The publishing empire has gone quiet for the past few weeks. Between the holiday hecticity and the first seriously annoying cold I’ve had in two or three years, a fair amount of momentum has been lost. But now we’re beginning to gear back up.
Racy Books: The latest story in The Travelers’ Tales went online yesterday. It’s kind of a funny little story about an antiques dealer who meets a painter in the course of his business…and finds a new occupation.
One of the liveliest “Roberta Stuart” writers — she’s responsible for most of Roberta’s tales — has learned to use Calibre and figured out how to convert our .mobi files into ePub books pretty smoothly. She believes they look good. My iPad is refusing to let my MacMail stay open and will not access my gmail accounts, so I haven’t been able to examine our first efforts “in the wild,” as it were. But as soon as we’re sure the conversion looks good, we’ll start mounting the Racy Books on AllRomanceEbooks and possibly on Smashwords. Or possibly on Nook alone…we’re still studying that.
Plain & Simple Books: We’ve moved to a new PoD vendor, Author2Market, with whom so far I’ve been very pleased. Their price is much better than the outfit we’ve been working with, and they’re located in town, so I can run down to their plant to pick up books. This will be good.
A2M also will help with fulfillment by shipping direct to your customers. Not only that, but they’ll make you a mailing label with your logo on it! 😀
The diet/cookbook is in production (again!), and the new page proofs should be ready the first part of next week. We’ve already presold four hard copies, and I’ve had almost nothing to say about it to anything. The thing is practically selling itself. Tomorrow I’ll take the page proofs to a scribblers’ meeting, where I hope to peddle a few more of the things.
The middle of this month, I’ll post the third and last collection of Fire-Rider stories, also a production of Plain & Simple Press. That assumes I have time to put the package together, which may not be the case. If I can’t find time to compile the thing, it’ll have to wait until February.
Fire-Rider is one of two loci for a new marketing campaign we have under way. I’ve hired a marketing agent, who is launching a Facebook Ads campaign to try to get some attention to that saga of speculative fiction.
Sagas, though, seem to be a dime a dozen, and so I’m not holding my breath until we all get rich. It would just be nice to come up with enough to pay the writers and the marketing lady.
Also in the marketing department, we plan to purchase a lot more ad space at SmartBitches/Trashy Books. Probably December wasn’t the ideal month to experiment with an ad campaign, Christmas being…whatever it is. However, we did learn that SBTB generates a healthy number of impressions. Clicks on ads: less so, but a helluva lot better than we’ve been doing through Twitter.
Do clicks on ads convert to sales? Not evident. We’re still not headed for the Riviera to live on the proceeds of our pornographic publishing empire. But we did a little better than we did last month.
Meanwhile, as usual nothing will do but what every client I’ve ever had — and a few new ones to boot — descend on me in the middle of
a) the holidays
b) a house guest/temporary roommate moving in for six or eight weeks
b) a cold or flu that has hung on for over two weeks
c) enough self-assigned work to keep me busy for the next three months.
So the copyediting business is thundering away — not altogether to the disadvantage of the publishing enterprise. One of the clients, a prolific writer who has had an interesting life, is completing a memoir whose interest he thinks will be limited mostly to friends and family. He’d like to publish the thing through Plain & Simple Press.
Very nice! Not only do I get paid for editing a 300-page manuscript, but Plain & Simple Press gets to add to its list. He has several other books in progress, so if we manage to keep him happy, it looks like we’ll be in business awhile longer.
The present magnum opus, when poured into one of my layout templates, came to 535 pages…and that was without the images. Holy sh!t.
Our scholarly journal’s editors dumped an entire issue’s worth of copy on us last Monday, asking if we couldn’t please turn it around in a week.
My associate editor, on whom I usually foist this material, happens to edit the largest journal of organizational management on the planet. Some of its editorial is run through Oxford, whose email system was hacked shortly before Christmas. The Brits, as those of you who’ve ever spent time in England will know, take their vacation time seriously. Nary a thing was to be done for the crisis until after the first. By that time, she had some 2,000 frantic messages waiting for her.
I’d managed to get through one article — copyediting it but not doing the mark-up, a chore I truly hate — by the time Honored Client walked in the door. You may be sure the guy who pays sixty bucks an hour will be privileged over the outfit that pays a flat rate for an entire semiannual journal.
Moving on, the child of another old client surfaced, hoping to get some advice on a couple of college admissions essays. Adorable! Young people are so full of energy and ginger. Very promising…let’s hope she goes a long way.
One of the mathematicians e-mailed: can we translate his Chinglish into academicese? And do it by Friday? Oh, sure… Foisted that on a subcontractor; haven’t heard a word back.
And what can I tell you about writing, editing, and publishing?
Get a job as a Walmart greeter, dears. You’ll make a better living at it. And not work as hard.