Thursday, April 07, 2011

Guest Post by Brett Battles

Brett Battles's first novel, THE CLEANER, is the first in a series about man named Quinn who cleans up messes, dead bodies in particular.

Like many traditionally published authors, Brett has been watching what has been developing in the world of self-publishing, and has recently released an all new novel, LITTLE GIRL GONE, as an ebook, along with two short stories.

Here's why...

Brett: Joe, I've been following you for years, thinking deep down that you were right. Sometime last year that "thinking" became "knowing," and I decided to focus my efforts on creating stories that I would self-publish.

For me, one of the most frustrating things to be about legacy publishing has been the time it takes from when a book is finished to when it actually comes out--something you and Barry talked about in your discussion. I'm a prolific writer, but with only one book coming out a year, I felt like a dog chained to a post, wanting to run, but unable to.

In the last 10 months, I've written three novels, and could have written at least one more. If I'd stuck to the legacy publishing route, who knows when any of them would have come out? I love to write, and with the way the digital world has open things up, self-publishing gives me the chance to cut that frustration out. Now, instead of missing months or even a year when a book could be out there making money, it's, well, out there making money right away.

It's also hard to ignore the writing on the wall, or, rather, the gigantic words written in the sky. Publishing is changing. Soon the main audience will be reading digitally.

The reasons not to self-publish have rapidly dropped away. I am in control of my manuscript. I am in control of my cover. I am in control of the entire process, and as the creator of the work, I've got to think that's the way it should be.

It happened to the music industry in the 90s, and it's happening to us now. Writers are the new indie-bands, and I think the world has just gotten considerably brighter for us.

LITTLE GIRL GONE
Logan Harper's quiet life is upended when he finds himself in Los Angeles, searching for the missing granddaughter of his father's friend, and uncovering a sinister plot connected not only to the friend's Burmese past, but also to the boardrooms of corporate America. Logan must use skills from a life he'd rather forget to try and bring the girl home alive.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Little-Logan-Harper-Thriller-ebook/dp/B004TGUUVA/

B&N: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Little-Girl-Gone/Brett-Battles/e/2940012368300

Smashwords.com: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/49059


And the short stories:

JUST ANOTHER JOB - A JONATHAN QUINN STORY
Not everyone who gets shot is supposed to be shot. And those who are shot don't always die right away. It's not Quinn¹s job to kill people, but it is his job to clean them up. Sometimes, though, they're not quite ready to go.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Just-Another-Job-Jonathan-ebook/dp/B004TBDB48

B&N: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Just-Another-Job/Brett-Battles/e/2940012368386

Smashwords.com: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/49071

PERFECT GENTLEMAN
The girls call Wade Norris, "Papa." He's not their dad. He's not even related to them. In fact, he was born thousands of miles from the Philippines, the place he now calls home. Wade's their Papasan. He runs the go-go bar where the girls dance. But that doesn¹t make them any less of a
family. And rule number one: don't mess with family.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Perfect-Gentleman-ebook/dp/B004TGUD5I

B&N: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Perfect-Gentleman/Brett-Battles/e/2940012368362

Smashwords.com: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/49067

ABOUT BRETT
Brett Battles lives in Los Angeles and is the Barry Award winning author of four novels in the acclaimed Jonathan Quinn series, including THE CLEANER, THE DECEIVED, and his latest, THE SILENCED. He has just released the first book in his Logan Harper Series, LITTLE GIRL GONE. And before April is over, he will be releasing two more novels‹a high stakes thriller, and a
roller-coaster-of-a-ride Young Adult novel.

79 comments:

Coolkayaker1 said...

Joe – Congratulations on Newbie’s Guide being selected as one of the 101 Best Websites for Writers in the May/June 2011 issue of The Writer’s Digest.

Daryl Sedore said...

Another great post.

I completely agree that the reasons not to self-publish are diminishing.

The amount of time waiting for your book to come out through legacy publishing is too long. I have written three novels this year with two more coming out before Christmas. They'd never come out that fast using the traditional publishing method of scheduling releases.

Cheers

T.J. Dotson said...

This is so cool. Its interesting to watch more and more established authors move to digital publishing.

Wishing your great success Brett!!!

Jude Hardin said...

I'm not far behind you, Brett. I plan to release my new horror novella as soon as the cover and formatting are done.

Your indie covers and the cover for Robert Gregory Browne's "Bottom Deal" have a similar look and feel. Are the two of you using the same designer?

Connie said...

Just bought all three - this will be the first time reading your work. Hope the change is everything you wish it to be!

Michael said...

Great insight into the whole industry and process of publishing--and writing.

Brett Battles said...

Jude...good eye. Believe it or not Rob created the cover for the shorts. For LITTLE GIRL GONE Jeroen ten Berge created that.

Rebecca M. Senese said...

So exciting to see more and more writers taking advantage of the new world of publishing. I love being able to write as much as I want and make it available to readers without having to wait so long through the traditional publishing process.

I also love that this new world opens up the opportunities for different story lengths. It truly is the best of times to be a writer, and a reader!

Merrill Heath said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Merrill Heath said...

Interesting. I might have to read Perfect Gentleman. When I was in the USAF I was stationed in Okinawa, Japan, for 2 years and had numerous trips to the PI. Needless to say I spent more time than I should have in the bars and clubs in Angeles City and Manilla.

Merrill Heath
Bearing False Witness

Jude Hardin said...

Cool! Jeroen's doing my cover as well.

Gary Baker said...

Why DO legacy publishers take so long?

Darlene Underdahl said...

Corporate boardrooms can be nasty places.

http://darlene.underdahl.net/

Good luck with Little Girl Gone. I'll most likely get a copy.

Stacey Thompson-Geer said...

It's awesome to see more writers doing the self publish thing. I wanted to be published and thought the big New York guys were the only way to go. But now I can see this whole new world of opportunity opening up for many writers. :)

Andy Conway said...

I love the indie band analogy. I used it recently on the screenwriters bulletin I moderate when I announced my intention to go indie with 11 titles before 11.11.2011.

Of course, I got a lot of flak and was told self publishing was nothing like indie music at all, nor like independent filmmaking because books are, well, just different, that's all.

In private I'm getting lots of emails from screenwriters asking how to go indie themselves and, of course, this is where I'm pointing them.

Andy Conway
The Girl with the Bomb Inside (A Novelette) on Amazon.co.uk - Amazon.com and Smashwords

Merrill Heath said...

OK, here's what's so great about this ebook technology. I read a blog post that mentions a story that sounds interesting. A few minutes later I download the short story and read in during my lunch break at work. All for 99 cents.

Is this a great country, or what?

To Brett: Great story. You really captured the feel and personality of Angeles City. Brought back lots of memories.

Hey, GI. I love you, no shit!

Merrill Heath
Consequences

Pat Mullan said...

Hi Brett,

I've been following Joe ever since I first met him six years ago at the LOVE IS MURDER conference in Chicago and it's good to see you here. I'll be downloading your books to my kindle. And - I am going to emulate Joe as well (and I didn't need Barry to convince me): my new novel LAST DAYS OF THE TIGER is available as a paperback on Amazon and it's on B&N's nook - soon to follow on kindle and Smashwords. I have two more ready to go. I'm looking forward to the experience. I know you must be.

Hope to see you somewhere this year,
Best, Pat.

Sebastian Dark said...

Nice cover. I wish Brett's post was a bit more revealing, though, which would make it more interesting: ie, what were his experiences with self-publishing like so far, what his sales were, what his marketing plan was/is, etc etc.

It'd make for a better read.

Leon Ardkin said...

Totally agree. After years of waiting for legacy publishers, I finally dove in. My first book is on kindle and I have started on the next. There's nothing holding me back now.

Caryn Rose said...

The B&N link for "Perfect Gentlemen" does not resolve to the book - just thought you'd like to know (since I want to buy it!)

L. David Hesler said...

Joe, your site continues to be a source of inspiration. This post by Brett is just more proof that indie freedom is growing. I've seen messages by readers who are stunned by the number of indie authors producing books; there are so many people still discovering this movement. The road to revolution lies before us.

evilphilip said...

I have to mention: Angry Robot books, a Sci Fi & Fantasy publisher based out of the UK, held an open submission month.

Out of 700 submissions 4 will get kicked up to the editorial staff and probably only 1 of those will get published.

No offense to their "readers" but you can't tell me that all 696 of the remaining novels were unpublishable crap. You know there are probably some real gems hidden in there.

When you see posts like that from a traditional publisher, it cements in the idea that going "indie" is the only way to go for authors who are serious about their craft.

Here is the article.

Rebecca Stroud said...

A little over a year ago, I queried two agents - yes, a grand total of two - regarding representation for my collection of published pet/wildlife columns.

The first agent said, "No thanks. Not my cup of tea." The other said, unless I had a super-duper platform, that I should nix pursuing book publication.

Well, that was enough rejection for me. Especially considering the fact that I've noticed some silver threading through my hair. I.e., I simply don't have the time - or patience - to wait ad nauseam for umpty-ump levels of committees to pass their collective judgement.

SO, since then, I have self-published said columns...and two works of short stories...and a novel.

No, I am not setting the world on fire with my sales. However, I am much further along with my "four of a kind" than I ever would've been had I continued to chase that elusive ace.

Rebecca Stroud
Devil's Moon
A Three-Dog Night
Zellwood: A Dog Story
The Animal Advocate

nwrann said...

@Andy Conway

I have to agree with your Screenwriters Bulletin Board friends. The Indie Music, and Indie Filmmaker and Indie Author models are not interchangeable. And the analogy is misleading.

First and foremost is that all three of the different arts are consumed and enjoyed in a completely different manner, therefore the consumer has a completely different relationship with each type.

Second, Most indie musicians have a different outlet for developing a fanbase and making income OTHER than the product that is purchased online, and that's the live show and tour. New Indie musicians open up for established musicians and grow from their fanbase. Indie Films and Authors can't really tour (although there are a few filmmakers that try) to grow a fanbase.

Third, Of the three the Indie Author has (for the most part) the least expensive, most independent art. I can write a book and sell it for minimal cost and by myself, without needing to raise an army or a fortune (like an indie filmmaker).

The main similarity is that NOBODY needs to ask permission to offer their work to the world anymore. The costs of making and distributing music and films have come down enough and the pipeline to an audience is open enough that if a musician or filmmaker or author wants to do what they want to do they can do it without needing to impress any agents, managers, publishers, distributors, studios, execs, labels etc. They only need to find and impress their audience.

Personally, I think that indie authors will be more successful at profiting from digital distribution than musicians or filmmakers.

Linda Reed Gardner said...

I'm always good for another pet story. I'm glad you went ahead with your intention.
I also assume authors are making only a few pennies on a SS. I also assume they are collecting an audience for a book, or simply enjoy cranking out the shorts for those of us who like to read them. Could anyone say more about what you are making, and where you hope to go with this?

Anonymous said...

Joe,

http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-18438_7-20051201-82.html

Your and Barry's op about ebook pricing propping up print books really hit home with this. (Michael Connelly's ebook price is HIGHER than hardcover. WTF???)

Brett Battles said...

Sebastian...I wrote this right after I put it up for sale so had no numbers. LITTLE GIRL GONE's been out 13 days now. Through yesterday I was around 190 sold (I'm at a conference so can't remember the exact number, but within 3 either way.) Don't have today's numbers but my ranking has been dropping, so I think it's doing well. Also was only selling about five or six a day at first, but this week that's gone up to around 20...some days more some less. My short JUST ANOTHER JOB has been doing almost as well...about 175 through yesterday. PERFECT GENTLEMAN is doing less, but I expected that...it's around 100 through yesterday.

Eloheim and Veronica said...

Last year I was involved in a contest. The grand prize was a publishing contract. I didn't win.

One of the most shocking things I learned during that process - and there were many - was that the winner's book was expected to be published in 2012.

When I told people this, they consistently replied, "If you win, we have to wait that long? Your book needs to be out before then!"

Thanks to Joe's example it is.

Plus, the next book is in formatting and the third is nearly written.

I'm so glad I didn't decide that "their opinion" meant my book wasn't worth publishing.

I have sold 70 paperbacks and over 100 ebooks in the last month.

Yep, right here in 2011!!!!

Time to market is in OUR hands.

Veronica
The Choice for Consciousness: Tools for Conscious Living, Vol. 1

James Scott Bell said...

Congrats again, Brett. I was one of the first to get Little Girl Gone. The nicest thing for me, in putting out a novella/short story collection, is the speed at which a) it gets out there and b) it gets read. So I put out a writing book collection as well. LIke you, it's the fact that there are many stories to tell. We have readers. They used to ask, "So when's the next book coming out?" and we'd have to say, "Well, you know, publishing schedules and all. Next year." We don't have to say that anymore.

Amber Argyle said...

I'm not convinced that this self pubbing is the right route for me. I want to write books. Not worry about the cover or uploading it or copy editing it.

Nor do I have the capital to pay someone else to.

Perhaps in the future--when I already have an established fan base, or with one of my thrillers--I mostly write YA.

Robert Burton Robinson said...

Congratulations on taking the plunge, Brett. Love the cover.

I lost patience after submitting to only two agents back in 2007. All I could think was that it was going to take forever to secure an agent, then a second forever to get a publishing contract, then a third forever to see the book in print. So I self-published in print. Sold a few hundred books.

But then the Kindle revolution came along. And thanks to Joe, I jumped in.

Now I've got seven books in the Kindle store and my best-selling book is currently ranked 196. I'm lovin' it!

Best wishes to you, Brett. I'm sure you'll have great success with self-publishing.

Nicholas La Salla said...

Hello Brett! Thanks for the great post.

I agree with you on pretty much every count. It's a blast to be able to actually RELEASE your work when, at the traditional publishers, you'd have to wait at least a year for your slot in their publishing schedule to finally see the light of day.

My experiences self publishing have been overwhelmingly positive. I haven't made a ton of money from my first novel length ghost story, One More Day, but I had a nice first month, and though this second month has been a little slow -- possibly due to upping my price from $0.99 to $2.99 -- I have high hopes for April as a whole.

I wish you the best of luck!

Best,

Nick
One More Day

Anonymous said...

Yo, Konrath, I was reading Piers Anthony's site and he mentioned reading your Tequila book. And that he is prepping books for Kindle, or at least his people are.

Just a FYI.

His site is hipiers.com or something like that.

Eloheim and Veronica said...

@Amber

I read your comment a couple of hours ago and I have been thinking about it.

I never went after a traditional publishing contract (other than the contest I mentioned) so I don't have direct experience. However, from what I have read and from the people I have talked to, there is a LOT of work involved in going that the traditional publishing route.

I don't think very many - if any - authors get to just write and leave everything else to someone else.

Just getting to the point where you have a "someone else" in the picture requires a lot of reaching out to agents and publishers. That must have some expense associated with it as well.

All of that time can be redirected toward self-publishing. When you self-pub, all of the energy you put in is actually moving you toward your final product. Not just investing in "let's see what they say."

Up front costs when self-publishing don't have to be huge. If you review the comments section of the last 10 posts or so on this site, you will find lots of suggestions for keeping the costs down.

Is self-publishing easy? I didn't find it to be. There is a steep learning curve. But, my second book has been MUCH MUCH MUCH easier to create. For me, it was a smart investment in time, energy, and resources.

Veronica
The Choice for Consciousness: Tools for Conscious Living, Vol. 1
Things I have learned about self-publishing (so far)

Blake Crouch said...

Brett truly is the real deal....reading his newest right now and it's amazing. Buy all his stuff!

David said...

Love the cover, Brett. Jeroen did a great job.

T.J. Dotson said...

Yo, Konrath, I was reading Piers Anthony's site and he mentioned reading your Tequila book. And that he is prepping books for Kindle, or at least his people are.

Just a FYI.

His site is hipiers.com or something like that.


Piers Anthony is going KINDLE....thats huge news.

Brett Battles said...

nwrann...totally understand your point about indie bands, and you're right. The connection I was trying to make is in the more generic, the digital world changed the music world dynamic and is now doing the same with publishing kind of thing. That's how I see it anyway.

Brett Battles said...

Thanks, everyone for the well wishes and comments. Sorry for the spotty response to some of the questions. Am attending the RT Booklovers Convention so have been tied up most of the day. But I appreciate all the responses.

KDJames said...

Brett is attending RT and, thanks to the conference being pretty much live-streamed on twitter, I just learned that he wrote two novels and five short stories, plus drafted rough outlines for six more books, all during the lunch break today. Also, he ate food. Talented guy. I predict he will be a huge self-pub success. If I don't kill him first.

wannabuy said...

@EvilPhilip:

696 rejects?!? This struck me:
"Does this mean that the submissions we received were bad? Not at all – some were very good. It means that the good submissions just weren’t right for our list; that they didn’t feel like Angry Robot titles. "

That sounds arbitrary...

What happens when some of the rejected books sell well as ebooks? We'll ignore those that belong in the slush pile; poor reviews will keep them hidden anyway.

Neil

evilphilip said...

"What happens when some of the rejected books sell well as ebooks? We'll ignore those that belong in the slush pile; poor reviews will keep them hidden anyway."

Angry Robot's advance is in the range of $10,000.00. To make that much on the Kindle over 24 months you need to be selling 200 copies a month of your book.

(200 @$2.99 x $2.04 x 24 = $9792.00)

One of the Angry Robot editors (an awesome guy who I can't praise enough) was saying this was impossible and most Kindle authors never even reach the $24 per month required for Amazon to cut them a check.

I had to mention... I'm selling better than that and I have no website for my work and I do no promotion for my work.

I think there are 696 authors out there who need to be reading Joe's blog.

Sebastian Dark said...

Brett - thanks for the update with the stats. It'd be interesting to see how you do a month from now. See if Joe will let you put up another post then!

nwrann said...

One of the Angry Robot editors (an awesome guy who I can't praise enough) was saying this was impossible and most Kindle authors never even reach the $24 per month required for Amazon to cut them a check.

I wonder if that Angry Robot editor realizes that a higher percentage of authors will find success self-pubbing than the 00.14% that found success through submitting to them? Hell, more authors will find success self-pubbing than the 00.57% that get kicked up to the editors. Do you think that when he asks authors to submit he mentions that they would have a better chance selling their book by self-pubbing? It seems with him that it's only a one way street.

Susan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robin Sullivan said...

As I see more and more traditionally published authors shift to self-published I have to wonder if the publishing model will start to flip on it's head.

It used to be self-publishing was for "new" authors that either couldn't or didn't try to traditinal publish. Since these authors can leverage established audiences they have a good chance of success.

Will we eventually find a day that many of the traditionally pubished authors are "first timers" who are filling the holes of the migration to self-published?

Robin | Write2Publish | Michael J. Sullivan's Writings

Anonymous said...

As I see more and more traditionally published authors shift to self-published I have to wonder if the publishing model will start to flip on it's head.

I met with a NYT bestselling author yesterday, and he said he was excited about his ebook -- the one he had electronic rights to. and recently loaded up to Amazon. "Did you know the royalties are much higher there?" *he waxed enthusiastically*


I had to laugh. "Yes, I have four books on Kindle store," I replied. He continued to rant about his experience, as if it were something totally new that I couldn't possibly understand.

I'm still laughing about it.

Anna Murray

David Ross Erickson said...

When Angry Robot announced their open submission month, they said that any author who doesn't have a substantial web presence (or words to that effect) will have a hard time attracting "our full attention."

Height of arrogance? Can it even go higher?

I run a business (in addition to writing) and I can't imagine talking like that to prospective clients/partners/subcontractors.

Hell, I checked Angry Robot out and, gotta tell ya, they failed to attract my full attention. No offense.

Jamie Sedgwick said...

"He continued to rant about his experience, as if it were something totally new that I couldn't possibly understand."

I've encountered this sort of attitude as well. A lot of self-published authors are angry at publishers these days for reasons that may or may not be valid, but what strikes me as odd is the venom that comes from some legacy authors. Some of them seem determined to marginalize indie publishers. It's disappointing, because I thought we were all on the same team. I don't understand this philosophy at all.

Andy Conway said...

@nwrann

Yes, I agree on all of that. Indie novelists are in a much better position than either indie bands or indie filmmakers because they can truly be a one-person industry (you've probably already guessed that I was being told the opposite, though).

The revolution of digital distribution now means all three can, to a large extent, bypass the traditional gatekeepers of those industries and sell direct to the consumer.

If you're a band, you can record your music and put it out on itunes and you don't need a record company.

If you're a filmmaker you can raise a bit of cash to get a crew together to shoot micro-budget and distribute on itunes and other VOD services. You don't need a major production company to fund you, a distributor or a cinema chain. (see Edward Burns and 'Nice Guy Johnny', made for only $25k).

If you're a writer, you can... well, you know all that.

The only thing that comes close to the novelist is maybe a singer-songwriter. For bands and filmmakers it's a little bit harder, but still very achievable.

Nancy Beck said...

...what strikes me as odd is the venom that comes from some legacy authors. Some of them seem determined to marginalize indie publishers. It's disappointing, because I thought we were all on the same team. I don't understand this philosophy at all.

The sniping on the one writers board I usually frequent got so bad in one thread (which eventually was locked by the mods there), that I wrote a blog post on it.

I don't understand it, either.

David said...

Here's a link everyone needs to read:

http://realbusiness.co.uk/news/how-i-got-a-blank-book-to-the-top-of-the-amazon-charts

evilphilip said...

"Hell, I checked Angry Robot out and, gotta tell ya, they failed to attract my full attention. No offense."

Angry Robot has some of the worst looking cover art I have ever seen. Many of their authors are top notch Sci Fi & Fantasy authors who will never sell more than a few hundred copies to their friends/facebook/twitter followers due to the craptastic cover art Angry Robot stuck them with.

And to get into this exclusive club packed full of some 1st year Photoshop covers you need to have an agent because they don't take open submissions.

It isn't worth it. Look at the cover to Brett's story... it is professional and attractive. It almost tells a story on its own and it hints at the story inside. It makes you want to buy it even if you don't normally read thrillers.

You really can do better on your own than you can from many publishers.

nwrann said...

@andy

All correct, except that iTunes is still a gatekeeper for indie filmmakers. It is possible to pay $2500 or more to get an "aggregator" to put your indie film up there (they don't take short films at all (allegedly)) but there are plenty of other options for indie filmmakers (Amazon via createspace, Amazon VOD etc) but the main places that people go to watch movies (i.e. your television through your cable box) are still difficult to get to. You can read about my trials and tribulations with my most recent feature, BURNING INSIDE, at my blog http://nwrann.wordpress.com

Grent said...

I have a question for those who have self-published: how many of you hired editors? I'm thinking of moving in the self-pub direction, but I keep reading about typos, grammar errors, etc in Amazon reviews. I've published shorts before, and the editors made very few changes, and the changes they did make were minor. Is an editor truly necessary?

Jude Hardin said...

Is an editor truly necessary?

When I first got my contract for Pocket-47, my editor sent two single-spaced pages of editorial suggestions/questions that had nothing to do with grammar, typos, etc. I addressed every single item on the list, turned in the revision, and then got back two more single-spaced pages of suggestions/questions. I addressed every single item on that list as well. This back-and-forth continued until my editor was completely satisfied with the manuscript.

The book recently received a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly.

So that's how it worked out for me. Having an editor helped a great deal, I think.

And here's the thing: I learned a great deal through that process, so my next book won't require nearly as much editing.

Eric Christopherson said...

Is an editor truly necessary?

A good editor is a luxury for some and a necessity for others (and if you're not entirely sure which group you belong to, it's the latter). If you have the skill set and enough experience you can edit yourself (though I'd never recommend not having trusted eyes review the ms).

With my first repped novel the agent, a former editor, made a lot of excellent, substantive editing suggestions before submitting to publishers. With my most recently repped novel, novel #3, it was submitted without a single change (albeit, I had a coauthor on that one, so you could say we edited each other).

At least with self-pubbed ebooks you can always unpublish ...

wannabuy said...

@EvilPhilip:I think there are 696 authors out there who need to be reading Joe's blog

Understatement!

Neil

wannabuy said...

@T.J. Dotson: "Piers Anthony is going KINDLE....thats huge news."

Huge news! And long overdue. ;)
I loved Piers Anthony as a kid.

Piers Anthony's blog comment:"As I like to put it, the average traditional publisher doesn't give half a used fart for the welfare of the average writer. "

http://piersanthonyblog.blogspot.com/

The backlists are coming. ;)

Neil

Coolkayaker1 said...

It pains me, as a reader, to see in this Newbie's Guide thread any discussion about needing an editor.

Trust me, you need an editor. Great writers of the decades--you name the writer, old or new--use editors. They edit their fiction incessantly. Relentlessly. It takes them, literally, years to edit their book.

In the gold rush to plce your ebook online and sell it for a couple dollars, please don't shirk non the editing.

I believe this, Joe K, would agree upon.

evilphilip said...

"Trust me, you need an editor. Great writers of the decades--you name the writer, old or new--use editors. They edit their fiction incessantly. Relentlessly. It takes them, literally, years to edit their book."

This is both true and untrue. I have read a lot of books over the years where large sections of the book were excised by some editor only to be put back later by the author.

Editing for grammar, spelling, difficult sentances -- it seems like Editors excell at that kind of thing.

Editing for content & story flow. Not so much.

LynW said...

"...Editing for grammar, spelling, difficult sentances -- it seems like Editors excell at that kind of thing. Editing for content & story flow. Not so much..."

Ignoring the typos in your comment, I have to say that there are different kinds of editors and different kinds of editing. Some writers/books are well-served by working with an experienced developmental editor who can help them figure out the flow, pacing, etc., for their book; hopefully, the more a writer practices their art and develops their own storytelling skills, the less they'll need this sort of editing.

But the "extra pair of eyes" to go through looking for typos, lapses in grammar that cannot be attributed to character voice or writing style, poor punctuation, or simple errors (like a writer forgetting that the captured heroine's hands are tied behind her back when having her frantically pounding on the door of the room she's been taken to [something I just read in a published novel]) is where a proofreader/line-editor comes in very handy. An author is too close to their own work, and no matter how many times they comb through the ms finding and fixing some things, they're still likely to miss others. An editor, coming at the ms with fresh eyes, can be very helpful at this stage, and help the author end up with a finished product that won't be riddled with embarrassing errors.

(And yes, I'm biased about this because I *am* a professional editor. But I'm also a reader, and a supporter of indie writers, and I want to see as many successes as possible in this wonderful new world of publishing.)

Lyn
www.camdenparkpress.com/author-services

LynW said...

"...I have read a lot of books over the years where large sections of the book were excised by some editor only to be put back later by the author..."

Just wanted to point out that this often happened (and still does) when the original version of the manuscript either (a) was too long, and something needed to be cut to meet the contracted word-length, or (b) didn't match the editor's vision of what they thought they were buying - i.e., the editor thought they bought a romantic suspense for their line, and the author delivered a suspense with little/no romance. In order to accept the book, the editor would probably recommend losing some scenes in the original draft and replacing them with scenes that play up the romance element.

There are other reasons, too, why editors suggest/request scene cuts/changes. And a lot of factors that influence how many of those requests a writer might have to accept. One of the nice things about indie publishing is that the writer is in control of shaping the book; but that doesn't mean that an editor is no longer useful/necessary.

I suppose I could say that editorial comments to a indie writer fall more along the lines of "guidelines, rather than rules," if you take my meaning. I know that's how I try to present my comments/suggestions to the writers I work with. Ultimately, though, the final decision rests with the writer, which is how it should be.

Lyn
www.camdenparkpress.com/author-services

msthriller said...

Congrats Brett. You can add my name to those bought your book Little Girl Gone. I've been following your writing progress on FB and was impressed on how dedicated of a writer you are. I also took the plunge into self publishing - Jeroen did my cover as well - and I'm pretty satisfied with the results. I'm selling a few books a day so far and hope my ranking improves as more of my books are released. Good luck!
Traci

Jason said...

Hey Brett, looking forward to reading Little Girl Gone. Congrats on taking the plunge - I know you won't be sorry. Putting out 3 or 4 novels per year from now on vs. 1 will be rewarding in more ways than one.

I'm really looking forward to reading Joe's new sci-fi Timecaster book, but it's been torture waiting for so long for it to come out from when he very first started talking about it. And it's priced by his publisher the same as the paperback...bah! At least the self-pubbed sequel won't take as long to come out. And will be priced more appropriately for an ebook I'm sure.

I also agree it's pretty cool that Piers Anthony is publishing new books on Kindle now. But I hope he goes with a reasonable pricing structure...I won't be paying $9.99 for a new ebook from him!

Still working on my own debut book. It's a Civil War era thriller about a young woman who gets pulled into a weight-loss 'cult', called Gone With the Thinned.

Selena Kitt said...

Yay about Piers! He published something with us and I suggested he go Kindle. :))

Brett truly is the real deal....reading his newest right now and it's amazing. Buy all his stuff!

High praise indeed!

Hey...did Joe scare Bowerbird away?

Sidney said...

Went to look at Jeroen's covers and saw this:

http://tumblr.com/xkh10aq8st

Coincidence or pseudonym, Brett?

jeroentenberge said...

Coincidence Sydney.

Very different books, very different people.

jeroentenberge said...

Oops. Sorry Sidney... meant to write Sidney instead of Sydney. Must be the relative close proximity of Sydney to where I live.

WDGagliani said...

Brett, looks good -- I'm definitely going to try a copy, as it sounds right up the dark alley I prefer.

Good luck with it!

And Jude -- man, congratulations on that terrific Starred (!) PW review! I am working my way toward reading/reviewing it, and it may have just bumped a couple things out of the way. Thanks again for the review copy -- it's ready and waiting in my Kindle. I do believe it's telling me it's next! :-)

With a review like that, you can't go wrong!

Bill

Cheryl said...

Congrats on the new release, Brett. I wish you the best.

Cheryl

Shéa MacLeod said...

And speaking of Piers. Was just reading his April newsletter where he recommends his fans to read Shot of Tequila by JA Konrath. Awesome.

Andrew said...

Piers is one of my alltime favorite authors. If he runs his backlist through Kindle I'll be right there! Also did everyone see this? http://www.zdnet.com/blog/btl/amazon-launches-ad-supported-kindle-for-114-a-milepost-on-the-way-to-free/47147 There's a version of Kindle that is ad-supported for $25 off. Is a free version coming soon?

David said...

Wow thanks, Andrew. Not sure $25 bucks off is worth it, but it's interesting to see where it's going. $99 is def the next milestone.

rkfinnell said...

I believe the stigma of self-publishing is slowly fading away, although I do see those occasional readers who consider it less than worthy of being read.

Veronica said...

Upon reading the comment that some readers think that self-published books as less worthy of being read, I flashed on a memory from 20+ years ago.

I was in a book store. An elderly gentleman was standing next to me. We got to talking about books. I recommended a book to him. He said, "I don't read books written by women."

I was SHOCKED. I didn't know what to say.

Ironically, the sentiment "don't judge a book by its cover" comes to mind.

Veronica
The Choice for Consciousness: Tools for Conscious Living, Vol. 1
Things I have learned about self-publishing (so far)

Andrew said...

I don't usually comment much on boards, but something struck me tonight. Have you noticed how ebooks are slowly changing from their paper predecessors? Smaller, more "social", niche but also potentially popular, etc. But it goes further. Imagine book ideas starting in KickStarter so that the audience is there before the book is even done, or Kindle readers have a 'vote' button that feeds back to the author to tell him/her which book they should write the sequel to based on popularity, etc etc. Just like iTunes and YouTube are transforming how music and video are created...

Jason said...

I agree things like that will begin to happen Andrew. Joe is getting a feedback (pressure?) to write sequels to The List & Origin on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and in Amazon reviews.

So yeah, self-pubbing authors will certainly be paying more attention to things like that in the future.

Lee Shin said...

spot on with this write-up, i like the way you discuss the things. i'm impressed, i must say. i'll probably be back again to read more. thanks for sharing this with us.

Lee Shin
www.trendone.net