Being an indie author is wonderful, exhilarating, difficult, exhausting, profitable, frustrating and about fifty other adjectives that I won't bore you with right now. I am so thankful that I joined the "indie publishing revolution" when I did back in 2010. Since that time, I've watched the industry change and evolve into a very different organism than the one that existed when I first started writing in 2001.
What I find myself confronted with at this point, and I'm sure most indie authors do as well, is deciding how, when or even if I should change direction. Twelve years ago, an author didn't have much choice in how she wanted to build her writing career. There was traditional publishing and vanity publishing. Those were the two choices. One carried respect; the other scorn and ridicule. Today, there are too many options.
When I published Have You Seen Her?, my first book, I'd been closely studying the trends. Electronic reading was about to explode with the introduction of the Kindle e-reader. Other companies followed with the Nook, Kobo, Sony e-reader, Pandigital, et al. Then the tablet debuted and opened up another avenue by which readers could get their reading fix.
But, as with any new trend, there are always people who aren't interested, are slow on the uptake or just plain refuse to try something new. When it comes to readers, the paper devotees are fiercely hanging on to their books. I've had a few inquiries from a handful of readers asking why I didn't publish my books in paperback.
From conversations in the author groups to which I belong, I knew paperback sales only represent a small portion of indie book sales these days, yet I didn't want to ignore the anti-digital readers. As a result, I decided to experiment with Amazon's CreateSpace and publish the first two books in my Stafford brothers series in paperback just to see how they do before I invest in having my backlist published there.
Amazon has made the process was very simple, if you have the book formatted correctly. This time I didn't have the time or energy to learn yet another formatting process, so used a formatter who was referred to me by an author friend. Her prices were inexpensive, and her turnaround time was remarkable.
A Woman's Worth and Till You Come Back to Me became available on CreateSpace last week, and I've yet to make a sale. In the same week, the e-books are selling very well. Being the impatient woman I am, I'm letting readers know the paperbacks are available, but if this first week is any indication, I am seriously reconsidering publishing the rest of my books in paperback.
Authors, what percentage of your sales are paperback?