Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Guest author Lynn Emery: Never Say Never

Lynn Emery sold her first novel in 1995 to Kensington publishing for their groundbreaking Arabesque line. Night Magic went on to be recognized for Excellence in Romance Fiction for 1995 by Romantic Times Magazine. Her third novel, After All, became a movie produced by BET and aired on December 3, 1999. In 2004 Lynn won three coveted Emma Awards. She was chosen Author of the Year and her novel Kiss Lonely Goodbye won Best Novel and Favorite Hero. Good Woman Blues (August 2005, HarperCollins) was nominated by Romantic Times Magazine for Best Multicultural Mainstream novel of 2005. A Darker Shade of Midnight is Lynn’s latest novel of magic and murder.

Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away this reader and writer vowed she would never do two things.
  1. Self-publish fiction
  2. Read e-books
You see, my crystal ball was in the shop. I couldn’t imagine that those quaint e-readers or e-books would catch on; too many barriers like pricing, formats and accessibility. Or that self-publishing would ever be more than a money and energy drain on writers.

My, my, my. The world has changed. Readers are having a ball. I said, “Read a book on my phone? You kidding me? No way!” Ahem, enter my IPhone. I’ve read five books on this thing. I love the ease of getting a book in minutes, seconds in most cases. Instant reader gratification. Score! I will be buying more. Believe it. I might even finally buy an e-reader. I just can’t decide which one. No prob. While I ponder the choices, prices keep dropping and the features get better. Score again!

As an author I’ve learned to format my own original titles and publish them. Easy, inexpensive, and doesn’t take long. No piles of books stacked up in my extra bedroom. No huge amounts of time or money spent getting them published. Score! What’s more, in this new indie publishing world, promotion is seen as a time suck that doesn’t lead to sales. Writing more books leads to sales. Writers can get back to writing sooner rather than later. Score again!

Indie publishing has a long list of advantages that the old self-publishing model never had. If you’re a traditionally published author I suggest you read articles about this new long tail of publishing. Even more important, beware of some new clauses being added to traditional publishing contracts. I could write so much more on what I’ve learned about “net sales”, promotion, the old “conventional” wisdom about agents and publishers, etc. But I don’t want to test the patience of my hosts here at Novel Spaces.
Now if you’re ready to enter this new world, I’ll take you there (cue old school song from The Staple Singers).

A Darker Shade of Midnight and Best Enemies are available at the Kindle Store, Nook Books and Smashwords.com.


Charles Gramlich said...

Definitely a brave new world.

Liane Spicer said...

Welcome back, Lynn!

I too was resistant to the e-book/e-reader phenomenon. I'm having to reassess my position now and yes, I've even purchased e-books. Brave new world indeed.

Lynn Emery said...

Thanks for the inviation, Liane.

I enjoy the independence, and the great thing is authors can do both indie publishing and sign a traditional contract. But reports are coming in that publishers are looking for ways (non-compete clauses) to handcuff authors. So if you get a contract, read it carefully before you sign.

Farrah Rochon said...

Great seeing you here at Novel Spaces, Lynn! Thanks for sharing all you've learned on this new journey!

KeVin K. said...

Glad to see you here, Lynn. Welcome aboard. And thanks for an interesting column.

Having been born shortly before dirt, I struggle with my early programming that self-publishing = vanity press. Intellectually I recognize the difference, but I always need a moment to overcome my phobic reaction. (This moment is getting shorter as I read more good to excellent novels that have been self-published.) As for e-books, you'd think with 60% of my published works available only in e-format I'd be all about them, but while I have a small library in PDF in my computer, I've never owned an e-reader. (Our youngest is considering upgrading and has said she'll give me her hand-me-down.) You almost inspire me to overcome my comfortable calcification and try new things.

Once again, it’s good to see you, Lynn. I hope you become a regular.