Flying solo in e-book publishing

As authors and publishers scramble to get on top of the surging e-book market, I've decided to go it alone. I've secured the e-book rights to my books, and have published my entire backlist via Kindle and Smashwords.

For the first time in years, all seven of the comic Bubba Mabry mysteries are available at the same time. Bubba's publishing history is as checkered as my own (the series has been at four different publishers over the years), and the full set has become increasingly hard to find.

E-books allow me to re-issue books that were published only in hardcover. Now you can find novels like "Bank Job" and "Whipsaw" and the two Drew Gavin mysteries in a more affordable format. Same goes for my humor book, "Trophy Husband."

How affordable? I've published these books at $2.99 each. At that price, a self-published e-book author makes about the same royalty per book (two bucks) as he'd make on a $24 hardcover published in the traditional manner. For the price of two new hardcovers, you could own my whole backlist as e-books.

(One exception here: My car thief novel "Boost" was not self-published. The publisher issued an e-book version and is charging $9.99. I have no control over that.)

I've loaded many of these books over the past few days, so some are still getting their final art and cross-links, and it will take Smashwords a few days to post them all to Barnes and Noble and other online stores. But once e-books are up and available, they require little tending. No warehousing, no distribution problems, no paper.

While I still have manuscripts circulating at the New York publishing houses and many titles still available in paper, I've come to believe that e-books are the future. They make books affordable again. And they allow authors to write whatever we like without worrying that publishers/markets will keep the story from ever reaching readers. How liberating is that?

I've said this before, but it bears repeating. You don't need a Kindle or Nook or other e-reader to enjoy e-books. Download the free Kindle app, and you can read books on your computer or smart phone.

Support your favorite authors. Keep them writing. Buy their e-books.


MysterLynch said...

While I do think that e-books are going to be a major force in the future, I don't think that physical books are going away.

Good to see that folks looking to spend time with Bubba won't have to rummage through used book stores.

Anonymous said...

this is great news. i wish you luck; how wonderful to be free of the middle person!! I did not know that one did not need a kindle, etc. for reading these on line; thanks for that info. Now i have a lot of your books to catch up on. . Selma

Anonymous said...

How did you secure rights to your covers? Did your publisher give you permission to use those when your rights reverted?