So you can read my books

Friday, November 18, 2011


Actually, I have already quit.

Quit what?

I have quit what so many other authors have ...

Seeking traditional publication.

See Nathan Bransford excellent post :

Let's face it : a lot of us are questioning the wisdom of querying agents and trying for traditional publication at all,

whether because of the length of time it takes,

the fear of losing control,

e-book royalties, and many other factors.

1.) Length of time it takes :

A year? Two? John Locke has a point : when the product you have is hot, two years to get a second book into the reader's hands is too long for the interest not to have cooled down to an Ice Age.

A salesman with a hot idea and no merchandise to sell is in agony. With ePublishing, you can have a backlist of seven to eleven books for readers to gobble up in the time it takes a SECOND PRINT BOOK TO COME OUT!

2.) Control :

Let's be real. What prompts you to pick up a book? Usually the title at first. The Publisher can stomp on your beloved, carefully chosen title to shove in theirs.

Case in point :

F. Paul Wilson wrote a book that sold well, THE KEEP. He wrote another with the title of the creature who was the adversary in it. The Publisher shelved that title and named it THE TOMB.

Problem? There's no tomb in THE TOMB! Wilson pointed that out and was told that by the time the reader realized that, he would have bought the book! Aaaaargh!

The cover art :
Again control. You're a newbie. You get the bottom of the barrel in artwork. But with ePublishing, you choose the artist and the artwork. The cover to the first CONAN THE BARBARIAN by Frank Frazetta was the first paperback to sell a million copies in weeks.

Why? That stunning cover.

3.) eBook royalties and shelf life.

You sell your eBook for 99 cents, you get back 35 cents ... 60 days later WITH NO AGENT CUTTING OUT HER 15%.

You sell your eBook for 2.99, you get back 75%.

Yes, you pay for the artwork, the formatting, and the marketing. But do you believe in yourself or don't you?

Shelf Life :

The shelf life of a print book is like unto that of a gnat these days. Your eBook? It's there for as long as you want it.

Distribution :

I've sold books to readers in Germany, France, England, Australia, New Zealand, and of course, the USA. You won't get that kind of worldwide distribution for a newbie print book.

4.) Your book is yours :

Neil Gaiman wrote BOOKS OF MAGIC for DC COMICS before HARRY POTTER -- the two main characters are so similar at the start that it is striking. Why no lawsuits? WARNER BROTHERS owned DC COMICS and THE MOVIE RIGHTS TO HARRY POTTER.

Also DC comics owned the characters of BOOKS OF MAGIC.


You may never sell the movie rights to them, but if you do, the money will come to you alone and not the publisher, agent, etc.

Like most print authors, you will probably never get to make a living off of your novels. But you will have the control and freedom to chart the seas as you choose.

Yes, you will have to hustle to get your book out there. But being an author is a grand, epic adventure, testing your wit, resolve, and passion. Remember ...

Impossible just give birth to legends!


  1. Traditional publishing seems so far out of reach, but self-publishing scares me even more. But only in terms of wondering, if you start on the self-pub path, can you ever switch to the other?

  2. Joshua :
    John Locke and Amanda Hocking both have -- gaining lucrative deals with print publishers. You truly have the best of both worlds as a starting out author. Thanks for visiting and chatting, Roland

  3. I've actually heard both that agents shun you. And yet look at Palloni. You take a risk either way.

    I quit too, Roland. I'm just lucky to have had a small publisher take notice of my books. But if I knew how to do the smashwords, I'd go with it because the money you make is yours after the cut to whoever. My only problem is promotions.

  4. Hi,


    Go for it I say.

    To be fair I'm in the situation of a book due out with a US publisher in July 2012. But Hell, I could be dead before then...It's been in their hands since June 2011. Why in God's name does it take a year to produce one book? Well, there are reasons, as in, firstly I'm not the only author on their books.

    But, in the time the publisher has had my novel I've written and put up three novellas on Kindle. They're selling really well. Admittedly the books are up and and down each week in the rankings, but I've done no blog tours, no blagsplashes, and posted only the odd tweet. The novellas are selling on their own merit. Are they good, are they crap? I have so few reviews I can't really say, and I'm guessing fellow bloggers who supposedly purchased some didn't think them worthy of review.

    So, let's for the hell of it say they're crap novellas. Well hell, that means shit sells!!! Whoopy-do. I'm making money and it's all my own. No agent. No publisher. Just moi. ;)


  5. I quit, too, a while back. The reason: literary agents keep rejecting my queries. I just received a rejection from an agent I queried between six months and a year ago. I forgot I'd even queried her. My only thought was: I really don't care. I'll be self-publishing my first novel before long. I've already self-published a book of short stories. So, I'm on my way. It's an adventure of sorts. I'm enjoying it.

  6. But here's the thing, Roland. John Locke who has been saying all this for the past couple years has now gone with a traditional print publisher. So isn't that hypocritical? It's almost like sour grapes. Until the publisher offers a deal and then everything changes.

  7. KarenG :
    I thought the same as you until I did some research :

    John Locke is not giving up any rights. He has not signed a “publishing” deal, but a distribution deal.

    He will remain the publisher of the print editions. Simon & Schuster will distribute them. And he retains complete control of the digital editions – no deal has been struck there.

    this is a fine deal for John Locke, and a progressive approach from Simon & Schuster. They get a piece of the print action from a bankable self-publisher who was unwilling to sign a traditional publishing deal, and he gets access to the vast majority of readers who haven’t made the switch to e-books yet.

    Richard :
    It is an adventure. I do not believe there will be another John Locke in sales as there has not been another JK Rowling. Lightning strikes rarely. Let me know when you are published so I can give it a shout-out.

    Francine :
    LOL. Look at Hollywood : merde does sell! I will be shouting out your book in July 2012, too.

    Lorelei :
    Let me know when your book comes out, and I will shout it out. You might want to contact Wendy Tyler Ryan to see if you want to go the self-published route with a book you are pleased with. Roland

  8. Good on you Roland. No matter which road you choose, well, there aren't that many choices for debut novelists. it has to be the one you're comfy with. I'm glad you're forging ahead with your e-sales. Having a lot of titles must really help.


  9. Denise :
    If I can garner a readership, I will be in a better position with my backlist of novels. If ...

    Cross your fingers!

    With Amazon putting out three new Kindles, including the Fire, lots of them will be given as presents this holiday season. Come January and February, I will see if some of those searching for something to read will choose me -- then like my writing!

    Nothing is guaranteed ... except failure if we do nothing, right?

    Good luck on NaNoWriMo! Roland

  10. Thank you Roland - this is a great post. Certainly puts things into perspective.

  11. Thank you, E.D. :
    I tried to put facts behind the blanket statements both sides of the argument usually make. Have a great weekend. Me? I'll be working, of course! Roland

  12. Love your post and I will share it with some of my writing friends. Most of them feel the same way....

  13. Ah, thank you for clarifying that for me! I guess all his millions of sales gave John Locke a pretty sweet bargaining position :)

  14. The Desert Rocks :
    I hope your friends get something worthwhile out of my post. Thanks for loving it!

    KarenG :
    I thought the same thing. Too bad you and I aren't in John Locke's bargaining position, right?

  15. Interesting post Roland. Once I thought I would only like to be traditionally published, then I thought self-publishing looked interesting. Now, honestly, I don't think I'll do either. I'll just keep writing and one day my girls can do what they want with my stories :-)