I just signed a contract with Castalia House, a recently started Finland-based publisher, to be the official publisher of The Stars Came Back. By some combination of luck, skill, happenstance in a changing marketplace, and doing enough things right to compensate for what I didn’t, I managed to move more than 2700 copies of the book world-wide between 13Jan2014 and 18Mar2014. Not bad for a total noob, and quite above expectations, if not as many as one may absurdly hope. So why would I cut my profits by sticking a middle-man in the mix? Because the book is already selling and done, the change to my bottom line for this book is very minimal, we have a good deal to come out with a conventional prose format version of the story, one where I won’t have to worry about upfront costs for editing and new cover art. (He says my old cover fairly screamed “self published,” and was quite surprised that it was selling as well as it was).
He’ll also handle translation into at least two other languages, possible audible books, and taking it to ink-on-paper (something I’d been only slowly making progress on), meaning I’ll get a fair percentage of markets I’d get zero from otherwise. It also opens the door wide for sequels and offshoots and other projects I’ve been mentally kicking around but didn’t have the resources to go after.
The funny thing is, I didn’t really intend to submit the story in an attempt to get a publisher. I had tried to post a question in a previous thread in which Vox compared indie publishing and working with a publisher, but the blog kept eating my post, so I just emailed the question to him. Basically I was asking “how does all this affect someone like me, a self-published author that is doing OK, but is a total no-name noob at it all?” He asked me to send in a copy for him to take a look at. I did, more thinking I might get some professional feedback, or maybe a plug on a blog read by people that might like the story. Shortly thereafter, it seemed like we were both a little surprised how things worked out. But as he said, “who am I to argue with the market?”
It’s been an interesting ride. Guess I can add “Raconteur” to my biz card.