My publishing plan for 2014

Now, let me preface this post by stating that this is an extremely tentative plan, cooked up in the shower yesterday, and now delivered via the magical power of the internet to your computer screen!

Step 1: Finish writing Chasing Nonconformity

This is the most important step, as this sequel is the pivot point around which the rest of the plan turns. I’m about halfway through the re-write right now, and will hopefully get it done by the end of February. Then begin the rounds of editing and beta readers and general headaches … so I’m hoping that if I buckle down and really put my nose to the grindstone, I can maybe eke out a finished manuscript by September?

Step 2: Get covers for Imminent Danger and Chasing Nonconformity

Of course, I already have a cover for Imminent Danger, but that cover is technically owned by iUniverse, and I don’t really feel like paying them several hundred dollars to come into possession of a cover to which I’m not particularly attached. The plan, you see, is that I’m going to re-publish Imminent Danger on my own (i.e., not through a vanity publisher), which will give me much more control over the fate of the book. So I’m going to need covers for both books 1 and 2.

I was in talks with a cover designer last year, but things didn’t really work out — I didn’t know what I wanted, and the designer had a particular style that, while lovely, just didn’t mesh with what I had in mind (despite me not actually knowing what I had in mind). See the problem? Indecision abounds in my world. Anyway, I’m now messing around with cover design on my own, and have tentatively acquired a new designer … more on that story as it unfolds!

Step 3: Break from iUniverse and re-release Imminent Danger via Amazon KDP

So this is actually two steps in one. Basically, I kind of like the idea of trying out the Amazon KDP program, but that of course means I can’t have my book for sale on other websites. Since iUniverse is currently distributing Imminent Danger to every website under the sun, that will mean that I’m going to break from them at some point. I don’t know when, but … it’s definitely going to happen. I mean, unless I can find a way to re-publish Imminent Danger on Amazon KDP and still leave the iUniverse version up and available … maybe call the new version the “Deluxe version” or something? If anyone knows about this sort of thing, by all means send your wisdom my way!

And then the second part of the step is, of course, to re-release Imminent Danger on Amazon KDP. I don’t know that I’ll stay in the KDP program forever, but it seems a good way to start. My tentative plan for this is to re-release the book sometime in September. I’m thinking of doing the Kindle Countdown Deals program for the first three months, and then switch over to the 5 free days option just in time for …

Step 4: Release Chasing Nonconformity for Christmas!

This is, of course, assuming I’m actually able to come up with a finished manuscript by the fall, which is … let’s just call it an extremely optimistic plan. But I’m nothing if not optimistic! So assuming everything goes according to plan, I’ll release Chasing Nonconformity around the start of December … and at that point Imminent Danger will have gone into the “5 free promo days” program, so I can offer it for free for a few days in December/January to drum up interest and encourage people to give the series a shot.


I am obviously a complete “n00b” at marketing, so any thoughts/comments on my plan are greatly appreciated!


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Categories: My Works, Self Publishing, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , | 64 Comments

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64 thoughts on “My publishing plan for 2014

  1. Never give up 🙂

  2. Let me know when your new book is available and when Imminent Danger is free, so I can promo them Michelle 😀

  3. I put Legends of Windemere: Beginning of a Hero through iUniverse and then went Indie. The Amazon site will remain for the iUniverse release in case someone wants to either return a copy or selll one on their eBay like area. I put an ‘Out of Print’ on that version, but when someone decided to merge the two, it was a message put on the new version. Anyway, the different cover art will help, but the reviews won’t leap over unless you contact Amazon. I would send them an inquiry about what can be done and how quickly the merge can happen prior to going Indie. After leaving iUniverse too. You might also want to mention that the old version of your book will be listed, but not for sale on other sites to avoid getting in KDP Select trouble. Giving them a heads up can minimize your headache. A few blips will still occur, but it won’t be as severe as the panic attacks I got sideswiped by. If anything, I’d wait a week or two before going KDP Select to make sure the other sites stop the sales.

    Contrary to the fear of Amazon Customer Service, they are happy to work with authors on this. At least the ones that are polite and avoid ego-tripping.

    • You, sir, are a treasure trove of self-publishing information. If there were an election for President of Indie Authors, I would nominate you and campaign relentlessly.

      That’s an excellent point — I’ll definitely need to get in touch with Amazon customer service and see what my options are. I might even hazard a phone call, although that might be getting too extreme 😀 It pains me to quit iUniverse after only like a year and after spending so much money, but … I think the amount of control I’ll be gaining in return will make up for it.

      • Thanks. Though I prefer to work from the shadows. Less judgement back there if I go on a pizza binge or fall asleep on the laptop. 🙂

        I contacted Amazon by phone because it was a complicated issue. I made sure to have something on the television to counter the ‘on hold’ music. Though I started with an email, which is how I found out that they don’t remove a book even if it’s out of print. In fact, the original is still up there for $30.44, which is insane.

        • Found it! Kind of a cool cover … reminds me of the new Sword of Truth covers (Terry Goodkind). Although $30.44 is a little excessive, lol.

          • Yeah. It’s an interesting cover. I still remember being told that I could ask for anything and was then told ‘not that’ after I sent a request. 😀

            • Ha! Well, to be fair, their “cover designers” aren’t actually very competent, so whatever you asked for must have been too difficult. I did tell you how I asked for a silhouette on my cover, sent them a super rough mockup I did myself, and they ended up using it on the cover because they couldn’t be bothered to do it themselves? Yeesh.

              • I didn’t know that. I asked several questions about limitations and they told me not to worry. So I asked for my main character standing in a swamp with a pair of red eyes looming in the sky above his head. My argument that it’s a fantasy book fell on deaf ears.

                • Maybe they thought it was more horror than fantasy? But still, it’s your cover, and it’s not like that cover would have been offensive. They’re a strange lot.

                  • They said it was too complicated and that they had to work from altering stock photos because of the package I paid for. Eh, I have a better cover now.

        • $30.44?!! Go, iUniverse…

  4. Republishing on your own is quite an undertaking. Amazon sells so much more that smashwords and I could I have gone through smashwords and accomplished the same as my independent publisher did. I am thinking of doing the same with my next book. Keep us posted on how that is going.

    • Yeah, I’m both really excited about the whole re-publishing thing … and then terrified at the same time 😀 I’ll definitely be posting more about this process as it happens, although that might not be for a few months yet!

  5. You can do KDP publishing without using the KDP Select. Select is for ninety days and you get five free days out of the ninety. Your book is exclusive to Amazon with the Select program. But, if you don’t use the Select program, you can still have your book anywhere else, but not at a lower price.

    • Yeah, definitely. It’s the eternal tradeoff, right? Be exclusive to one service and get great benefits … but miss out on the wider market. I do really like that you only have to lock in to select for 90 days — that way you can always opt out if things aren’t going the way you’d hoped!

      • I personally haven’t used Select with having only one book out at the moment. Everyone has to make their own decision about it. Talk to others who have done it. Congrats on taking the jump into self-publishing.

  6. If you are thinking of doing it your own I would make the following suggestions:
    If you aren’t already, use Scrivener. It’s great to write with, gives you lots of flexibility to chop and change your story around, saves constantly so you won’t lose anything and best of all, can compile your manuscript into any format you want, including .mobi and epub files or paperback formatted pdf’s for createspace.

    I used for my cover.The level of choice in the pre-designed covers is excellent and the quality fantastic (I am not getting paid for this) but best of all the price is amazing. I’ve not used his bespoke design service so I can’t comment on that but his customer service was excellent and best of all he can adapt your cover to createspace really easily.

    If you do go to KDP read up on how to use keywords, as this is a great way to get your book targeted at less mainstream charts, getting you into the top 100 relatively easily (my book was up to #21 but is now sitting at #30 in the science fiction / dystopian charts for example.

    Good luck! I agonised over the decision for months and now I’ve done it I can’t believe it took me so long.

    • Lots of awesome advice! Thanks 🙂

      Scrivener … I’ve been mulling over it for a while, but … I don’t know, I’ve used Word for so long that I know that program inside and out. I do like the idea of being able to convert my manuscript into any file type I want, though … might have to look into this 🙂

      I’ve found a pretty awesome cover designer (well, I think – I mean, I like her sample covers but I have no idea what she’s planning for my cover!), so I think I’m good on that front. But man, $30 for a cover? That’s hard to beat. I’ll bookmark the site for future covers!

      I remember having to use keywords when I was doing the initial publication info with iUniverse. I imagine it’s relatively the same concept with Amazon, so hopefully I can navigate that minefield successfully. #21! Wow. I doubt I’ll get my book that high, but I can always dream 🙂

      • #21 in quite a specialised field… As for Scrivener, they let you trial it for 30 days for free, and that’s not 30 consecutive days after download but 30 days of use. They’re not stupid, I was hooked after five!

        • Scrivener is THE BOMB. Worth the purchase price just for the ability to jump between scenes without scrolling through the entire ms, and move them around without cutting and pasting. That drives me NUTS in Word.

          Sorry, no pressure. I just love it so much that I’m thinking of asking it out to dinner this Valentine’s Day. Do you think it will go with me? I’m so nervous.

  7. I sell a fair number of books at Barnes & Noble (which, as Canadians, we need to use a distributor to access — I use Draft2Digital for all paid titles, and Smashwords for my free ones), so the benefits of Select are outweighed by that for me. I don’t sell many on Kobo, iTunes and Google Play, but you never know when one of those markets is going to explode. So I’m glad I opted out of Select. But going direct to Amazon is a no-brainer, for sure.

    Do you need to get your rights back? As soon as you have the rights to publish, you can go ahead and do that. There might just be multiple versions of a book available. That’s happened to me on B&N when I switch from free to paid or vice versa, and switch distributors. No biggie.

    I’m in London, so if you ever want to meet up in person, let me know! Sometimes a Q&A session helps clear the cobwebs. I want someone to do that for me and Scrivener!

    • Hey, a fellow Londoner! Do you ever go to the London Writers’ Society meetings? They’re every third Thursday of the month at the Wortley Village library (in the basement) at 7pm. I’m sort of the vice president (all bow before my power!), so you should totally stop by! I bet some people there use Scrivener who might be able to help!

      Right. Back to the subject at hand. I don’t exactly love the idea of locking myself out of certain markets, but … I mean, it’s only a 90 day lock-in, so if things don’t turn out, I can always opt out, right? 🙂

      I don’t think I need to get my rights back from iUniverse — I think I own them, so technically I can publish the book wherever I want. It’s just that, to get into the Amazon KDP program, I’d have to only be selling the book on Amazon, and the iUniverse distribution is fairly extensive, so it wouldn’t work out. On the plus side, I was talking to an Amazon person a few months ago, and they said that if I *did* publish a new version, I could most likely transfer over the existing reviews to the new version – yay!

      • I have been to a couple of meetings! And was in one of the critique groups for a while! But I’ve got two little kids, so evening stuff is a challenge.

        Oh, I understand what you’re saying now…you need to request that they stop distribution before you go into Select. I thought you meant before you distribute at all yourself.

        Have you visited yet? There are some people there who have a lot of success with Select.

        • I haven’t visited, although it’s going on my list 🙂 This is all stuff I’m going to have to look into once the fall approaches … right now I really have to focus on just getting the blasted sequel done, lol. Otherwise my whole plan falls through!!!

  8. mikeakin1

    The most important thing is…you have a plan!!

    • I do! And planning is the first step on the highway of success. Well, no, you wouldn’t really want to walk on a highway, would you? Okay, it’s the on-ramp to the highway of success. There!

  9. Those sound like some good, and not-entirely-impossible goals! =D I know that I, personally, am QUITE excited for Chasing Nonconformity. I’d like to say that September is too far away, but the reality is that I can’t even believe it’s already almost February, so in the giant scheme of things September will probably be here before I know it. Yeesh!
    Anyway, looking forward to helping any way I can–opinions, beta reading, and of COURSE posting about the releases on my blog! My humble and tiny readership is yours. 🙂
    Push on!
    And sorry that your cover artist didn’t work out, but there are SO many of them, really great ones, I’m sure you’ll find someone else. :)) I can’t wait to see something!!

    • You are #1 on my beta reading list, so no worries there 🙂 Soon I will lay claim to your humble and tiny readership, and internet victory will be ours!!! MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

      • Internet victory! I’ve always wanted that. All of the cat GIFs and whatever else the internet contains will be at our mercy!
        (I would also laugh maniacally, but I just don’t think I could pull it off the same way. But I’m there with you!)

  10. Sounds like a great plan, and when you announce it to the rest of the world, it makes you responsible for adhering to it!

    • Oh man, it really does, doesn’t it? Maybe I shouldn’t have written the post after all … you’re going to make me stick to my plan, aren’t you? Noooooooooes …

  11. I have just bought new cover images for all 4 of my books — awaiting the 3rd and probably final draft right now. They weren’t cheap, but the results are gorgeous. (I figured since I spent next to nothing publishing on Smashwords, it was about time I laid out some serious cash, and cover design is not one of my talents).
    I would heartily recommend publishing on both Smashwords and Amazon KDP. As someone else said, only KDP Select requires exclusivity. Smashwords distributes your book to Apple, B&N, Kobo, Sony and a bunch of other outlets, including Scribd and Oyster, and of course Amazon is the big gorilla, so you want to be there. You can just opt out of it on Smashwords, since they don’t have a deal with Amazon at this time. And you can print publish through Amazon’s CreateSpace, which I am told is probably the best deal for print. Once I have my spiffy new covers I intend to launch on Amazon as well, and maybe do print in a couple of yeas. Right now I’m happy with the ebook only situation.

    • I remember you mentioning new covers! Or at least, I think I do. My dreams can get eerily vivid at times, lol.

      I will probably end up doing Smashwords at some point, but I’m really loving the idea of doing the KDP select thing, at least at the start. I have this thing where, once an idea gets into my head, I absolutely can’t get it out until I’ve tested it for myself — and the idea in my head right now is that KDP select is the way to go. Is it actually the way to go? Probably not, but try telling that to my brain 😀

      I’m definitely going to do a softcover version, although I wouldn’t necessarily put that out at the same time as the ebooks. I believe it’s considerably more time consuming to format a book for softcover than ereading, so I might focus on getting the ebooks out there first, and then deal with the softcover afterward 🙂

      • Sounds like a plan. That’s the thing about self-publishing — you call the shots. You can try things and if they don’t work, you try something else. Good luck with your endeavours.

  12. Sounds great and perfectly doable. Good luck with it!

    • Doable is exactly what I was going for! Most of my plans are laughably un-doable, so the fact that you aren’t laughing right now is good news indeed 🙂

  13. Great plan…ambitious, but well within the realm of possible for someone such as yourself. You go, Girl!

  14. It sounds like you have a great plan and not too tough to achieve (says the person who is still editing a book he started writing in 2006!)

    KDP seems the sensible approach. When you’re ready to relaunch book one, and launch book two I’m happy to help if you’re doing a bloghop

    • Awesome! Thanks 🙂 That’s also something I didn’t do very well when I did the first Imminent Danger release — my blog hop was like 3 bloggers over the course of 3 days. Not very impressive. Hopefully with this much time to plan things out, I can get my act together 🙂

      • I’ve been involved in a couple. Particularly if you write the post and all we have to do is copy and paste and add a couple of photographs. What’s not to like. A free post 🙂

  15. The “Deluxe” version (if that is indeed what you decide to call it) could come with one of those little promotional taglines: “Now with 20% more _______!” or “vintage 2012” etc.

    All the best with your reworking efforts! I so admire you self-publishers. Finding a platform (iUniverse, Amazon, etc.), getting the covers put together, doing all your own publicity and whatnot…it can seem like as much work as writing the book itself!

    • Hehehe. I can imagine the title now — Imminent Danger And How to Fly Straight into It … now with 20% more danger! People wouldn’t know what to do with themselves — they’d be so confused that they’d have to buy it!

      Thanks 🙂 I would still say that writing the book is much more difficult, but the whole publishing part is definitely a handful. Although parts of it are also really fun — seeing your cover for the first time, for example. Pretty fantastic feeling 🙂

  16. Good luck with Chasing Nonconformity! Which book is the one you were talking about on my blog? 🙂

    • Thanks 🙂 I was talking about Chasing Nonconformity — it’s been quite the process, getting it right. But I’ve finally settled on how I want the book to go … I just have to get it there now!

  17. thebaffledkingcomposing

    This is exciting! I’m really interested to see how things go and to read future updates. Keep us in the loop 🙂

  18. This is such a great time to consider goals. Do you do any in-person marketing? Conferences? Conventions? Readings?

    This is slightly tangential, but I wanted to let you know I’ve nominated your blog for a Liebster award. Want to claim your prize? I’ve left you instructions on today’s post. I’m not spamming you, just humor me.

    • Thanks for the nomination 🙂 As for marketing … ehh, not so much. I was doing pretty well over the summer — did a reading, a book signing, and then a few stalls at local festivals, but the winter snow has slowed my efforts somewhat.

  19. You go girl! I think you’re doing the right thing by launching both of your books with Amazon at the same time because, well, one is the loneliest number and all that jazz!! I can’t wait to have my second novel up there, keeping novel number one company 🙂 I think it shows readers you’re serious and here to stay. I’m sure you’ll do really well, you’re such an engaging writer so I look forward to seeing your plans come together.

    • Awww, thanks 🙂 I really do think that’s the key to making it as a writer — having more than one book! Speaking of which, I should get off WordPress and go write said second book.

  20. Yay to item #3! So iUniverse didn’t live up to their end of the bargain, I take it?

    • I mean, iUniverse isn’t necessarily evil, I just want more control over my books, and also the ability to price them the way I want. For example, being able to buy copies of my book for less than 21.95 would be nice!

      • Damn, sounds familiar. I kind of had a feeling and in a way, I’m glad you came to this conclusion. From what I’ve experienced and heard, Print-On-Demand houses are not a good fit for new authors. And if you ever want some pointers on how to work the KDP system and those like it, I am more than happy to chime in 🙂

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