Wednesday, September 7, 2011

How Publishing Has Changed!

Marilyn brings a unique perspective on what's different now, having published books in the old days and now having published a few recently. She's agreed to share her experiences here and I welcome her to my Travels!

            I’m no business maven, but except for the electronics industry, which introduces new apps and innovations almost on a daily basis, I doubt no other industry has changed as much as publishing has this past year--and it’s due to electronics. The advent of self-publishing via CreateSpace, Smashwords, and other companies, has turned traditional publishing upside down and inside out.

             My first book, AND DON’T BRING JEREMY, came out in 1985. I wrote it on a typewriter. I wrote my next few books on a typewriter, as well. As the author of children’s books, I occasionally spoke in schools and libraries. That was the extent of the PR or publicity I was expected to do. The rest was the publisher’s domain. They sent ARCs to Kirkus, PW, ALA, Booklist, The Horn Book, and other review publications. Oh yes--I once wrote an article for my local newsletter when RUFUS AND MAGIC RUN AMOK, my fifth book came out.
            This past June my debut mystery, A MURDERER AMONG US, came out with Wings ePress as an ebook and then in paper format. This time I didn’t receive an advance, and I paid $90 to have my book come out as a paperback. Wings ePress made my book available on their website, on Amazon.com, and on fictionwise.com. The rest was up to me.
            Thank God for my fellow writers! Two Wings authors offered to review my book. They both read it quickly, loved it, and gave me wonderful reviews. Other writers supplied me with a list of reviewers who might be willing to review my mystery. I did blog interviews and wrote guest blogs. I learned about Murder Must Advertise and All Mystery e-newsletter, about Facebook and twitter, Book Town and GoodReads. I ordered bookmarks and business cards. Every day I learned something new and how much more I had to do to spread the word that A MURDERER AMONG US was available to readers. I had to get my name and my book’s title out there every way I could!
            Coming from traditional publishing, this was foreign to me. While I love to share good news, I’m not one for calling attention to me, me, me. I’m not used to signing emails with my website, my book’s title, and where it can be purchased. Most of all, I wasn’t used to asking friends to buy my books. I was used to giving them copies from the twenty or so authors’ copies I used to receive. So many of my friends were good sports and bought copies of my book--some who live as far away as Australia and England--and I’m grateful to them.
            I’ve two books coming out with Uncial Press--a ghost mystery and a romantic suspense called DANGEROUS RELATIONS. Uncial Press is strictly an ebook publisher, so I’ll put these two titles out in paper format myself. I also plan to put some of my out-of-print children’s books out with CreateSpace and Kindle.
            Re-publishing and self-publishing are the wave of the future. We writers are learning new skills every day. We have to, in order to keep up with the times: making trailers and websites, using music, doing audio versions. And most of all, we must continue to write good novels.
           
 Please visit Marilyn at 
Her most recent book:
A Murderer Among Us -- http://bit.ly/kOZgcz (Wings ePress)
Nook: fictionwise.com

10 comments:

Donnell said...

Marilyn, kudos on keeping up. I know I have to, just look what happened to the dinosaurs, but the rapidity of everything changing is daunting. Congratulations on A Murderer Among us and your new stories with your new publisher!

Kaye George said...

I feel privileged to have Marilyn offer this post! A real eye opener for me.

Marilyn Levinson said...

Thanks Donnell and Kaye for your kind words. I try to keep up with the way publishing's evolved. I'm learning something new every day.

Sally Carpenter said...

My first book was just published and I'm learning the ropes about promotion and publishing. It's exciting to be part of the publicity effort but also time consuming and tiring. I found a couple of new promote ideas in your blog. Good luck with your books!
Sally Carpenter
"The Baffled Beatlemaniac Caper"

Kaye George said...

Thanks for stopping in Sally, and good luck on your book!

Jana Richards said...

Marilyn, the times are changing when it comes to publishing. Although I've been epublished since 2007, I feel I still have a TON to learn about promotion and publicity. Like you said, I'm learning something new every day.

Best of luck.
Jana

Donna Coe-Velleman said...

It's amazing all an author has to do now. Good luck with all the promoting, Marilyn.

Supriya Savkoor said...

Marilyn, you're an inspiration! Thanks for sharing your experience -- glad to know it's all coming together for you! Best wishes on all the new releases!

Kaye George said...

Here's a belated thank you to Jana and Donna and Supriya for stopping by! Marilyn is vacationing, but she'll see these when she returns.

I agree, Marilyn IS an inspiration!

Marilyn Levinson said...

Dear Sally, Jana, Donna, and Supriya,
Thanks for reading my post on Kaye's blog and leaving a comment. Publicity and promotion are essential. We have to get our name and our books out to readers in as many places as we can. Still, I wish it didn't cut into writing time.