So, as one of my (many) smarter-than-I friends pointed out, I had better find out whether YA fiction is even selling in eBook form. Wandering around Kindle for a while led to the conclusion that, yes, tweens and tees are indeed buying eBooks.
HOWEVER, only about 1% of those books appear to be eBook only. In other words, people are buying, say, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Theif, already popular in hardback, paperback, and movie form. There don’t seem to be many truly “indie” authors starting out eBook… far less, in fact, than I expected to see.
One who jumped out as doing pretty well was Katie Klein. Problem is, Katie Klein is a nom de plume of a writer who already has an agent and has published before. I’m not knocking Katie a bit; in fact, it is really interesting commentary to me on just how hard it is to get published through traditional channels. But it just goes to show that while converting a .doc to an eBook is easy as pie, selling it is not.
Sales and marketing, marketing and sales. Two things I suck at royally. I’m reading a cheesy book now on how to sell a million eBooks. I will let you know if there is anything that doesn’t stink in there.
After some much appreciated feedback from friends and my critique group, I’ve posted a new story (linked in the menu above), The Jaguar and the Poison Frog. This fable is in part an homage to one of my literary heroes, Rudyard Kipling.
In greater part it’s an attempt to try to reconcile Hope and Fear. We need them both; the blind of hope of the child becomes foolishness and naivete without the lessons of fear; the blind fear of the adult becomes paralysis and death without the freedom of hope. I’m bad at balancing Hope and Fear. Hope, especially, is hard for me.
I took the plunge and bought a Kindle last week. I’m reading Haruki Murakami‘s The Wind Up Bird Chronicle, one of few of his books that I haven’t yet read. I get lost in the story just as quickly as I do with a paperback. It still feels a bit strange; I guess I’ll know in a month or two how I really feel about it.
The Rival looks pretty official when I’m reading it on the Kindle. I tried sending it to my Kindle email (apparently the simplest way to convert docs to ebooks) as a pdf, and the formatting was all screwed up, but when sent as a Word document, bingo. Chapters start on new pages, and everything.
I’ll keep on with this ebook project over the summer. I’ll try to figure out the Nook and the iPad. And what to do about marketing. That’s where I messed up with London Moxie, so that’s where the most improvement is needed.
Today I played around with free software that converts Word docs to ebook format and lets you preview whay it would look like on a Kindle. I’ll want to do more test drives – on the Kindle itself, too – but so far the mechanics are actually looking surprisingly easy.
Just a test post to see if I can do this from my phone.
I’m doing some research on self-publishing through Amazon.com’s Kindle Direct, Barnes & Noble’s PubIt!, and Apple’s iTunes Connect. Since I’m already on Amazon.com thanks to London Moxie, I’m starting there. First step: create an author page. Second step: buy a Kindle? I suppose I should have a look at eBooks before I turn any of my books into one.
I don’t know yet how far I’ll follow this thread. Is the idea of going back to self-publishing motivated by a year of rejection? You bet. Does that make it the right choice? Maybe not. It’s possible The Rival isn’t going anywhere because it’s not ready for the wide world of readers.
After an annoyingly quick robo-response from the last agent yesterday, the query tally for The Rival: Part I of Bex Blixen and the Electroleviathans is:
Agents giving constructive feedback: 1
Agents giving generic feedback: 6
Agents providing no response: 3
I’ll need to find time to work on query #11 this weekend.