Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Opal Carew: Choices

It's an exciting time in the publishing industry right now. With the availability of inexpensive eBook readers, the ability to read eBooks on devices like your cell phone or iPad, and the wide availability of eBooks, there are many more choices available, for both readers and authors.

Authors no longer have to write their books within the relatively limited genre definitions that the large publishers require to stay profitable. Don’t get me wrong, big houses do take chances and they do offer a large variety of books, but to stay profitable, they only buy books they feel will sell enough copies to justify a reasonable print run.  If they didn’t do that, they wouldn’t be able to stay in business.  Now, however, authors can choose to write something a little different and sell their books to smaller publishers who specialize in eBooks, which allow those publishers to take a chance on niche books that the big publishers can't afford to do. Also, self-publishing is now a viable option.  In fact, it is allowing more authors to make a living at writing than ever before.

What does this mean for readers? Again, choice. You can buy traditional print books, you can buy those same books in digital form for your Kindle, Nook, or other favorite reading device, and you can buy books published solely in digital form. The latter might be any length, from an individual short story, to a novella, to a full length novel.

Also, publishers and authors are experimenting with price. An author needs to earn money, but a lot of authors are thinking that selling at a lower price might cause more sales while building a larger audience. Two popular price points for self-published authors are .99 and $2.99. There are no rules, so you'll find every price (even free) and every length.  With the large number of new authors taking advantage of the possibilities now available with self-publishing, readers have an explosion of new choices.

As for the content of the stories, as I mentioned above, authors have the freedom to experiment with whatever type of story they want to write, and that's a great thing. After all, the more passionate an author is about the story, the better the story will be.

I'm very lucky that I have found a big publisher that wants to publish my contemporary erotic romance novels. I write three books a year for St. Martin's Press and I'm loving it. Every now and again, however, I like to write something a little different. Like a futuristic novella with hunky alien men. Or a short story that's just fun and sexy.

My first step into the self-publishing world was in April 2011 with a short story called THREE that I’d written for fun a couple of years earlier.  Why for fun?  Because at that time, it was difficult to sell a story under about 25,000 words.  Since then, this 8,000 word short story has earned me as much as my first full-length novel with St. Martin’s.  (For a while it was #15 on Barnes and Noble, which means it was the 15th top selling book.)

Available now for $1.29
Published by: Opal Carew
Have you ever seen a sexy stranger on a bus or across a subway station and you just couldn't get him out of your mind? That's what happens to Lori in THREE, and for the next few weeks, she finds herself obsessing about him. When she's invited to her best friend's cabin to meet her new husband and his brothers, Lori comes face-to-face with Mr. Hottie himself. And it turns out his brothers are just as hot as he is!

Now I have twelve self-published eBooks for sale.  Three of those are original stories (including THREE) and the others are backlist books.

So what is your view of this exploding digital market?  Do you think it’s a good thing because it will offer so many wonderful choices for your reading pleasure or do you think it will flood the market and make it more difficult to choose?  How do you think you’ll find the books you want to read on-line, especially if you’re interested in new and different types of stories?

Thanks for reading,


Pat Cochran said...

Having no experience in this field,
a discussion about this matter leaves
me totally in a state of confusion.
I really feel one has need of a business degree to navigate through these publishing waters!

Pat C.

Leni said...

This form of publishing is great for telling stories about characters that don't normally get a chance to be featured. It's another way to branch out and read more.

*yadkny* said...

It seems to me that more and more people are reading now more than ever, so I think this is a very good thing to have so many options to give readers who want a longer or short story their choice. I really think this is a buyer and seller's market right now... not sure how long that's going to last, but authors seem to be writing faster and readers are buying more.