Monday, April 18, 2011

Dipping My Toe in Self-Publishing

 Author Karen McCullough is my guest today. She writes in several genres, from romance to mystery to fantasy to suspense and more. Come on in--If you don't already know Karen, you'll enjoy meeting her.
About six months ago, after hearing other writers talk about it—and sometimes getting wonderful results—I decided it was time to take the plunge and dip my toe into the new world of Kindle publishing.

I have quite a few books that have been out of print for a while. Some of them are going to stay that way. They’re either too dated or in the case of some of the earliest books, I don’t feel like they fairly represent the quality of my writing today.

But there are others that I still like quite a bit and hate that they’re not available.

Then along came Kindle, and it seems like the entire publishing world has turned topsy-turvy.  I don’t own a Kindle myself, but I do have an iPhone with the Kindle app and a nice library of books I’ve downloaded.  I like reading off my iPhone. I always have it with me, so I can read anywhere, any time I have a few minutes—in line at the grocery store, in the doctor’s office, or when I’ve stopped for coffee.  I can hold it in one hand while I do something with the other. The screen is small, but adequate.

I decided it was time to take the plunge.  I had the edited manuscripts for a couple of my older titles. One was going to need some rewriting. The other one was a bit dated, too, having been written in the mid-1980s before cell phones and portable computers became don’t-leave-home-without-them appliances, but it still worked.

I read through all of the formatting requirements and reformatted the manuscript, and read over the cover requirements.  Fortunately, I’m a web designer  as well as an author; I’ve been using Photoshop to design banners, headers, and other web graphics for years.  Making a cover wasn’t too hard.

Then I loaded it up, told a few people about it, posted about it on my Facebook page, and…  A few people actually bought copies of it.

No, it’s not a bestseller by any stretch, but it has sold at a nice steady pace of about a dozen copies a month for the last few months.  I’m not going to get rich that way.  But those are all bonus sales. It wasn’t getting any sales at all when it was out of print.

Blurb for A Question of Fire:
When Cathy Bennett agrees to attend an important party as a favor for her boss, she knows she won't enjoy it. But she doesn't expect to end up holding a dying man in her arms and becoming the recipient of his last message. Bobby Stark has evidence that will prove his younger brother has been framed for arson and murder. He wants that evidence to get to his brother's lawyer, and he tries to tell Cathy where he's hidden it. But he dies before he can give her more than a cryptic piece of the location.
The man who killed Bobby saw him talking to her and assumes she knows where the evidence is hidden. He wants it back and he'll do whatever it takes to get it, including kidnapping and murder.

Karen McCullough is the author of ten published novels in the mystery, romantic suspense, and fantasy genres and has won numerous awards, including an Eppie Award for fantasy. Her most recent releases are A GIFT FOR MURDER, published in hardcover by Five Star/Gale Group Mysteries, HEART OF THE NIGHT, from Red Rose Publishing and available as an ebook from most sources, and the re-released ebook of A QUESTION OF FIRE. She invites visitors to check out her home on the web at http://www.kmccullough.com/ and her site for the Market Center Mysteries series, http://www.marketcentermysteries.com/.

2 comments:

Ellis Vidler said...

Karen, A Question of Fire sounds interesting--good description. I'll have to find it on Amazon. I'm going to put my out-of-print novel on Kindle soon (as soon as I get a cover). I hope you do well there. I'm interested to see how it turns out.

Polly said...

Nice interview, Karen. I hope those sales multiply. But isn't it nice to now have that venue to resurrect long out-of-print books so others can enjoy them? Good luck