I wrote a book back in 1980 (WINDSTORM), when I worked for a government department and had some knowledge of clandestine operations in South Africa. The book was in handwritten format and it took a lot of hard work to get it into typed format, edited and proof-read by professionals I paid to provide me the best quality finished product.
I then bought the Writers' and Artists' Handbook, followed the advice inside, and laboriously printed three chapters of the book with a covering letter. I sent these to 42 (yes 42) Publishing Agents. Only 27 replied, returning my work, un-touched and un-read (trust me - I know - just think 'forensics') with letters of rejection varying from the standard single line "Sorry, we are not taking on any new writers right now." to a very helpful paragraph or two, encouraging me to contact them in a year, or two. 15 'brainless morons' never even sent my three chapters back at all, not a peep, not a comment!
So, I said to myself, "Stuff them, I'll do it myself!" I looked at every which way of doing this, professionally and with a marketing package. I was amazed that everyone wanted huge amounts of money to print and market my book. I worked out that I would need to sell 50,000 books to get the money I had spent back, never mind making some money! I started to research the processes, I had a well designed, professionally edited and proofed book, all I needed was to get it out to the people I knew would read it. Then I investigated eBooks, they were rudimentary and not more than a sliver of the market, but I kept reading on the subject.
I was quietly biding my time, I learned how to format for eBook and began to explore the various avenues - and then, AMAZON launched KINDLE and it was as if I had been give a booster injection!
Within a few days my book was on kindle, then I was contacted by Amazon's CreateSpace printing operation and my book went to paperback - and instead of asking me for huge amounts of money, they wanted to PAY ME 70% of the book price. WOW!
Now I have 7 books in total, three more still on the go, and AMAZON Kindle is selling my titles day by day.
So, this is the bottom line, we 'professional' writers, editors (and now - publishers) can produce QUALITY work, edited, proof-read and in many ways AS GOOD AS the mainstream published authors from the big corporations. So what's the difference?
DIGITAL BOOKS cost very little to create (just TIME and the original software costs) they can be uploaded IN SECONDS to AMAZON.com - FREE - and will propagate to the UK and DE sites in 48 hours. EVERYBODY's reading them now, and with the KINDLE APP also FREE on PC, WinMobile, APPLE iPhone and iPAD - ANYONE can buy them and have them in their READER in under 60 seconds.
Some of my friends and fellow writers have hit the AMAZON TOP 100 in WEEKS, and eight writers have hit the ONE MILLION sales flag.
Why - because we can afford to sell below the 'big boys' lowest prices.
Now, we don't have to prove we're as good as them - rather, they have to explain why they think their books are worth ten times as much as ours!
You too can do this!
Follow me on Twitter, visit my Website, email me - but above all - DON'T GIVE UP!
I am selling books every day across all of Amazon's sites and Let Sleeping Lions Lie.... has hit rating of 90 on GoodReads. With Amazon's purchase of 'The Book Depository', we will see many more reading devices available to us and the option maybe to format as a 'mobi' file to be read by alternate devices. I am happy to help anyone who wants to get started. We have the power, let's use it - we no longer need AGENTS, it's time they got the message. We can control our our own publishing and enjoy the profits from doing so. Any literary agents reading this blog - you lost out on some great authors because of your complacency and procrastination.
Were you one of the many who rejected Joanna Rowling? She persisted and look - now she sells her HARRY POTTER books in ebook format from her OWN SITE and she FIRED her agent! Now there's a lady I look up to! Right on JK!