Chris Lough writes in Tor.com an article which is, hands down, the best description of the book production process I’ve ever read. In How Could The Winds of Winter Be Published in Only Three Months he walks us through the six key steps in the process for a typical book and then for R. R. Martin’s upcoming title in his Game of Thrones series.

My own experience with a small press is a little different, and if you self-publish or do some hybrid the experience may vary as well. Below are a few quick notes on my own experience as an author with a small press:

  • Editing–beyond self-editing and beta readers, the press assigned a single editor to do a combination of structural, line, and copy edits. If you’re not familiar with those terms, Chris does a good job of defining them in his article. If you self-publish, you’re either doing it all yourself or hiring out the editing, which is in the thousands of dollars for good, solid editorial advice.

Cover Art–Chris describes a much more involved process of 4-6 months for developing the art from the primary themes of the book to booksellers acceptance of the art. In my small press experience, the cover took a couple of weeks after I sent some ideas to the artist. In my case I signed away my rights to the cover, so I did not have final approval. In the future, I won’t do that again. Why? The cover on the left is the original cover from the publisher. The protagonist was a rugged looking guy in his mid-thirties. This cover features a young twenty-something looking a bit like a male dancer on “Cowboy Night” at a strip club. And every reader I spoke to, when the conversation went to the cover, had a similar impression. I imagine it would have worked for a romance, which was the publisher’s bread and butter, but for a crime novel–not so much. The cover on the right The cover, designed by Anna Downey, has a fun vibe reminiscent of 60’s crime shows like I Spy and Mission Impossible.  I think it does  good job of communicating the humor in the story.  You tell me.

Marketing and Advertising–he describes a marketing and advertising campaign for an author which includes selling the book to booksellers for retail distribution. Since the only distribution was online, there was no brick and mortar distribution. In my small press experience, the expectation was for the author to drive any and all marketing endeavors.

Sales–as an author of ebooks, sales were handled through the online booksellers. I didn’t have control over pricing and I had a delay of 6-8 weeks for sales data, which meant I never knew the impact of any of my sales strategies.

Formatting and Finalizing–The publisher formatted the book in several ebook formats for different online retailers.

Printing and Distribution–With an ebook printing is not an issue. In terms of distribution, the publisher placed the book in all of the major online ebook retailers, which included Amazon (US and foreign distribution), Kobo, Apple, and Barnes and Noble, among others.

When the contract for my last novel came to it’s conclusion, I got the rights back. My plan, which is in process, is to self-publishing through Kindle by revising, using new titles (I had signed away final approval on titles as well), and new covers. The first Nick Sibelius novel, is now called KILL’T DEAD OR WORSE and is available as an ebook and a paperback through Amazon.

Next up will be the second Nick Sibelius novel, ALL HAT & NO CATTLE, again with a new title, cover, and a complete revision.

At the other end of the spectrum, I have a fantasy novel, THE FIVE PENS OF JOHANN, which I’ve been shopping around for almost two years now. Two years ago I had an agent for a year, but the process didn’t go anywhere, so I put my lure back in the water for another agent. The goal has been to get the novel in front of a larger publisher. I’m coming to end of that path, however, and am considering an offer by a small publishing house. And finally, I’m thinking of sending my sci-fi novel, THE BIFURCATION OF DUNGSTEN CREASE, to Kindle Publishing, just to try out the process.

It’s an unsettled, confusing time for writers and frankly, I’d rather just write. But I’d also love to have readers. Gazillions of them.

Chris Lough’s article is quite long, just to forewarn you, but it’s also very good. Let me know what you think. What’s your publishing experience? How are you moving forward in this current environment?

Del Sol Review is now accepting submissions for the Spring 2017 editions in general fiction, science fiction and fantasy, and poetry.

Del Sol Review was started in 1998. It was first known as “Editor’s Picks” and served the purpose of highlighting select work from print journals on WebdelSol.Com. But as time pushed forward, and submissions actually began to arrive, EP evolved into Del Sol Review. Since that time, DSR has published twenty-one issues and shows no signs of stopping.

Submissions

Del Sol Review seeks to publish unsolicited work in the categories of creative non-fiction, short stories, and flash fiction. All forms and styles are considered, 300 words to 5,000 words. Please note that editors prefer fiction and cnf containing unique and interesting subject matter.

General fiction submissions should go to Kari Pilgrim, General Fiction Editor: kpilg822 (at) aol.com

Del Sol Science Fiction and Fantasy is looking for quality speculative short fiction in all its forms (SF, fantasy, urban, steampunk, etc.) for publication. Fiction submissions must be formatted in a standard manner and from 500 to 6000 words in length. We also accept excerpts from novels-in-progress up to 6000 words (please include a one page synopsis with novel excerpt).

Please don’t send us the kind of trope-heavy material that Clarkesworld, for example, would reject out of hand. Zombies, vampires, dragons, among other things are avoided by us unless you have a brand new spin on the subject. Overall, we’re looking for sharp narrative, strong hooks, and unpredictable storyline progression. Also, please write a great first line

Science fiction and fantasy submissions to Richard Hacker, SFF Editor: sffeditor ( at ) richardhacker.com

Del Sol Poetry is accepting submissions for the Spring 2017 edition. Poetry submmissions should follow standard submission guidelines. You may submit up to ten poems for us to choose.

All poetry submissions go to Kara De Folo, Poetry Editor: dsr.poetrysubs (at) gmail.com

Del Sol Review obtains exclusive electronic rights for six months following publication and non-exclusive rights after six months. Stories and poems must be previously unpublished and thoroughly proofed. By contributing, you affirm that you have read and agree with the submission guidelines on this page. We ask that subsequent publication of the same story, whether print or electronic, acknowledge first publication in DSR.

All works submitted should reside in the body of the email, or attached as an .rtf file (Rich Text Format). If necessary, italics may be indicated by use of the following characters: [i]…[/i].

kidow-banner

It’s the FINAL DAY of the KILL’T DEAD OR WORSE Book Tour. Hope you had a chance to catch some of the excerpts, interviews and reviews. And if you haven’t done so already, you’re only one click away from a fun read. Thanks for joining me on the tour. And watch for other Nick Sibelius novels coming soon!

 

Here’s what’s up for the final day of the tour:

What is that Book About – Excerpt

Celtic Lady’s Reviews – Spotlight

kidow-banner

Two spotlights today!

The Book Divas Reads

Closet Readers

kidow-banner

Check out the latest review of KILL’T DEAD OR WORSE  at Storey Book Reviews

Last Chance! Pick up your ebook copy of

KILL’T DEAD OR WORSE at Amazon

Today Only!

kidow-banner

Another BIG DAY on the KILL’T DEAD OR WORSE Book Tour!

Read a review at Deal Sharing Aunt

and then come over to JE Thompson Novel for an author interview

kidow-banner

FREE on Amazon

KILL’T DEAD OR WORSE

Limited time only

 

 

Today go check out the latest review of KILL’T DEAD OR WORSE at Hello Book Lover

You can own KILL’T DEAD OR WORSE

FREE, today at Amazon!

 

On the Book Tour:

Find an excerpt at Book Lover in Florida

While Susan at The Book Bag posts a Spotlight

 

And for a change of pace, click on my dog, Jazz to get your FREE copy of KILL’T DEAD OR WORSE

IMG_1126

Pick up your FREE ebook of KILL’T DEAD OR WORSE at Amazon today!

 

Day 12 of the KILL’T DEAD OR WORSE Book Tour…

Dark Phantom is posting a promotion!

kdow-cover-ebook-amz

 

kidow-banner

Get your FREE copy today! Limited time only.

 

Day 11 of the Book Tour:  My Crazy Bookish Life spotlights KILL’T DEAD OR WORSE.