Crapshoot

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omething that has an unpredictable outcome – crapshoot is in my vocabulary again. Early in 2012, I signed a contract to have my novel An Odyssey of Illusions published by Black Rose Writers . I had great expectations but never for its being on anyone’s best seller list. I believed that the cover alone would attract readers at any bookstore.

I need to say that I do not intend this post to be a negative statement about Black Rose Writers . Publishers are in business to make a profit and I find nothing wrong with that. My having been naive about publishing practices is the real focus.
I thought Black Rose Writers was a real publisher until two experiences led me to believe that the book fell into the self-published category. When Several bookstores I contacted told me that they did not purchase and shelve self-published books unless there was a real potential for resale my beliefs were confirmed. They may have sold the gift copies I sent to them, but I have no confirmation of that.

I also contacted some reviewers but found that they would only review self-published work for a fee; thus, I had a second confirmation.
Real statistics on self-published novels are difficult to analyze and even more difficult to find. One alleged statistic caught my attention a number of years ago. It would be easier to remember the exact data if I could remember by whom it was said or in what it was written.
What I read or heard went something like this: Statistically, self-published authors sell an average of eight more copies than they self-purchase to give to friends and family.

I beat that statistic for Odyssey of Illusions – fourteen paperbacks and eight e-versions of the book were sold and I had one direct sale from my personal shelf. Oh, I bought 60 copies directly from the publisher (AKA printing facilitator now imbed in my mind). Six copies were donated and sold at charity auction and I gave copies to friends and family. The balance of my collection is my ‘free from the publisher’ copy and two others.

I earned a whopping $46.70 in royalties and my total cost, including shipping, was $1,270.49. Thus, I was published at the cost of $1,223.79. Black Rose Writers got that amount plus $252.57 for the sales ($1,476.36 total). Well, the publisher did pay something to have the book printed and converted to e-book, so its profit wasn’t very much either.
Would I do a for fee publication again? No!

The price for the gifts and donations is not out of line in the great scheme of things. And, there have been times when I learned a lot less at a much greater cost.

If you’ve read any of my recent blogs, you’d know I’ve done no fee self-publishing through Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. Now I’m faced with a dilemma and believe my next effort will be a crapshoot. I’ve made significant changes to what was An Odyssey of Illusions and have retitled it Iniquities of the Fathers.

The search for a ‘real’ publisher started last year and I was encouraged by a publisher via e-mail for six months. After that I quired some agents but got no replies. I found some publishers that had published similar work but did not take over-the-transom (unsolicited) submissions. One publisher suggested an alternate route for submission – if you guessed a fee was involved, you’d be right.

Well, I’ve taken a crapshoot and sent the manuscript to two publishers that weren’t specific about taking only agented work. Based on their web sites, I’ll be waiting as long as 30 days before acknowledgement of receipt.

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elf publishing is still an option, but I’d really like it to appear on shelves as a hardback for those who still like to browse a bookstore or Library.

One thought on “Crapshoot

  1. I mentioned sending my work to two publishers. One replied in 24 hours. It was a rejection, but it’s good to know it’s been looked at and I don’t have to wonder if…

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