Why the Fairies? Why Now?

By: Marie Force

I recently attended a published-author conference in New York City. Time and again during that conference, my fellow authors told me they want to do what I've been doing for the last year—self-publishing my books. The second most prevalent thing I heard was they have neither the time nor the inclination to figure out the technology behind e-book publishing. Writers want to write, not wrestle with technology.

On the four hour drive home from New York, I had plenty of time to think of all the ways I could help make it easy for my colleagues. I've already figured out how to do it, so why not offer a service where I can put that know-how to work for other authors who want to benefit from the wave of new opportunities afforded through self-publishing? The learning curve is significant. It took a long time and much trial and error to figure it all out. I'm still learning new tricks and techniques, all of which I hope to share with potential clients.

So why is this the best time ever to be an author with books ready to be sold? Because never before in the history of book publishing has it been so easy for authors to take their books directly to readers. With the advent of digital devices and e-books came platforms such as Kindle Direct Publishing at Amazon, PubIt at Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords, which distributes to a number of retailers. With these new platforms came royalty rates the likes of which authors have never before seen. KDP pays 70 percent on books priced $2.99 to $9.99. Barnes and Noble pays 65 percent. Authors can also distribute through Kobo, Apple, Sony, Diesel and All Romance eBooks, to name a few, all at extremely favorable rates for authors. In short, it is possible to sell a lot of books and make a lot of money.

I've refrained from speaking publicly on my author platforms about my sales as a self-published author. I plan to be more forthcoming on this site. After having four books traditionally published, I released my first self-published book, True North, in November 2010. Since then I've had four more traditional releases and published eleven books on my own. By the end of March, I will have sold 300,000 of my self-published ebooks. The last time I looked, four of my books were in the Top 100 at B&N, and I have sold more than 30,000 books this month alone. My income from my books is significant enough that I was able to leave my 16-year day job at the end of 2011 to write full time. I give thanks every day for the opportunity to be fully engaged in work I love, and I am eternally grateful to the legion of faithful readers who have made it possible for me to do what I love and earn a living.

I hope to help many of my fellow authors reach their goals, too. On this site I'll provide tips and information and links to other sites that are providing valuable thinking about the "Wild West" of publishing. With our industry changing before our eyes, never has the adage "we're all in this together" been more relevant than it is today.

I point your attention to a blog post by Bob Mayer, called 11 Keys to Self-Publishing Success, that I found to be right on point. Bob has been a leader in the Wild West and his blog, Write it Forward, is well worth your time. The other blog that should be regular reading is J.A. "Joe" Konrath's A Newbie's Guide to Publishing. Take the time to read Joe's blog from the beginning if you want a blow-by-blow on how the Wild West came to be.

Let me know how I can help you to realize your goals. To find out more about the services the E-book Formatting Fairies offer and what we charge, refer to the links "Home" and "Work Order" above right. Questions? Feel free to ask any time, here on the blog or via email.