Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Guest Post by Ann Voss Peterson

Three years ago, I had an idea for a spy novel. One that had a cold-as-ice female assassin, and more action in it than three other thrillers combined.

The problem was I didn't have time to write it. I was too busy with other projects, and couldn't devote the attention to the project that it needed.

Then last year I had an epiphany. Instead of writing it on my own, I could do a rough outline, find a collaborator, and we could both write the book.

I hunted around for the perfect partner for a while before approaching my friend, Ann Voss Peterson. Ann knew how much I was earning with ebooks (hell, everyone knows how much I'm earning with ebooks), and after plying her with liquor she agreed to co-write FLEE.

If all goes well, it will be released as an ebook and a print book at the end of March. Here's the Carl Graves cover (click on it to make it larger and read the back jacket copy.)

The cover image is taken from a pivotal scene in the novel. Set in Chicago, the hero is chased to the iconic Hancock Building and gets into a firefight in the Signature Room on the 95th floor. Windows are blown out, and she falls.

The tagline is, "If the adrenaline doesn't kill you, she will."

I'm extremely happy with how the book is going so far. It's like James Bond on steroids, loaded with firefights, sex, violence, double-crosses, narrow escapes, and faster pacing than any other book ever written. No bullshit.

Ann and I are doing a 50/50 split on all royalties, and if the book sells modestly there will be more to come.

While writing FLEE, I began to pester Ann to get a short story up on Kindle, and...

Well, I'll let her tell it.

Ann: Wild Night Is Calling started as a slightly strange thriller short story I wrote last year. I mentioned it to Joe, and he had the crazy idea of writing a companion piece to it and self-publishing them together. And since he’s Joe Konrath, he kept after me until I agreed. And I have to say, I love the result. Here's the ultra-brief synopsis:

Wisconsin.

Summer.

Late at night.

Two teenage girls are picked up by two boys, who invite them back to their place to party. But an innocent mistake turns the party into a nightmare, where nothing is what it seems...

Wild Night is a 5000 word short available for 99 cents on Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, and coming soon to other ereaders.

The ebook also contains the first few pages of FLEE, which is going to be released in March or April, depending on how fast Joe can write.

Joe: I can write pretty fast, but I'm taking my time with FLEE. It's special. I haven't felt this way about a story since I wrote Whiskey Sour back in 2002. I really dig the main character, the set-up, and the ridiculous amount of energy this book has.

Ann: FLEE is very high-octane. It’s the kind of story that should be made into a star vehicle for Angelina Jolie, if her star vehicles were this good. Seriously, the story is non-stop action and conflict layered upon conflict.

Joe sprang this idea on me as we were carpooling to Bouchercon. Neither of us had time to work on it until recently, but it’s been a blast to write. I’ve always had a bit of a tendency to write dark and action-heavy romantic suspense, something I’ve tried to control in my Harlequins. In FLEE, I’ve been able to let loose.

Joe: We should talk about your writing background. And by "we" I mean "you."

Ann: I got my start writing and publishing books at the age of six. They had very marketable construction paper covers and featured hooky premises like saving my best friend from being eaten by goblins. But even with that background, I turned my back on genre fiction in college and became a literary snob, like any good English major. I read the classics and wrote short stories about characters with deep, absorbing problems that they couldn’t quite identify. I earned A's, and although I didn’t yet understand how to weave a compelling story, I did learn a lot about word craft and how to use criticism to improve my work.

After earning my Bachelor’s degree, I turned down graduate school in favor of living life. I tended bar, traveled around the country as a horse show groom and started my own window washing business. It wasn’t until my husband the DJ began a feature on his morning radio show called “Romance Novel Theater,” that I considered reading a romance (I didn’t realize Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters wrote romance). And when I discovered there were romance novels that featured suspense storylines, I knew I’d found what I wanted to write.

I soon discovered that writing romance wasn’t easy, especially without having read much of it. So I read like crazy and wrote three complete romantic suspense manuscripts before I felt I had anything good enough to submit. I sold the third manuscript to Harlequin’s Intrigue line, and it was published in 2000. My 25th book for Harlequin will be released in November. Many have won awards, including the Daphne du Maurier award for series romantic suspense, and I have around 3 million books in print all over the world. My most recent release hit number one on the Borders Bestsellers List for series romance.

Joe: JA's First Rule of Collaboration is: Try to team up with someone who sells more books than you do. 3 million certainly qualifies.

I'll confess that I'm pretty geeked about FLEE, and I have a feeling readers will like it. I pride myself on writing fast-paced books, but this one makes much of my earlier stuff look tame. FLEE starts pretty quick, then keeps picking up speed for 300 pages.

Until FLEE comes out, I encourage romance readers to check out Ann's books, and thriller readers to check out Wild Night Is Calling. If you were ever a fan of the old TV show Alfred Hitchcock Presents, you'll see immediately what Ann and I were trying to do with Wild Night.

Anyone who buys a copy of Wild Night is Calling will get a free copy of FLEE for free, in the ereader format of their choice. Just email me at joekonrath(at)comcast(dot)net with the header FREE FLEE. To prove you bought Wild Night, write the last line of the story in your email.

If you can follow those easy instructions, I'll send you a free copy of FLEE a week before it goes on sale. You'll be the envy of all your friends, and get to brag that you're super-special buddies with two bestselling authors.

And if anyone has questions about what it's like to work for a giant publisher like Harlequin, or why Ann is beginning to self-publish ebooks, please post them for her in the comments section.

Some questions might include:

Is writing series romance lucrative?

What's it like working with Konrath?

Do you think ebooks are the future?

Are you selling any of those construction paper books on your website?

Come to think of it, I'd like to know the answers to these myself...

140 comments:

Archangel said...

Ann, congratulations and will look forward to reading the annjoe series... it will be a series, perhaps, right?

I love the construction paper books a child thought to make. Sometimes, some children show their callings early.

Good luck, love that it's set in Chi town.

dr cpe

anthony newman said...

Sounds awesome. Two or more people writing a novel is a great idea. I liked how Serial was done and maybe will trigger a new wave of authors collabing(is that a word?)on new projects. Good luck and I hope you two make millions with your Flee novel.

Andy Conway said...

That's a fantastic cover. One of the best self pubbed ebook covers I've seen.

Michael said...

That's a great cover, one of the best I've seen in some time.

Heather Hildenbrand said...

Ann- okay I DO want to ask one of Konrath's suggestion questions.
How did you go from trad. publishing romance to collaborating with Konrath? wow, the way i asked that made it seem like you lowered your standards. oops. Not what I meant. Haha, joe. Seriously, though. Can you tell us about that? Did Joe just wear you down and you relented or is there a bigger reason? Thanks for the post. Am looking forward to FLEE!


www.heatherhildenbrand.blogspot.com

Jonah Gibson said...

Fantastic cover on Flee! Evokes the frenetic action you've promised inside. Can't wait.

Mike Dennis said...

Good post, Ann. I'd be curious to know how well your first Harlequin book sold back in 2000. And have any of your Harlequins sold well as ebooks?

MIlton Bagby said...

Ann -- You've already got a following. Although Konrath says a fan base doesn't count for much, it must count for something. Are you thinking of leaving Legacy publishing and going all self pub?

Coolkayaker1 said...

Am I the only one that gets it--Ann and Joe are giving away Flee for free if someone buys the short story for 99 cents? OMG!

I assume Flee would be on Kindle format... if one was to buy the short story in Kindle format?

Nice offer, honestly

Coolkayaker1 said...

Ann—I see in your photos that you are hob-knobbing with gazillion selling MD author Tess Gerritsen (she of NYT Bestsellers, and now the TV show Rizzoli and Isles).

Question: if one were to seek the success of Tess, would they still be prudent now (March 2011) to self-pubb/e-pub? Even with the royalties of e-pubbing versus traditional publishing being lopsided, I wonder if Tess would be as lucrative if self-epubbing were her only conduit to readers.

Thoughts, since you are living it on both sides. Thanks.

Réussie Miliardario said...

Good morning, Ann and Joe.

I just purchased the teen short, Wild Night is Calling. I'm a teen fiction writer so my mind lit when I saw the post. My three year old is twirling in ballerina bliss right now to Vivaldi in the living room, so after the encore, I hope to read it. If I like it, I'll have to let you know. Infinite success to you both.

Joe Konrath said...

I just purchased the teen short,

I don't think the short qualifies as YA writing, even though it has teens in it. Ann's half is a bit...um...kinder than mine is.

Guido Henkel said...

Just wanted to say real quick that I love the cover for "Flee."

Ann Voss Peterson said...

Thanks for the welcome, everyone!

"How did you go from trad. publishing romance to collaborating with Konrath?"

Heather-- When Joe brought FLEE to me, we weren't initially talking about self-publishing it. That changed as his self-published books took off. I wanted to work with Joe because I've been writing romantic suspense for ten years and thought it would be fun to do something different. And I loved the story. It's really that simple.

Mike-- My first Harlequin Intrigue sold very well, close to 200,000 copies. It was also reprinted a couple of years ago. Only eight of my books have been released as e-books so far. The numbers are climbing steadily, but the vast majority of my sales are mass market paperback.

"Are you thinking of leaving Legacy publishing and going all self pub?"

Milton-- I don't have to make that choice. Isn't that cool? Right now I'm happy doing both. My 25th Harlequin will be out in November.

Ann Voss Peterson said...

"I don't think the short qualifies as YA writing, even though it has teens in it. Ann's half is a bit...um...kinder than mine is."

Definitely not YA.

And that's because I'm kinder than you are, Joe. ;)

Donna Ball said...

Ann, I'd love to know the answers to any of the proposed questions, but here's another: Have you considered self-publishing romance for e-books, and would you expect the same kinds of sales you're getting from Harlequin if you did? I made a very lucrative living during the 90s writing for Harlequin, but notice the most successful self-pubbed e-books today seem to be thrillers or YA.

FLEE sounds great, and so does WILD NIGHT. Best of luck with both!

Ann Voss Peterson said...

Coolkayaker1--

Tess Gerritsen is one of my favorite authors. In fact, she is a big reason I started writing for Harlequin's Intrigue line, since that's where I discovered her books (she used to write romantic suspense years ago). She writes fantastic books.

Right now books that are traditionally published to the extent Tess's are (NYT bestseller)sell more copies. That's a fact. Things are changing fast so none of us really know what will happen in the future.

That probably seems like a non answer, but it's the best I can do.

Jason said...

I want to echo the praise for the FLEE cover. One of the very best I've ever seen on any book...e or non-e. You can tell at a glance exactly what kind of book it is, that the main character is a (kick-ass) woman who is the target of many, that it's based in Chicago... Wow.

The average writer just can't get this kind of a quality cover by doing it without pro-help in PowerPoint or Photoshop. I mean, a decent cover can be made, but it's not just the same as hiring a pro. Because 99% of what you're paying for with a good pro is the *artistry*.

The concept and delivery of this cover is simply stellar. Good luck with the book Ann & Joe!

Deep Rough said...

Joe, you ALWAYS give us #'s. How well is Wild Night is Calling selling? And maybe a blog tomorrow with how many you sold after this promotion??
Good Luck!

Ann Voss Peterson said...

"Have you considered self-publishing romance for e-books, and would you expect the same kinds of sales you're getting from Harlequin if you did?"

Donna-- I've really enjoyed writing for Harlequin, and I don't know much about self published e-book sales for romance. But I can tell you this: Harlequin sells a lot of copies, but the royalty an author receives on each copy is small. So a self-published book could sell a lot fewer copies than Harlequin does and yet make more money for the author. So comparing numbers of books sold isn't the same as comparing amount of money made.

Joe Konrath said...

How well is Wild Night is Calling selling?

It really only launched yesterday, due to a glitch in Amazon's system, so I won't know for sure for a month or so. It's a fun, twisted story that should eventually find its audience.

Joe Konrath said...

Right now books that are traditionally published to the extent Tess's are (NYT bestseller)sell more copies

Actually, no.

Right now I'm selling 820 copies a day of The List. That's enough to get me on the NYT extended list (based on others I've seen with similar numbers, like Vicki Leiski and Nancy Johnson.)

I'm at #35 right now. John Locke, at #1, is selling 6000 copies a day. That pretty much beats anyone, even many major print bestsellers.

Edie Ramer said...

Ann and Joe, very cool! That's a great cover, and I love the idea of the premise. This sounds like a bestseller to me!

Ann Voss Peterson said...

If you're interested in traditional and e-pub (not self pub)numbers for romance and YA romance, author Brenda Hiatt compiles statistics every year. This is a lot more useful than an individual author's numbers, although note how many authors responded to her survey for each line and keep in mind that these numbers are averages.

http://www.brendahiatt.com/id2.html

Lori Devoti said...

Yay, Ann!
That is all. ;-)
Lori
Ann Fan

Ann Voss Peterson said...

But Joe, Tess hits the top ten. And she's in all the big box stores. That's a lot of books.

Kendall Swan said...

Just last night, after I finished reading Wild Night, I was thinking, "Joe needs a really good romance author to guest post. And then I wake up this morning to this post. Wow. Prolific, money-burning author AND psychic.

Wild Night had great twists and was extra, extra creepy. But I really loved the excerpt of FLEE. GREAT action writing. Can't wait to read the whole book.

Kendall Swan
NAKED Cheerleader and Other Stories

Jamie D. said...

I read Joe's post last week(?) about short stories. Having already started writing them in another genre with the same basic packaging ideas, I decided maybe I'd see about doing some thriller shorts, so I went to buy some so I could get a feel for the short format. Looked up "thriller short stories" on Amazon, and "Wild Night" pops up. I'm thinking to myself, "Why haven't I heard about this on Joe's blog?" And what do you know...here it is. :-)

Naturally I bought it immediately - it's a seriously excellent and chilling story...and I'll be emailing for my free Flee (LOL) for sure. You two do a great job together. I rarely find stories that surprise me, and this one definitely did.

Ann, I'm ashamed to say I haven't read your Harlequin's, which I have no excuse for since I pretty much pop category romance like candy. I'll remedy that shortly.

Now do tell - what *is* it like working with Konrath? Don't hold back...he wouldn't... ;-)

Réussie Miliardario said...

I just read Wild Night is Calling. Ok, so my eyes are wide open now. My jaw has dropped an inch or so. Yikes! That was a shocking story. Sure to be a success!

Joe Konrath said...

That's a lot of books.

6000 a day times 20 days is 120,000 books. Pretty much only a handful of authors sell that well.

Gisele said...

Congratulations to you both. "Flee" has a great cover (shout out to Carl Graves).

The cover of "Wild Night is Calling" is nice too but the tag line "Thing's aren't what they seem" is as cliché as it gets. I see that tag line on every other mystery/thriller.

Ann, it seems you have a positive relationship with your publisher. Would you give us an insight on what's it like working with Harlequin?

Also, why has Harlequin only made seven of your novels available as eBooks? This hesitation gives me the impression that Harlequin is being slow to embrace the format.

Joe Konrath said...

Thanks, Jamie and Réussie!

Kendall Swan said...

Ann, that is strange that less than half of your books are available in e. Especially from Harlequin, who was the first of the big romance publishers to launch a dedicated e-press (Carina Press- and Avon just launched Impulse last week).

Do you know what the hold up is?

Everything I've read (I'll look up sources in a bit) points to romance absolutely rocking it in ebooks--particularly because so many readers can now read their romances in private without announcing to the world what they reading. So, it strikes me as odd that Harlequin wouldn't get your work up as quickly as possible. Too focused on the paper?

Thanks for any insight you can add. And I look forward to checking out your titles.

Kendall

NAKED Cheerleader and Other Stories

Joe Konrath said...

"Thing's aren't what they seem" is as cliché as it gets.

Sometimes clichés do fit. Because in this story, things really aren't what they seem. ;)

Stephen T. Harper said...

Another fantastic idea made into something tangible. Or virtual, I suppose. Excellent work and congratulations to Joe and Ann.

Still on a roll, Joe. Last night's talk with John Locke was one of the best yet.

And it gave me an idea for Twitter. It's my first idea ever for twitter so I'm very proud.

Then this morning I realized it's a better idea for a daily blog feature. My first idea for a daily blog feature, so I'm very proud of that too.

If I could plug my blog for second... authors with books to promote, and book lovers with recommendations to give... check out the "Bookstore" Challenge @

http://stephentharper.blogspot.com/

Ann Voss Peterson said...

Hey, Lori and Edie! About time I tried this self-publishing thing, eh? You guys inspired me. Along with Joe, of course.

Jamie--
Working with Joe...hmm...

I've worked with a number of authors on continuity series with Intrigue, and the best collaborations I've experienced are with authors who are very direct and care about writing a good story above all else (ego, attachment to words,images or plot points they write, etc). That's been my experience writing with Joe. It's been all about making the story as riveting and entertaining and breathtaking as it can possibly be.

And it's been a lot of fun.

Michael said...

That's been my experience writing with Joe. It's been all about making the story as riveting and entertaining and breathtaking as it can possibly be.

This is what critics of Joe don't get. He's a genius at marketing, sure, but what Joe is, above all else, is a writer and storyteller. You can tell as soon as you pick up one of his books that you're with someone who does, in fact, give a damn about the writing.

Ann Voss Peterson said...

Gisele and Kendall--

Harlequin has published A LOT of books. They are digitizing backlist books, but they can only do it so quickly. It doesn't have anything to do with me personally, they just haven't started digitizing much of the Intrigue line's backlist.

They started releasing all Harlequin books as e-books in March of 2008, which is when my Intrigue Thriller, Wyoming Manhunt, was published.

Ann Voss Peterson said...

Thanks, Jamie and Réussie! Glad you enjoyed it.

Anonymous said...

This becomes more interesting by the day, & leads me to the inevitable question. There is a terrific difference between what Telemachus Press charges to set one's work up for Kindle, and what Rob Siders charges to format the ms correctly. (I realize Telemachus provides many more services if wanted.)
Could the people who have published the short (sometimes very short) stories tell us what they are doing here? Surely no one is paying thousands to have someone else set up a few thousand words, are they?
On the other hand, who wants to wind up looking like the very weird stuff on Authonomy? Amateur hour times ten as far as correct format and punctuation. And hold the endless run-on sentences and broken sentence fragments, please PLEASE. I can't take it anymore.
When one is only earning pennies on each short story, what is one willing to pay to have it set up properly?
Best of luck to the author team. It is certainly the future, thanks to Patterson. Imagine how many books or stories an entire team of writers could crank out in one year. Too cool. If we can't bust through the east coast agent Berlin wall, perhaps we can drown the suckers out. I love it. Bury 'em alive.
Thank you.

Coolkayaker1 said...

Thanks for your reply, Ann. And Joe.

It's fadcinating to see an author lpay on both sides of the publishing fence so adeptly. A proponent of both schools, it appears.

Best of luck to you and J.A.

The Flee cover is exceptional. Sort of like old show "It Takes A Thief".

Sounds like a rip-snortin' ride.

Ann Voss Peterson said...

Gisele--

I forgot to answer the other part of your question, what is it like working for Harlequin.

I have had a positive experience with Harlequin. I've worked with many different editors, since I've done several special projects (continuity series), and all of them have been terrific. It is a forward thinking company and has great distribution in the US and all over the world.

Probably one of the biggest drawbacks is the sheer size (also one of the best things, see distribution), which results in situations like the fact that my backlist hasn't been digitized yet.

The royalties are lower for the series lines, and the advances tend to be small (although that's not as true now that midlist advances are much lower than they used to be). But they sell a lot of copies, so my books earn out on their first statement.

The most important thing when considering writing series romance for Harlequin is to find a line that really fits the type of stories you like to write.

Joe Konrath said...

There is a terrific difference between what Telemachus Press charges to set one's work up for Kindle, and what Rob Siders charges to format the ms correctly.

Not to knock Telemachus, but Rob is better. Linked bibliographies, active table of contents, custom chapter headings. He's worth every penny.

The thing is, sunk costs, even high ones, are finite. An ebook, even a short one, can sell forever. If you have a good story, long or short, you'll eventually earn back your investment.

I can earn back my cost for formatting, proofing, and cover art pretty quickly. But even if I didn't, I would eventually.

Jason said...

Just finished Wild Night...whoa! Nicely done you two. I love a story that makes my jaw drop and my eyes bug out. I tried to see the twists coming, but was pleasantly surprised when I was blindsided. Good stuff!

And now I'm salivating for the rest of FLEE!

BTW Joe, when are you going to write your first all out Romance novel? ;-)

Joe Konrath said...

BTW Joe, when are you going to write your first all out Romance novel? ;-)

I already did. It's called Endurance. The girl gets the boy at the end.

Well, what's left of him...

Blake Crouch said...

"Wild Night" is a great story....congrats guys, and can't wait to read FLEE.

Alexander said...

Ann, some of the first big serialized web novels were, for lack of a better term "Adult" or, frankly, sex novels. Some of them more explicit than your average Harlequin (and I'm not ashamed to admit that while most of my friends were discovering Playboy, I was discovering the Harlequin novels at my local library)
When it comes to sheer volume, Harlequin and other romance labels seem to do better business than other booksellers. In short, sex sells.

With that in mind, have you considered an ongoing serial romance novel yourself?

Russell Brooks said...

Congrats Ann. Having written my first spy novel a few months ago, I'm interested in Flee. Excellent cover by the way.

Russell Brooks
Author of Pandora's Succession

John said...

This is such a great time for creators, it gives me the giggles. This is the New Wild West, featuring New Dime Novels and Pulps. Only there's no reason these digital dime novels will fade away. There's no printing press, no delivery truck, no badly run brick and mortar store to raise prices or go out of business.
I just purchased "Wild Night Is Calling." Before that, I found two other talented indy writers--one of whom named himself a writer of "pulp," and purchased THEIR books--all for 99¢ each! I did this all from my desk during a few free minutes at work. Which is great, because I'm pretty damn sure the Borders on the corner (which is on the culling list, BTW) couldn't provide me with any of them.
REALLY looking forward to reading "Wild Night." Keep 'em coming, Joe (and Ann), There's a lot of story-hungry people out here.
;o)

Ann Voss Peterson said...

Thanks, Jason and Blake!

I think Joe and I will have to write a romance together. Perhaps something akin to what Joe and Blake did in SERIAL.

Except the characters probably shouldn't be trying to kill one another. At least not at story's end.

Laura said...

I did the same thing as a kid, crafting little books! I'll be checking out Flee.

Gretchen Galway said...

I see lots of similarities between category/series romances and indie e-publishing.

They're both mocked,excluded from the NYT bestseller list, have longer-term returns, appeal to tribes of loyal readers (often women), are inexpensive, often unagented, HQ is not in NY, and they sell like hotcakes.

For this writer, though, given the new opportunities, I'm putting my eggs in the Indie basket. If they were already w/ Harlequin, I might feel differently. Since they're not...why kill myself to break in over there when I can self-pub and make so much more per book...

OK, preaching to choir. What Joe says.

Anonymous said...

Ann and Joe,
Loved "Wild Nights" and I'm looking forward to FLEE. I agree the cover art is great.

I'm glad to see Jack Daniels will be in the book. Fell in love with her and Lucy in Serial Uncut (I like kick ass girls with issues).

Ann,
How would you suggest breaking into a field that is so well established like romance where readers flock to their familiar authors and where there seems to be a non-ending stream from those favorite authors so catching them when there is a lull in books coming out seems a bit difficult.

In my opinion I would think the romance field would be very difficult to be a new author because the publishers really seem to know how to put out the books quickly and fill any lagtime.

I hope that makes sense.

Josie Wade

Ann Voss Peterson said...

Alexander--

I wouldn't say it's sex that sells with Harlequin but relationships. Sex is only part of that, and not all Harlequin novels contain sex.

Harlequin has published serialized stories free on their website. I've never really thought of writing one on my own or with Harlequin, though.

I do want to write a thriller series with a slower developing romance as a subplot. I would love to let a romance develop over several books.

Ann Voss Peterson said...

Gretchen--
Harlequin is in New York, actually. The main headquarters is in Toronto, but they also have editorial offices in New York and the UK.

Other than that, I agree. I've had an agent for 22 of 25 books. But it wasn't difficult to represent myself for my 3 unagented sales.

Ann Voss Peterson said...

Josie--

It is difficult to break into romance, but that's true of all publishing. If you (or anyone else) is interested in writing romance, you really should look into joining Romance Writers of America. It's a terrific organization that offers a lot for aspiring authors.

http://www.rwa.org

Kendall Swan said...

I can vouch for RWA. I joined two years ago when I started writing and my local group has been great. And there seem to be chapters everywhere since it's been around for so long.

One big gripe: RWA is behind the times when it comes to self publishing. Understandably, they were against it for a long time bc the term referred to what we now call 'vanity publishing' where you pay to have your work published. They wanted to protect their member authors from the scheisters. But times have changed. Hopefully, they will soon as well.

Even given that big gripe, membership is still worth the dues price. They have a ton of education opportunities for free or very little.

Kendall Swan
NAKED Cheerleader and Other Stories

Thrilling Covers said...

Joe and Ann, congrats on FLEE. That's a great cover. Authors are beginning to realize just how important covers are. We just opened for business this week and are already slammed with work.

Coral Russell said...

Man, you can always check back here for a good book. Flee looks more my style and I love the cover. I'm more into female superheroes/leads. :)

Oh Konrath and Hocking have made a linked discussion topic on one of the groups I'm in. Interesting.

Ruth Harris said...

Oooooh! ice cold female assassin! + great cover + great blurb = Irresistible!

azarimba said...

Ann, I'm old and blind, and I mostly lurk on Harlequin's community site -- but can't recall seeing you around there much.

Do you participate on the site? Is it necessary for new(er) Harlequin authors (e.g. like you, since the turn of the century) to keep up a profile of some activity there? (I know lots of the older, well known names don't participate there.)

What PR have you found most effective -- and do your Harlequin "handlers" agree -- in your work with Harlequin?

Do you think that PR maps to your self-pubbing initiatives, or do you think you'll take a different tack w.r.t. the new, non-Harlequin works?

Coolkayaker1 said...

Ann--just to give us an idea, how many coppies does a bestselling, Harlequin print romance novel sell? You know, the biggies, like the biggest selling title of a specific year.

Are straight out romances tracked on USA Today and NY Times bestseller lists?

Ann Voss Peterson said...

Azarimba--

I have done a little blogging on the eHarlequin site and have a profile page there. I probably should visit more. It's a great web community.

The PR that has worked best for me is writing as many good books as I can. Harlequin does a great job of getting books into stores and selling them online, so the more I write, the more readers get to know my name.

Other than that, the eHarlequin community is great, I also have a website and participate in social networking like Facebook and Twitter. But none of that makes as big a difference as writing the books.

Interestingly enough, that's true of self-publishing as well. Write as fast as you can without sacrificing quality.

Ann Voss Peterson said...

"Ann--just to give us an idea, how many coppies does a bestselling, Harlequin print romance novel sell? You know, the biggies, like the biggest selling title of a specific year."

I don't know. But a lot of big authors have written for Harlequin over the years, like Nora Roberts, so I imagine the numbers are substantial.

"Are straight out romances tracked on USA Today and NY Times bestseller lists?"

Straight out romances are on both, and many hit the tops of those lists. Harlequin series romance books are not tracked by the New York Times. Recently, though, they began being tracked by USA Today, and many have made the list since. My books have not.

Because (until recently) series romance has not been included on those lists, we've gone by the Borders Bestseller's list (previously called the Walden's List). I have hit the number one spot on that list.

If you'd like to check out some statistics about romance sales, RWA compiles them every year and posts them on their website.

http://www.rwa.org/cs/the_romance_genre/romance_literature_statistics

Moses Siregar III said...

Hey man, when you're ready to write that cookbook I proposed to you a while back, I'm still willing to give you 50%.

Just kidding :P

Moses Siregar III said...

I already did. It's called Endurance. The girl gets the boy at the end.

Well, what's left of him...


LOL!

Btw, congratulations, Ann (and Joe)! This is going to be a fun ride.

Ann Voss Peterson said...

"It's fadcinating to see an author lpay on both sides of the publishing fence so adeptly. A proponent of both schools, it appears."

Missed this earlier.

I am a proponent of writing and reading fiction. The format that fiction comes in doesn't really matter much to me.

I do find the new world of self-publishing to be very exciting, and I'm learning a lot. But I didn't agree to do this project with Joe so I could self publish. I wanted to do it because I love the story premise and thought it would be fun to work together.

Self publishing is a bonus.

Joe Konrath said...

I'm glad to see Jack Daniels will be in the book. Fell in love with her and Lucy in Serial Uncut (I like kick ass girls with issues).

Thanks! Jack will be a supporting character, like she was in Shot of Tequila.

If you enjoyed Lucy, she's back in Killers, which Blake Crouch and I just released,

Nicholas J. Ambrose said...

Great post. I really like the idea of collaborations, though am yet to sit down with anyone and give one a go. Something for the future, perhaps!

I love the blog; I've been checking it daily and it's definitely pushing me in a good direction. I've just published my first title on Kindle, a 6k long short story plus 6 short poems. It's called MORRIS THE MISFIT MONSTER. It can be found here for US readers or over here for UK readers. It's priced at 99 cents. :)

JM Array said...

How do co-authoring really works? Do you guys sit down together and write together? Or does one write, then the other sees it and edits and write, while the other one then sees that and edits that and writes...and so on so forth? Or how do you do it exactly?

Flee looks pretty interesting!

Cheers,
JM Array

Blake Crouch said...

@JM

I think the actual collaboration experience is different with different writers and different projects. For instance, Joe and I are working on Killers Uncut right now, and the early work involves us writing scenes separately, but further on in the process, we'll be writing a number of sections with Google docs, like we did with KILLERS.

Andrew said...

That Flee cover reminds me of the amazing art of Fleet Street Scandal: http://bit.ly/g7ZqqS and http://www.fleetstreetscandal.com/ If you were ever able to call upon the masterful artists Kevin Dart and Chris Turnham for a book cover it'd be a match maded in heaven :)

Ann Voss Peterson said...

Joe had a skeleton plot for this before I came on board. Then we brainstormed particulars together. Since then, we've been working where one writes and the other edits, etc. But Joe and I have been on different schedules for this book, so we've never actually been working on it at the same time.

The Google docs thing Blake and Joe are doing sounds fascinating. Not sure if I'd like that or not.

But like Blake said, you can set up your collaboration any way you want.

JM Array said...

Thank you both Ann and Blake! I appreciate it. Best of luck to you both :).

Cheers!
JM Array

Jude Hardin said...

Just bought "Wild Night is Calling," looking forward to it and Flee.

Great post, Joe and Ann.

You sure are doing a lot of collaborations these days, Joe. Let me know if you ever want to do a James Patterson-type arrangement for an ebook. I'm in.

P.S. My publisher never got back to me about lowering the price of Pocket-47 from $9.99 to $2.99. They're ignoring me.

Jill James said...

I used the link and put it on my Nook. Can't wait to read it.

S.E. Gordon said...

Seems like short stories are excellent vehicles for keeping interest alive in a series when there is a lag between novels. It also appears that short stories are an excellent source of supplemental income, with the novels being the lion's share. It is interesting to see the success people are having with shorts and I've decided to write one for my vampire series since there will a novel from a different series written between books 1 & 2.

Thanks for sharing, Joe. Always invaluable material here.

S.E. Gordon
http://segordon.blogspot.com
http://www.segordon.com

Lee Goldberg said...

The cover, the tagline, and the description for FLEE are terrific. It's going to be a big seller.

Garry M. Graves said...

Great interview, as always. It never ceases to amaze me the diversity of interests expressed in the comments. Many have come to rely on the truth that Joe professes.

Also, incredible visiting authors all, most notably Peterson.

Thanks for a great writer's resource.

Anonymous said...

**Thanks! Jack will be a supporting character, like she was in Shot of Tequila.

If you enjoyed Lucy, she's back in Killers, which Blake Crouch and I just released***

Great! I see your working on the uncut version -- I might have to wait for that. Although curiosity over Lucy's fate might be too much for me.

I just read the excerpt of FLEE and I'm looking forward to its release.

Josie

Eliza Gayle said...

I swear every time I come here I am finding a new book I have to buy. These both sound great.

Joe Konrath said...

My publisher never got back to me about lowering the price of Pocket-47 from $9.99 to $2.99. They're ignoring me.

Welcome to legacy publishing, Jude!

The complain line forms behind me, way way way way way way way back there.

Jude Hardin said...

Welcome to legacy publishing, Jude!

Yeah...

The thing is, they’re not selling any ebooks at $9.99. Check out the sales rankings. How many books do you have to sell to be ranked 200,000-400,000? One a week? One a month?

Even the book with David Morrell's name on it (an Edgar nominated title!) is only ranked 51,112. I don't get it. Why not try some new price points?

It's almost as though they don't want to sell any books.

Joe Konrath said...

It's almost as though they don't want to sell any books.

They want to sell print books, Jude. They're selling paper, which I blogged about quite some time ago. The agency model, and high ebook prices, are ways to slow down the death of their industry.

That's a terrible business model, and publishers deserve everything that is going to happen to them. When you piss off a rabid customer base who wants something badly (cheap ebooks) in order to safeguard your own selfish interest (the print infrastructure), you're not thinking clearly.

Jude Hardin said...

They want to sell print books, Jude.

I know, lol.

Of course ebooks and pbooks are two different markets at this point, which they can't seem to fathom. They're quadrupling the price of apples in order to slow down the rapid decline in orange sales.

Blake Crouch said...

Jude - are locked into a 1 or 2 book contract?

Moses Siregar III said...

Jude, I'm trying to write something that doesn't sound like a "We told you so," but ... nope. Can't do it.

Jude Hardin said...

Hi Blake,

They have first rights of refusal on my next book.

Jude Hardin said...

Things are changing rapidly, Moses. I was sort of caught in the middle.

Joe Konrath said...

They have first rights of refusal on my next book.

That's easy to get out of. Just turn in shit. :)

Blake Crouch said...

Jude - go back to that very first novel you wrote and send it to them as a dare. Sometimes they take forever to review stuff, so it might not be a bad idea to get that process rolling. If you need a terrible novel to borrow, email me. I have a fantastic option breaker.

Ty Hutchinson said...

Both books sound like great reads. And the cover for Flee really does rock.

Jude Hardin said...

Joe and Blake:

Thanks, guys. :)

I''ll be on the indie trail with you soon as I can.

Moses Siregar III said...

Things are changing rapidly, Moses. I was sort of caught in the middle.

Yeah, that's very true. And as you've said, you learned a lot during the editing process, etc. It should be no biggie in the big scheme.

Lundeen Literary said...

Jude said:
"They have first rights of refusal on my next book."

Then Joe said:
That's easy to get out of. Just turn in shit. :)

Then Blake said:
"go back to that very first novel you wrote and send it to them as a dare. Sometimes they take forever to review stuff, so it might not be a bad idea to get that process rolling. If you need a terrible novel to borrow, email me. I have a fantastic option breaker."

O_O
Have I told you guys lately that I love you? Because I do. :D

Jenna
@lundeenliterary

Craig said...

Wild Night is showing as $1.14 on Amazon.com at the time of writing.

Russell Brooks said...

Awesome read for Wild Night is Calling. What a great treat to read at 5AM. I'm looking forward to flee.

Russell Brooks
Author of Pandora's Succession

Russell Brooks said...

@Coral Russell.

Something told me that you'd be into Flee and especially into the female lead. Am I correct in assuming this because you gave a certain female CIA operative from Barbados equal mention as her kick-ass Canadian counterpart several days ago in a review? ;)

Russell Brooks
Author of Pandora's Succession

antares said...

Earlier today I bought Wild Night and The List. Sent for FREE FLEE.

Rob and Amy Siders now have my novel in hand for formatting. Awaiting cover art from Carl Graves.

On the Kindle discussion forums, I find that readers DO judge a book by its cover. Makes sense. The cover will be the reader's first impression of the book. A good cover gives him reason to expect a good book. A bad cover, a bad book.

God willing, I will get my blog going this weekend, and you may read my diary of publication of Heart of Stone. Some will be hindsight, but it will be documented hindsight. From today forward, events will be logged as they happen.

h lynn keith
http://thelogoftheantares.blogspot.com/

Al.X. Ross said...

"Wild night is calling" at Amazon for$3.44 This is the price we international customers pay. :D Damn Amazon. Really love them but at times hate them equally.

Still I'm going to buy it. :D I'm curious how its written.

Ellen Fisher said...

"I''ll be on the indie trail with you soon as I can."

Good for you, Jude:-).

Dawn said...

Congrats.
Dang, I love that tagline.
I've never collaborated before but would love to.

BTW---THANK YOU to Joe---I lowered price of "Saint Jude" [my out of print novel] to 99 cents and it went up to #28 in its respective Kindle store.

I think being in the top 100 at 99 cents is like the impulse items at the cashier's--"I wasn't going to buy a Snickers bar, but hey, they're three for a dollar!"

Anonymous said...

Antares said ***On the Kindle discussion forums, I find that readers DO judge a book by its cover. Makes sense. The cover will be the reader's first impression of the book. A good cover gives him reason to expect a good book. A bad cover, a bad book.***

Yeah, it really does. One of my favorite authors JL Bryan just updated the covers of his older books and even though I love his writing I never considered reading his book DOMINION until this new cover. Go figure. I consider myself a fairly average consumer.

Amanda Hocking's covers always get slammed and her earlier covers were not much to look at, but the typesetting was descent and there was nothing glaringly off putting about them. At least that's what I thought when I bought them. Plus her series had a unified look. There wasn't anything that said I don't give a shit how this looks, but rather this is professionally done even if it wasn't expensively done. Nothing she does is half-assed even if it was done on a budget. I think that is something to think about.

Josie Wade

Anonymous said...

Also, with Amanda Hocking her product descriptions have always been excellent. That's ultimately what made me buy her books and this was before she was well known. I've killed many sales when the covers called me, but the descriptions had too much extraneous information. Know what your target audience wants describe it and get out. A few good reviews mentioned are ok, but more than that and I feel like I'm a mark in some con.

Really spend as much time on this as you did your book.

I know I'm preaching to the choir - sorry. But, I see a lot of well intentioned books just unable to pull it together at this point.

Ok, sorry if that was soap-box banter and not helpful.

Josie Wade

Tony said...

Things are changing rapidly, Moses. I was sort of caught in the middle.

Don't make excuses to people, Jude. It's easy for unpublished writers to be smug when their only option is self publishing.

Stephen T. Harper said...

Blake said... "If you need a terrible novel to borrow, email me. I have a fantastic option breaker.'

That is so funny I need to towel off my screen.

I feel so right-place-right-time lucky to not have deal for print. Finally, my massive character flaws like impatience and short attention span are starting to pay off!

Rex Kusler said...

What if you tried to write something shitty--and it turned out to be your best work?

Kendall Swan said...

@sth

Totally agree. Impatience and ADD actually paid off for me in this case. It's about time! (teehee)

I'm very full of gratitude right now, for so many reasons (including this blog and good timing).

Kendall Swan

German Reader said...


Al.X. Ross said...

"Wild night is calling" at Amazon for$3.44 This is the price we international customers pay. :D Damn Amazon. Really love them but at times hate them equally.

Still I'm going to buy it. :D I'm curious how its written.


At Smashwords it's 99 cents, multiple formats and can use Paypal.

Stephen T. Harper said...

For eveybody here promoting a book - so all of you, I guess - I'd like to turn this idea into a contest and give away a Kindle.

­ Bookstore Challenge

I'd love ideas on fair ways to judge, especially from anyone who has hosted a contest before.

And yes, I know there are only seventeen followers on my blog. Hopefully the "challenge" will change that. Otherwise, D. Canyon is walking away with a new Kindle uncontested. :)

Take a look. Follow the blog, I'll be posting a new page # everyday and if you want... jump in. Post, discuss, repeat.

Stephen T. Harper said...

And of course the link doesn't work.

www.stephentharper.blogspot.com

Lori Handeland said...

Well, Ann, I see why you had no time to come out and play today. Congrats.

Since I'm a huge Joe fan and a huge YOU fan, I have just gone to Amazon and downloaded what I'm sure will be a fabulous story to my much -loved Kindle.

antares said...

Al.X. Ross said...
"Wild night is calling" at Amazon for$3.44 This is the price we international customers pay.

I am an international customer. My eReceipt shows $2.99 for Wild Night. Another receipt shows $2.99 for The List.

The evidence is that the international delivery charges vary by location. For me, looks like a flat $2.00 is added to every Kindle purchase. Looks like it is more for you.

C'est la guerre.

Still, even with the freight charges, amazon.com is cheaper and faster and more convenient than my local bookstore. And my coffee is better than theirs.

Barbra Annino said...

I love it! You guys need to plan a trip to Galena this summer so I can ply you both with booze and talk you into another collaboration.

One question, Ann, is there a blow job in the book?

bowerbird said...

jude said:
> Things are changing rapidly,
> Moses. I was sort of
> caught in the middle.

things _are_ changing rapidly.

but you weren't exactly
"caught in the middle",
not as i recall it all...

you chose your path, and
chose it quite consciously,
plus you threw a lot of rocks
at the work of many people
who had chosen differently.

and now you're encountering
some of the poison oak on that
path which you chose, which
we'd explicitly warned about,
and you are acting surprised
and frustrated by that fact...

buck up and be a man and
accept the consequences
that follow from your action.

do not rewrite the history,
or you won't learn its lesson.

i'm glad you are smarter now.
but only if you really _are_...

***

moses said:
> It should be no biggie
> in the big scheme.

well, in "the big scheme",
very little of this matters.

but in the world of jude,
having that book be in
the hands of someone else,
someone who doesn't seem
to care about its welfare,
is going to _sting_, _badly_,
for a very long time, if my
experience tells me anything.

especially since it's his first.
a first-born child is special.

-bowerbird

Susan said...

I'm definitely going to get FLEE when it comes out! I love fast paced romantic suspense.

Joe, I just saw that The List is up to #17, first page of Kindle Bestsellers!

Way to go.

Ava Glass said...

Ann Voss Peterson said...

I do want to write a thriller series with a slower developing romance as a subplot. I would love to let a romance develop over several books.

I'm so glad authors can do that nowadays and not worry about who will publish it.

Who would commit to episodic sci-fi novellas with a slow-building romance? Doesn't matter anymore. I'm worrying about covers and editing instead.

Ain't the new model great?

Selena Kitt said...

Aw Jude. I just wanna give you a great big HUG.

And it's just a testament to Joe and Blake and the other authors here who have been where you've been not to be meanly saying, "I told you so," but to be offering you advice through the landmine that is legacy publishing...kudos gentlemen.

And another HUG for you Jude. You deserve a bigger e-audience than your publisher is gonna allow, I'm afraid. :(

Jude Hardin said...

Thanks, Selena. I'll take that hug. :)

Joe Konrath said...

@ Jude - I TOLD YOU SO! NYAA NYAA NYAA!!!!

Jude Hardin said...

I TOLD YOU SO! NYAA NYAA NYAA!!!!

LOL!

Jude Hardin said...

In a previous post, Joe said: It's best to ignore bowerbird. He's in love with the sound of his own voice. Which he wouldn't be, if he listened to it.

I think that sums it up perfectly.

bowerbird said...

jude said:
> In a previous post, Joe said:
> "It's best to ignore bowerbird.
> He's in love with
> the sound of his own voice."
> I think that
> sums it up perfectly.

nonetheless, i told you so. :+)

nyaa, nyaa, nyaa, nyaa, nyaa!

and joe wants people to
"ignore" me so they won't
realize he just repeats what
i say, except i said it earlier.

but hey, that's ok with me,
as long as people _listen_,
i don't care who gets "credit".

indeed, i started _saving_
all the comments i write
-- because some bloggers
would delete them, really! --
and i'm gonna release them,
probably as a kindle-book,
and joe has gifted me with
the _perfect_ title for that:
"in love with the sound of
my own voice". thanks, joe!

oh, and jude, i really did
mean what i said about
me being glad that you
are smarter now. i'm not
happy that you had to
learn things the hard way,
but i'm glad you did learn.

now maybe your comments
will reflect that smarter,
more experienced person.

and that'd be a good thing.

-bowerbird

Nicholas La Salla said...

Bravo Ann! It's hard to do well in publishing, but now with E-Books the future is a tad bit brighter. Still takes a lot of hard work, but I'm glad to see things are working out for you.

And Joe, you know you rock...nice to see another book to buy. :-)

Best,

Nick
One More Day: A Modern Ghost Story

msthriller said...

Just bought Wild Night after reading the sample. I was intrigued by the cover. At first it reminded me of Amityville Horror. I look forward to reading it tonight.

TJD said...

I'm so glad authors can do that nowadays and not worry about who will publish it.

Who would commit to episodic sci-fi novellas with a slow-building romance? Doesn't matter anymore. I'm worrying about covers and editing instead.


This is what really has me excited about e-publishing. Control. The control and artistry are back in the hands of the artist. The new era is wonderful. Not just for writers but for all artists really. Create!

It really feels like we're on the edge of a historical change in the way the written word is created and distributed.

Anonymous said...

Just read "Wild Night" and the excerpt for Flee. Great job. Looking forward to the whole Flee novel.

Sean McCartney
The Treasure Hunters Club
Secrets of the Magical Medallions

SlingWords aka Joan Reeves said...

What a deal! Buy Wild Nights and get Flee free!

I already emailed you, Joe.

Ann, love you as an Intrigue author, and now love you as a thriller author. Wild Nights was very cool!

Really looking forward to Flee.

Selena Kitt said...

Read it. Loved it. Wanted more.

Free flee! Can't wait....

Luc said...

When I visit the Amazon link, the price shows as "$3.44 includes VAT & free international wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet" :( I'm in Europe, but VAT isn't 244% here... Does anyone know why the price is so much higher for me?

antares said...

TJD said...

It really feels like we're on the edge of a historical change in the way the written word is created and distributed.


The evidence says the historic change is behind us. For the 4th quarter of last 2010, Amazon reported profits of $416 million on sales of $12.95 billion. More to your point, Amazon reported "moving 115 Kindle books for every 100 paperbacks sold", meaning eBooks are now the dominant market. Link: http://www.engadget.com/2011/01/27/amazon-celebrates-its-first-10-billion-quarter-in-sales-find/

We are on the backside of the curve that plots the profits of TradPubs; that is, hardcover and paperback. In other words, hardcover and paperback profits are declining. We are on the rising slope of the curve that plots eBook profits, and there is no indication that it is going to flatten out soon.

ecommerce developers said...

I love the construction paper books a child thought to make. Sometimes, some children show their callings early. Are you thinking of leaving Legacy publishing and going all self pub?

Ann Voss Peterson said...

I was away from my computer yesterday (it does occasionally happen), so I'm just catching up.

Hey Lori, back attcha! I'm a huge Lori Handeland fan, too (of course)!

Barb-- You'll have to read the book. ;)

Thanks Joan and Sean!

Thank you everyone for all the great comments.

Joe Konrath said...

meaning eBooks are now the dominant market

No, that means they are the dominant market on Amazon. I believe they are on BN.com as well.

But they aren't overall.There are still a lot of print books being sold in other outlets.

Russell Brooks said...

Joe: No, that means they are the dominant market on Amazon. I believe they are on BN.com as well.

But they aren't overall.There are still a lot of print books being sold in other outlets.


May I also add that there are several untapped markets in the Caribbean that can be exploited. My relatives and friends in Barbados are unfamiliar with eBooks nor am I likely to convert them from paperback and hardcover anytime soon.

Russell Brooks
Author of Pandora's Succession

Donnell said...

Bravo Ann and Joe, the book sounds fantatsic as well does your log line. So many comments -- who did your cover. It's great!

Phyllis said...

Ann and Joe - this sounds like my kind of reading and writing, so I will be looking forward to it. Keep us advised on how it goes!

Ann Voss Peterson said...

Hi, Donnell! Great to see you here. The cover for both WILD NIGHT IS CALLING and FLEE were done by Carl Graves. See the side bar of this blog for more info. Carl is amazing.

Leigh Saunders said...

Ann/Joe -- looking forward to "Wild Nights" and "Flee."

To reply to this question:
Could the people who have published the short (sometimes very short) stories tell us what they are doing here? Surely no one is paying thousands to have someone else set up a few thousand words, are they?

I'm doing it myself. Public domain art (I've only bought one photo from Getty), and tools I already had on my computer (Photoshop & PowerPoint for covers, Word for the manuscript writing & formatting). I've looked at a LOT of book covers, and have a good feel for layout/design. I have a first reader or two go through and check the copy for errors (no editing expense). I write my own blurbs (they're harder than they look!), and post my own work through Kindle, PubIt, & Smashwords. (You can see samples on my website at www.leighsaunders.com -- click the link to the "Books" page.)

Really, the only "expense" I incur for posting a short story is my time -- and after the learning curve of posting the first couple of stories, I've gotten pretty quick at the production side of things, which lets me spend more time writing the next story and keeping the inventory growing.

I'm in the "first reader" stage for a full novel. If it passes their scrutiny, I'll prep it -- and then probably hand it off to someone else for the final proofreading (benefitting from the clarity of another pair of eyes on that final copy). I've already got the cover and blurb ready to go.

Next learning curve? InDesign, for doing POD layout. Again, I've already got the software (it was part of the Adobe Creative Suite I bought when I needed to pick up some of the other tools for a different project a while back), so again, my primary outlay will be in the time I invest to learning how to use the tool.

I will say this -- the DIY method IS NOT for everyone. For some, the technical learning curve is too daunting; for others, their time is better spent writing the next book (I already have a solid grasp of the techie side of things from my day job, so it was a non-issue for me). You may find it more time/cost-effective to pay someone else for the services -- if you do, I *strongly* recommend that you go with fixed-price costs for the services you're buying.

Anyway, a long answer, but I hope it's helpful.

--Leigh
www.leighsaunders.com

Leigh Saunders said...

I wanted to say one more thing about paying someone else to set up your ebook -- go with the "day labor" type of pricing. By which I mean, pay the service provider for the work they did and nothing more.

There are service providers out there -- lots of them very good people -- who will offer to do the work for you in exchange for a percentage of your royalties. RUN away from them, and the bookkeeping nightmare and lawsuit potential of that model. It will cost you far more than it is worth.

Think about it -- giving someone a percentage of your earnings for an afternoon spent prepping your ebook is like giving your lawn guy a percentage of your house for trimming the grass. It just doesn't make sense. The only place where royalty-splits work are in the case of co-authoring (like Joe and Ann, here), or sometimes in the instance of working with a cover artist who has created original work for you (not a cover designer who used other people's work to design your cover); and even cover artists will often take a fixed, flat price for their work (like Getty does for the photos).

Have a look at Dean Wesley Smith's current blog series: "Think Like a Publisher". In the second installment, he talks about some of the costs you're looking at when you venture into epublishing. It's worth checking out.

--Leigh
www.leighsaunders.com