, Robert Mullin, and (now in the past) Brock Eastman (to whom I also gave an endorsement). As well as a few other online friends. My beta-partner is Adele Treskillard: we work together to help critique and strengthen each other's work. :)

And last year I was surprised by an unexpected honorable mention for a poem entered in a Writers' Digest Contest! I was like "WOW! How did this happen?" :D And I also have a few things published through the school literary journal.

It's all a journey, I guess, and one I absolutely look forward to. It won't be easy, but then again, no one ever said it would. And yet, I'd take the hardships and the experience over being handed the reward on a silver platter. There's some sense of accomplishment that comes with the work, and besides that, the work and the progress will help to keep you humble: it can only happen through God. :D I keep reminding myself that. That, and the fact that no matter how good I may feel I am, I could always strive to be better, so why settle now?

If you have any suggestions for critique groups, please do let me know! I would love to look into them! ^_^


Star-Dreamer said...

(Oh, and if you would ever like to read part of my WIP, let me know. But you know... that's totally up to you.) :D

Also, thank you for offering to help advise me when I actually get around to starting this. I know I'm still such a baby in what I know about the publishing world. I love to research it though! :D I will definitely take you up on that offer. ;)

Jacob R Parker said...

Hey Nichole,
I'm honored to be mentioned in this post. And I can tell you've been thinking about and researching this for quite some time.

It's certainly an exciting time to be in the publishing industry, isn't it?

I've thought about self-publishing, too. It's tempting because:

A) You don't have to share your profits with a publisher.

B) You get complete control over the content, packaging, and marketing of your book.

C) Entrepreneurship is very exciting and adventuresome.

I thought it would be relevant to share a link to a blog post I found the other day. It was so gratifying to me because I feel it hits the ebook issue on the head: http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2011/03/amanda-hocking-and-99-cent-kindle.html

Other than that, the only thing I can offer to this discussion is some things I've learned from my own indie publishing experience.

First, my kindle sales aren't great. I average about 17 ebook sales a month, which comes to $35, or a sales rank generally ranging from 30,000 to 120,000. It seems to me that, currently, the indie ebooks making it big are all in the Adult Thriller/Horror, Adult Fantasy/Sci-fi, or Romance genre. That could change quickly, though.

Second, I'm not sure if you would be pursuing print distribution with Magpie Publications or not, but I ran into quite a few pitfalls on that side of things that you might find helpful to hear about as you plan your publishing house.

A) Almost all of my sales have been through book signings. I often joke that the unsigned copies of Kestrel's Midnight Song will someday be worth more than the signed copies because they'll be more rare.

B) Book events, in my experience, are a nightmare to set up. A signing at my local Borders involved an estimated five phone calls and six store visits to set up and get paid. In nearly every signing where I sold books on consignment through a bookstore, I haven't been paid. Costco was a dream to work with, but it was really a surprise and a blessing in the way that came about. And Costco returns a lot of books, which brings me to...

B) Without the distribution, warehousing, and print run power that big traditional publishers have, returns can be a financial killer, which is why nearly all indie publishers don't offer returns and stay out of print distribution altogether.

With all the time and money I've put into promoting Kestrel's Midnight Song, I would actually be thousands of dollars in debt if I didn't have the blessing of being able to stay at my parents' house when I'm not traveling. My hope is that my hard work will result in a traditional contract with a big publisher for my next book.

But I have my eye on ebooks and indie publishing. And I will be watching Magpie Publications with much interest and cheering.

Star-Dreamer said...

Jacob: Wow! great insight. The information you provided is definitely something to mull over. And, of course, what better way to learn about the ins and outs of such things than to talk to another author who HAS been published? I'm gonna have to find more people to talk to... I'm just plumb full of questions. :D It is definitely an exciting time for publishing.

Hmmm.... adult genres. That's very interesting. I thought the YA and Middle Grade market were totally booming right now. But then again, I can see how that might be a slight misconception. It is getting quite a bit more difficult to find YA titles that don't have anything to do with vampire love triangles and so on. It's so interesting to watch the market shift. Whenever this dream takes off (future years, lol!) I would probably publish things in the range from Middle Grade to Adult, depending on the content of course. Right now my reading centers mostly around YA, but I have found amazing titles in the other age ranges as well.

Print publication... hmmm... I was thinking of perhaps working with some print books. Yes. But they would be POD, for the most part. I would strive to get some books into a few physical bookstores (I don't know how much I could do right now for getting physical copies into stores the nation over, but I could start with my area bookstores. It would be something anyway. And the author could work in their area as well.), and of course I'd be working online: Barnes and Nobles, Berean, Borders (I believe they still plan on running a website for their books, even though their physical stores are now dying...), Amazon...

I would start out small, of course, and build up. It's no good trying to start large and then suddenly discovering that I can't handle the work. :P Sales would be small, I'm sure... at least at first. That's expected. But it would be movement. That's how I keep looking at it. :) Any movement forward is better than none at all... much better than a step backwards!! (That's a funny bit you gave about the worth of your unsigned copies! :D loved it!)

Star-Dreamer said...

Book events: yes, I can definitely see how that would be stressful. Lots of gas and time involved. And I suppose that sometimes the return is not nearly as great as the author might hope. <_< I can understand that.

But even with very, very little return... it's still promotion. People will see you. Whether they remember you or not, they will see you. The hard part will be getting them to remember and then come back, or better yet, getting them to pick up a copy of the book and buy it!! Like I said, there's going to be tons of work and thinking involved before I'll feel anywhere near confident enough to launch the company. I have a few ideas that will go towards that particular avenue of promotion, but while they look great on paper, my theories aren't tested yet. We'll have to wait and see.

And working with consignment might cause some difficulties, I'll admit... I'll have to think about that one. My idea is that the company will be based mostly online, but my hope is also to be able to get a few books into stores... not too many at a time, but at least get some titles out there on shelves. I'm sure with time, good advice, and lots of thinking, something will eventually come up... some brilliant idea... that would take care of that problem. But it will definitely take some thought. (I wonder how I might be able to look into warehousing and distribution? Print-run power can be worked with... I live about 40min from Versa-Press, where Brock Eastman's book "taken" was printed, and my good, good friend's son works there. Who knows... it's very complicated, I'm sure. Loop-holes all the way. lol!)

I would probably be working at another job at the same time. If I can balance out one job, all my classes, and my volunteer time, plus writing, art and commissions, not to mention social networking/platform-building/online presence, yet still feel like I'm in for the count, I can figure out how to manage time around opening a business. lol! ;) I'll probably wait until I'm out of school though... or at least until I transfer. And I hope to build a team that will help me open and keep the company afloat. That will be essential. Who knows... I may come back to you later and see what you would think of becoming part of such a team. *shrug* It's not happening just yet of course, but I will eventually need to take that step in future years and start inquiring towards interested parties who would be willing to take a risk. I guess we'll just have to wait and see. :D

And thank you for your enthusiasm and cheering. Cheering is always good. :D

Adele Treskillard said...

Nichole, if that's what your dream is, keep on figuring it out, and you'll get there someday! :D If so, I look very forward to seeing the creation of Magpie Eclectic Press!

Yo' beta,


Star-Dreamer said...

*Hugs Adele* Let me just say now that you are awesome and thank you. ^_^

Philip Nelson said...

I like the reasoning behind the name "Magpie". Reminds me of the scripture about treasure hid in the sands (in this case, sands meaning people). In a sense, that's the story of history, of God looking for treasure in people.

Anonymous said...

I'm not entrepreneur and I'm new to the other side of publishing (so I have no advice for you there :)).

But my view of publishing changed as I watched the publishing world evolve. I was like you, wanted to be published by a big company. But as the years went by, I realized my readers did not buy those books (I write Christian fantasy for the adult market). My readers were looking online or other places for their books, not in traditional bookstores (and certainly not Christian book stores).

So that is what made me change my mind on what publishing houses to query. I wanted a publisher who was going after my readers.

I think what Jill said above is true: put out a good product (good story, good edits, and an excellent cover because yes, people judge a book by its cover). Then with a little marketing and word of mouth, the book will take off.

Jake said...

Hey, Jacob—*I* have an unsigned copy of Kestrel's Midnight Song. *Bwahahahahaha*

*ahem* Sorry to interrupt the conversation...

Anyhow. I'll be praying for you and your decision on this. :) Good luck to you, and may God guide you wherever this takes you!

Personally, I think I'll at least try the traditional publishing route, if I ever consider my work good enough to publish. (Being a perfectionist is hard sometimes. >_>) I'm not really in it for the money, anyway. If I can get my book to readers and hopefully impact them, I wouldn't trade all the money in the world for that.

Star-Dreamer said...

*Nods to Jake* Yeah, I know what you mean. :P I'm a perfectionist too. lol! Actually, it's a little strange, I guess, but I think that might be partially why I'm thinking of creating a publishing company... I don't know. *shrug* Self publication allows control and specifics...

However, I think I'm still going to try for traditional publishing first with SOTD. I'm not quite ready to start Magpie Publications, (or Magpie Eclectic Press, or whatever the name will end up being. ;D) For right now I think the best option for me is to learn as much as I can about the publishing world, and I truly think one of the best ways to start is to get published traditionally... or at least through another indie press, so that I can feel what it's like. :)

Lisa Rose said...

That is a great dream, Nichole! You definitely have the passion for it and your tenaciousness will definitely be an asset when you eventually try to start Magpie up.

Who knows, when you do decide to start it up there could be a totally new technology available anyway. Good luck!


Star-Dreamer said...

Ah, thanks Stratton! ^_^ You are absolutely right, of course. Technology is changing so fast around here, it's almost pointless to buy something new because the minute you do, there will be something better to replace it. I just continue to hope and pray that when the time is right, I'll know what to do and be equipped properly to do it. Your encouraging words are always such a blessing, so thank you very much! ^_^


Anonymous said...

My humble opinion for new writers...

If I remember correctly, 50% of all book sales are in the Romance genre.

So, combine what ever you're writing with romance.

Like a YA Paranormal vampire Romance... oh wait that was Twighlight, heehee.

But seriously, the series did sell really well. And Amanda Hocking looks like a YA Paranormal Romance author.


I'm not an author and have never sold a story. :(

So take my advice at your own discretion.