Karen Brooks has just self-published her Young Adult Fantasy Novel, Emily and the Battle of the Veil, Book One of the Scroll of Seven.
This is what she has to say about the process and about her plans which are very exciting and of great interest to many writers.
… I am now treading the hard road of marketing and distribution and so far I have appointments in Oct/Nov with 4 Exclusive Books branches and we also have 3 mag’s waiting to review it (You, Your Child and Teenzone) around December.
We are also designing and creating a Web Bookstore so we can sell these novels online – and have access to Web Developers to create a special site for books i.e see our http://www.scrollofseven.com which will link through to the Bookstore.
I must admit doing this ‘alone’ is quite something with distributors, percentages that everyone wants, having to list it at Sapnet, getting it to the libraries etc etc. I understand why people eventually give up but we are plunging forward regardless.
We are planning to have some launches in Dec … so if any of the Monthlies have a long list of young adult avid readers tucked away somewhere I’d love to get this from them!. If any of you know of a young adults who would like to read it in advance, please let me know. We are also looking at handing out flyers at schools sometime in the future and it would be cool if there was some who’d already read it!
Since I’ve gone through the pain of doing all of this myself, I believe there is a niche for a publisher in this category of MG (Middle Grade)/YA (Young Adult) Fantasy Fiction in South Africa. The mainstream publishers either aren’t interested at all or are only just starting to look at it.
… SO I would like to put the word out there that I’ll be looking at putting a Middle Grade/Young Adult ‘list’ together – which means I’ll be looking for new talent to get me Manuscripts asap. Depending on the MS, budget and needs, I’ll look at publishing them, with lots of interaction with the Authors, via my current company, Ispirato – which means Inspired – so it fits nicely. You can look at our website http://www.ispirato.co.za or query me directly at email@example.com
Our online bookstore should be available sometime in the next month (we’re hoping to be live by Dec 2008 latest). If your book meets our criteria, we’d just add it to our lists – and then next time we go on a marketing drive we’ll have more to offer suppliers – so we’ll all win.
We’d also consider putting other (already published) books online (so they can be available for purchase). We want to focus on the MG/YA market on the publishing side, but will happily put other books on the site – it will make our booksite look fuller and since it’s ours we can be highly negotiable with percentages etc.
We’re working this all out as we go along so will be very flexible on percentages – I can’t believe what the current online stores take – up to 45% in some cases. When you add distribution costs of 20%, admin fees, printing & artwork it’s no wonder writers earn peanuts! I’m hoping we’ll attract some good writers who want to earn a little more and are prepared to ‘walk the road’ with us, rather than just hand things over and take almost nothing for their hard earned work.