Saturday, February 11, 2012

I Need an E-book to Publish

On Thursday night I attended a class at our local library about e-publishing. Now, I'm not a writer by any stretch of the imagination nor do I have plans to write a book, I actually went hoping to get inspiration on making some sort of e-portfolio, which is apparently a very different type of thing. Almost all the people at this class had completed manuscripts that they wanted to turn into ebooks, (very cool for them.) I stayed at the class because it seemed like it would be an interesting skill to have: the know-how to format, publish, and market an ebook. I learned so many random things about the publishing world that I never knew before, which I'm now going to share with you.

So the class was hosted by two authors who have published in both the traditional method and the self-publishing method, so they gave a pretty interesting comparison of the methods.

In the traditional method, you basically hand over your final manuscript to a big publishing house and they edit, format, publish, market, etc, your book and then you get back 10% of the price of the book. I'm an ex-accountant so your getting the numbers. For example, if the Hunger Games (because that's what I'm about to be reading - Mockingjay) cost $20 then Suzanne Collins would get $2 a book. In Feb 2010, she sold 800,000 books which makes her cash-money equal to $1,600,000 (that's over the course of the books life.)

In the e-book method, she gets 70% of the sale price, which is about $8.00. She has sold over 1 million ebooks, but lets say she only sold 800,000 for comparisons sake, she would get $5.60 per book and for 800,000 she would get $4,480,000. Wow - that's like a difference of more than 2 mil...omg.

Obviously she is a huge outlier because the Hunger Games was RIDICULOUSLY successful, but the authors recommend that if you are just in it for the $$$ then you should write in one of the two most popular genres: romance or thriller; the biggest cash cow is the genre "paranormal romance;" (this category made me giggle,) which is books like Twilight.  

E-publishing has become a real challenger against the traditional method because of it's incredible popularity amongst authors and the average-Joe. E-books are a win-win for authors and readers: lower price point for readers, more direct profit for authors, and low start-up costs for newbie writers. There is also a whole little home-grown industry coming up around the self-publishing of e-books. People are choosing to work out of their homes: editing, formatting, cover art designing, and marketing e-books, (which would be a FANTASTIC mommy business for a SAHM! Another great SAHM job would be actually writing your own book!)

The authors provided us with a bunch of resources like this formatting guide and this company that will format and make cover art for you (at a reasonable price) if you choose not to do it yourself. They also talked briefly about self-publishing hard books through this Amazon program. I took notes at the presentation so if you are interested in all of the nitty-gritty details feel free to contact me and I will pass along what I know.


1 comment:

  1. I so wish I had time to do this with my unpublished manuscripts! I love the tips, though. This is on my bucket list for when my son starts school!