Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Independent Publishing--Part 2

OK, once I decided to sell Minder unagented, I had three options.

I could go to an existing independent press.
I could self-publish.
I could start my own indie press.

I did my research. There's a LOT of research in a decision like this. Basically, I needed to figure out what agents and publishers brought to the publication process--professional editing, formatting, cover art, distribution, pricing, marketing, publicity, etc.--and then decide how I would get those things for my book.

After checking out my choices, I decided to start my own press. And thus, Spencer Hill Press was born. It's not just for my own work, although I'm figuring out the best methods as I put Minder through the process. I'll open the press to new submissions in October--if you write YA (or New Adult) urban fantasy, please consider querying!

I filed the proper paperwork with the State of New Hampshire, adding the "Doing Business As" name to my LLC. I set up my website, and opened the proper accounts with printers, distributors, and Bowker (the ISBN assigners). I got a bank account and a credit card. I've run my own business before, so I knew the drill. I created a business model that took into account my target demographics, a realistic sales projection, and included marketing the rest of the series, since there will be at least six Ganzfield books. I gave myself a six month lead time to get the book released; I've found that to be a tight (but doable) time-frame, so I'll expand that to about nine months for future releases.

My publishing checklist has nearly 50 items.

I covered item #1 yesterday: write a book. The two most important--and expensive--remaining items were marketing/publicity and editing. I hired professionals to do both, and my company paid a premium to get really good people. I figured out that, with my expenses to date, I need to sell at least 3,400 copies of Minder before I see a profit. That's not much compared to Stephenie Meyer's 85 million units of the Twilight saga, but it's substantial when you consider that 95% of the books published each year sell fewer than 5,000 copies. How do I plan to beat the odds? First, I strongly believe I have a really, really good book. I wouldn't put in all the time, money, and emotion into a mediocre product. Second, I have an innovative marketing strategy and a great team on-board.

I'll tell you more about marketing and publicity tomorrow in part 3.


Disgruntled Bear said...

I'd give you the names of my editing and marketing goddesses, but then you might hire them away from me!

Brenda said...

Interesting posts! I'm really enjoying reading about your journey on this.

Disgruntled Bear said...

Thanks, Brenda!

Theresa Milstein said...

Wow, you've taken on a big task and it sounds like you've done your research. I wish you the best of luck.

MissV said...

Found you during the blog jog and I really enjoy hearing all the behind-the-scenes details involved here. Looking forward to the next installment!

fairyhedgehog said...

This is so far beyond anything I could imagine doing!

Disgruntled Bear said...

Hi fairyhedgehog!
It's been a TON of work that has really cut into my writing time. I hope it's worth it--time will tell!

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