Tuesday, January 03, 2012

FROM NEW YORK TO KINDLE

A bit over 17 years ago, my first nonfiction and a western romance were published. The nonfiction found a home with a small, regional publisher, but the historical western landed on its feet strongly at Penguin/Topaz in New York. For a gal living in the Arkansas Ozarks, this was quite a coup. Stories of successful publishing were not so unusual then, though I was told the chances of this happening were about as remote as getting hit by a meteorite.

Well, believe me, when that first book was published in late 1994, I felt as if I'd been hit by a meteorite. My life changed, but not in the ways I expected at all. But that story, I'll leave for a later post. You'll love reading about the half-naked hunks, hot candy, whatever they're calling them today, but on to the subject of this post. From 1994 through 2001 I was a New York published author. My books were selling well in the mid-list and given another few years I would've been well on my way to some best sellers. Then the bottom fell out for mid list writers in my situation. Four books under my belt, readership growing and I was kicked out of the program when Topaz went belly-up. After two more with another much less prestigious publisher, I walked away and into the arms of small regional publishing.

There I remained, getting a total of six nonfiction regional books published. But while that was going on, I continued to write fiction. A couple of western historicals, ideas for some more, a mystery that never really got past the tenth draft, a paranormal, a book about a demon long before they were popular and three women's fiction novels flowed from my keyboard while I promoted those nonfiction books.

Then a good writer friend, Cait London, called me one day and said, "Velda, I think you should get a reversion of rights on your New York books, and do it now." She's one smart lady, so I took her advice, learned how to submit to my to publishers for those reversions and received them. Had I waited another year, I would've had to fight for them. As it was New York didn't see coming what writers like Cait did see. That something was E BOOKS .

The explosion of Kindle on the scene was the Internet's gift to writers, and some of us were ready to take advantage of it. So there I was, at 74 years of age, learning all the formatting, uploading, cover designing and all that went with getting my books republished, this time on Kindle where millions of eager readers could find them. No longer relegated to the bottom shelf in brick and mortar bookstores, my books are now available round the world to readers of western historical romance.

Oh, by the way, did I tell you, New York said that genre was dead? Forget to mention that little item. I've taught one workshop on publishing to Kindle and have another scheduled for March 17, 2012. If writers are smart, and most of us are, they'll all have their books available to the world, not only through Kindle, which is the hottest right now, but to every other E Book reader out there. Though, all of those readers offer an app so readers can download a Kindle book. If you go no further than posting them to Kindle, then do so.

Learn the proper way to do this. You can publish books you have converted the rights on, original books, short stories, articles, blog posts, anthologies. Check it out. Get an editor if your book hasn't been previously published. That's the number one requirement, next get a nice cover. Look at some, check out some designers through Kindle Boards, do this right. Formatting is available through a free book available on Smashwords. Check out CJ's directions to uploading to Mobi Creator. Download Kindle for PC and Mobi Creator/Publisher, both are free. What are you waiting for?

My E Books: available on Kindle.     Pre-Order Wolf Song, the story of a reluctant shape shifter and a woman who runs with the wolves.  Read first chapters 

5 comments:

Kalpesh said...

This article is wonderful as it helps me to get the sort of information that i needed.I am thankful as i got your article when was searching nyc web design

Patricia Gligor said...

Velda,
What an interesting career in writing!
I guess the moral of this story is to be willing to adapt to changes in the publishing industry and, no matter the disappointments, to stay determined and focused!
Thank you!

Jack LaBloom said...

Every writer/author should read this post. You are one smart lady and author.

Thanks for all of your help, Velda. You have taught me so much about writing. I will forever be indebted to you.

Velda Brotherton said...

I appreciate the comments. You might consider saving to your Facebook page and Twitter. Thanks.

Helen Ginger said...

Hi Velda. What a great story. Writers need to be able to adapt, like you did.