THE REAL DEAL COVER REVEAL!

The book is scheduled for release later this month. . . fingers crossed.

I still remember the immense feeling of accomplishment I had the first time I wrote The End almost two years ago. Since then, I have written those same words on two other occasions; both times in the same work. I added Chapter 9, wrote The End and sent my manuscript off to an editor. Her recommendations led to the creation of Chapters 10 & 11 and once again, I wrote The End.

Writing a book is like having a pet or a child–just because you have one does not mean you job is over. In fact it is just the beginning. The journey will test you, possibly break you and will definitely change you. I was as naive as they come as I began to learn the ropes of the publishing game.

I actually thought it was about the work.

A veteran of the publishing game told me, “If War and Peace was written today, Leo Tolstoy would not get a publishing deal.” I rejected this advice only to spend the next year proving his opinion to be correct.

I found out the following:

  • Publishers do not want to read query letters– especially from new previously unpublished authors–so the largest of them sloughed the task of reading off on the Agents.
  • Only authors represented by an Agent can pitch the few remaining large publishing houses.
  •  Agents do not want to read query letters– especially from new previously unpublished authors–because they know it is a tough sell and they like an easy lay.

It is here where you must decide the future of your work that you invested three years of your life into. Shelve it and get on with your life or take the road full of potholes into the world of self-publishing. I did the latter.

I found out the following:

  • FAR TOO MANY alleged “Author Services” companies are owned by or related to the big publishers that would not even give your book a chance.
  • The ones that are not related to the big publishing houses are arguably scammers, there to exploit every naive indie-author who comes along with a dream.
  • They try to charge at least three times the going rates for their services which NEVER GUARANTY ANY SALES or even placement of your book where readers can see them.

It is here where you must decide on the product(s) you wish to produce professionally vs. taking a DIY approach to publishing your work. It is also here where you must decide how you will reach the book buyers of the world.

There is a giant corporate umbrella over the entire book publishing industry. Indie-authors, like raindrops, just bounce right off.

I found out the following:

  • Amazon owns CreateSpace, Kindle Direct Publishing and BookSurge so they CONTROL your work from the time you upload your manuscript to the time they produce your print-on-demand first edition. You will be FORCED to comply with their rules for playing their game in their backyard. This is a corporate monopoly. These rules are not in your best interests but their’s. Amazon invented an ingenious system featuring a ridiculous RETURN POLICY where they produce and ship books only to have them returned and destroyed. They proceed as though Amazon is the only place you need to be, when in reality being an Amazon Indie-Author is the equivalent to being a fart in a hurricane–someone might notice you briefly.
  • Most of the world’s largest chains of brick and mortar book stores learned from Amazon’s success. They have now created their own return policies and DISCOUNT POLICIES, allowing them to have inventory–essentially on consignment–that they can price so low some unwary authors have actually LOST MONEY on each book sold. They make the poor indie-author SOLELY responsible for paying for producing books to sit on their shelves. The unsold inventory at the end of the term of the agreement is returned IN ANY CONDITION to the author so long as the author PAYS THE SHIPPING COSTS.
  • OF COURSE THERE WILL BE UNSOLD BOOKS because you will never make it to the front window or the front table, nor will your cover ever be facing out so customers can see it. This treatment is reserved for best-selling books from the big publishers who practically run these chains because they have been in bed with each other for decades.
  • It is a volume based business. Ingram produces and distributes books for many large publishing houses. Their Lightning division services the small publishers of the world at a higher cost per book, while their Spark division charges still more to indie-authors. This results in lower royalties for the indie-author if they want to keep their retail prices comparable to offerings from the major publishers.

You are required to BUY your way into a carefully guarded marketplace.

The message is clear. The largest companies in the publishing business do not share well with others. They both own and simultaneously dislike the indie-publishing trade. J. K. Rowling taught them a badly needed lesson. You cannot keep a good writer down.

I found out the following:

  • Social media is a quagmire which does not sell many books relative to the TIME INVESTMENT.
  • There are a great many independently operated book stores that will support an indie-release.
  • There are a great many book expos which are not too expensive to have your book showcased in.
  • There are still a great many libraries on the planet.
  • Reviews sell books.

Long ago in one of my earliest blog posts I stated, “I do not wish to be selling books out of the trunk of my car.” I now understand the indie-authors who do.

Much love.

E. A.

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E. A. Barker

About the Author E. A. Barker is an under-achieving, occasionally brilliant, man-child now in mid-life who can get into High IQ sperm-banks the world over. He is a keen observational analyst, satirist, humorist, and researcher. He lacks doctorates in psychiatry, psychology, psychotherapy, medicine, genetics, theology, political science, sociology and physics and is completely okay with this; yet he is willing to challenge these experts to wake up and do better. E. A. believes he is an average guy in mid-life who has led a mostly average life. His readers may not agree with his assessment. The single biggest difference between him and most other people is his relentless pursuit of knowledge. Throughout his life he never stopped asking the simplest question: Why? E. A. thinks of himself as a collector of ideas and a purveyor of dot connections. He attempts to present his findings in an entertaining fashion in an effort to encourage people to read—especially men who are reading far too little these days. E. A. Barker is an advocate of education for its ability to affect societal reform and actively promotes the idea that a global conscience is possible.

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