Everyone knows the publishing industry has come a long way from a time during which publishing houses were the gatekeepers. Now, authors can bypass big houses (and their dubious, unnecessarily complicated contracts) altogether. Create Space makes it possible (and easy) to offer print copies to your readers without having to take a risk on physical inventory or, Heaven forbid, run out. Their print-on-demand process is simple, and they offer plenty of resources on their website so authors can even figure out how to format their own books. Amazon KDP goes hand-in-hand with Create Space, offering every independent author everything they need to establish and build a career. And that’s only scratching the surface.
And there are those brave souls who build a website, blog their hearts out, and try to sell their books directly. God bless ’em, I don’t have the balls to go that deep. (There’s a joke in there somewhere, I’m sure of it.) But there are still more options available to you. Since 2013, I’ve spent at least a little time every day exploring various options. I’ve looked into Patreon and Inkshares. I have limited experience with both, but I’ll give you my opinion.
Patreon can work if you’ve got a social media or blog following already who enjoy reading your work and want to financially support that work. But you aren’t going to build a following there. So focus your efforts more on doing the work and finding folks who enjoy the work you do. But once you’re there, consider how Patreon might be better for not just you but your readers. They set the sum they’re willing to support (monthly or by creation, as low as $1). And you offer incentives that make higher pledges seem an even better deal. It’s a viable option, if you have a following of readers who are buying your books anyway.
Inkshares is a-whole-nother beast. Recently (as in today) Nerdist’s latest contest opened up to Inkshare’s authors. I was so excited about this, I jumped in a few days ago and started writing, uploading a couple of chapters and a cover to Inkshare. Now, to win the contest, you have to get more pre-orders of your book than anyone else entered in the contest. When I saw the theme was Video Games, I didn’t even care about winning, I just had to write something for this. Unfortunately, as I worked through the steps to set my book up for pre-orders, I noted that each book would cost my supporters $20! Granted, they get the eBook and a signed paperback, that’s still more than I’m willing to ask folks for. So this isn’t the right platform for me. But I’m sharing this because it may be a good option for someone else. If you can get at least 250 pre-orders for each book within 90 days and you’re okay with the $20 to pre-order pricetag, then go for it!
As for me, I think I’ll just keep it simple for now. Amazon (as crazy as they are sometimes) has been pretty good to me so far.
From Award-Winning Author Pavarti K. Tyler and Speculative Fiction Author Jessica West comes a Dark Urban Fantasy serial about evil and the next step in its evolution.