Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Author Guest Post - Kaylin McFarren

Readers, please join me welcoming Kaylin McFarren, author of Flaherty’s Crossing, who's guest blogging here today!

About the Book - Successful yet emotionally stifled artist Kate Flaherty stands at the deathbed of her estranged father, conflicted by his morphine-induced confession exposing his part in her mother's death. While racing home, Kate's car mishap leads her to a soul-searching discussion with a lone diner employee, prompting Kate to confront the true reasons her marriage hangs in the balance. When her night takes an unexpected turn, however, she flees for her life, a life desperate for faith that can only be found through her ability to forgive. 
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WHY A SMALL PUBLISHER?
By Kaylin McFarren

Now that my book, Flaherty’s Crossing, is about to be published, I’m being asked by new writers the same question on a regular basis. What made you decide to go with a small publisher? You see, having signed with Champagne Books, I’m now considered a POD – Publish On Demand and e-book author. So for those of you who are interested in solving your publishing problems, please listen to my answer with this in mind.

It is incredibly difficult to sign with large publishing houses such as Warner Books or Kensington, and when your fictional story crosses genres, your chances are further diminished. This I learned from personal experience. No one knows where to put you on the shelf or how to market your story. And although you might have won numerous writing awards, and have been told your craft is strong and your voice unique, the story you’ve managed to complete will not fit into a traditional tidy box. That when small publishers become a great alternative. They are willing to take a chance and often consider stories that are out-of-the-box and maybe even a little extraordinary.

While over 290,000 new books were published in 2006, estimates have been made that less than 1% of all books written ever gets published. Writers Digest has said that there are more than 30 million people in the US who describe themselves as creative writers, yet less than 2% of these writers have had their work published. Now that makes you think, doesn’t it? What is the likelihood that any of us will find ourselves tucked into that minute bracket?

The biggest difference in new publishing services, most being offered by smaller publishers, is the end of advance money, followed by a more even share of the profits. Traditional publishing houses will normally offer authors an advance on book sales. Once the book has earned enough to pay back this advance, authors are entitled to anywhere from 5.7% to 8% of the profits from future sales.

Small publishers have changed this platform for several reasons. It eliminates the risk; there is no need to gamble a large advance on a book either by a new author, or by an author who may have had flash in the pan success with a previous book. Contracts may vary from publisher to publisher, but many publishers will either take the set up costs out of the first sales of the book, or will assume the set up costs entirely. After this, most publishers and writers will then split the profits evenly.

New authors can stand to make more money this way, while established authors don’t have to worry about diminishing advances, due to overspending on potential best selling novels. They don’t have to worry keeping track of future royalties. With the advent of print on demand publishing, this can also help publishers keep costs down, earning more money for both author and publisher, while reducing the amount of returned books.

And how long does it take to get a book published? With traditional publishing houses it can take up to two years. The smaller publishing houses are seeing their e-books released in eight to nine months, and usually based on the volume of sales, trade paperbacks can follow within a matter of months. Hardbound covers are often offered as an incentive to authors to hustle and self-promote – whether it is through consigned book store sales, libraries, blogs or networking efforts. So even if your book gets published, the author is still responsible for marketing efforts.

My only advice to anyone seeking publication – research and perseverance. Write like there’s no tomorrow, but before you start, find out what’s hot in the marketplace. If you’re truly seeking a career as an author, read and investigate what’s being sold. Consider a unique angle, an interesting and current subject matter, or one that has the greatest potential for sales. But above all, make your voice stand out. Have a great hook and remember, the excitement and fun of creating a great story is not only in the writing but in the telling.

Kaylin McFarren writes award-winning fiction. Her debut novel, Flaherty’s Crossing, was a 2008 Golden Heart® finalist. She has also won numerous national writing contests. Her debut novel is scheduled for release as an e-book by Champagne Books on February 1st. Although Kaylin wasn’t born with a pen in hand like many authors, she has been actively involved in both business and personal writing projects for many years. As the director of a fine art gallery, she assisted in furthering the careers of numerous visual artists who, under her guidance, gained recognition through promotional opportunities and in national publications. Eager to spread her own creative wings, she has since steered her energy toward writing novels.
http://www.kaylinmcfarren.com
Stories that touch the soul…
FLAHERTY’S CROSSING
Champagne Books, February 2010
ISBN: 978-1-926681-19-1

Sounds like a great read and good advice as well. Thanks for stopping by, Kaylin! Here's wishing you all the success.

As always, Readers, your thoughts and comments are most welcome.

Note - This book was received for review/feature consideration.
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14 comments :

  1. Thank you Kaylin for the info on the smaller publishing houses. I had thought to check them out but didn't. I will for now on. That makes sense.
    thanks again,
    HeidiS
    heidijohnjeff@verizon.net

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  2. Delighted that you found something helpful in this post. :D

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  3. I would love to win and review this book. It sounds very interesting. I am a member of your newsletter.

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  4. I would love to win and review this book. It sounds very interesting. I am a member of your newsletter. jrs362(at)hotmail(dot)com

    This is why I hate blogs - third attempt to submit

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  5. Kaylin, Best of luck with the release of your book. As your post said, getting published is not easy. I'll keep my eye open for FLAHERTY'S CROSSING.

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  6. Cannot WAIT for my copy of this book. The very first page has me eager for MORE! Great work, Kaylin and congratulations,
    Carolyn Zane

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  7. Thought I recognized your name, squiresj! Thanks for stopping by along with librarypat and Carolyn Zane. I truly appreciate all your wonderful support and good wishes!

    BTW, I decided to include an e-Book reader in my amazing Virtual Book Tour contest. Here’s the rules: anyone who posts comments on ALL of my book tour locations has an opportunity to win a Sony Pocket Reader valued at $180 – along with copies of Flaherty’s Crossing and other great prizes. Simply visit the Events page on my website at http://www.kaylinmcfarren.com where you’ll find a complete listing. Winners will be announced on March 28th. Good luck everyone!

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  8. I'm glad to see you've sparked an interest in epublishing Kaylin! Thanks!

    Tami

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  9. I'd like to point out that Champagne Books is NOT a POD publisher. We are a small, independent press that works primarily in the electronic medium, and utilizes digital printing when warranted. Digital means we can print one book if that's all the need, or a print run, which is what we very frequently do. It gives us the option to do either.

    I'd also like to add that printing on demand (or publishing on demand as stated above) is a method of printing, not a business model, therefore one can not be a POD author. One is an author. Period.
    Not to mention that the stigma attached to the letters P-O-D can be quite detrimental to an author's career, thanks to the shady practices of some of the less than reputable publishers out there.

    Just my two cents.

    J. Ellen Smith
    Publisher
    Champagne Books

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  10. Thanks, Ellen. Please note this correction for anyone reading this post. I am truly not a POD author, but an author who is working with a small press that focuses on the electronic format and digital formats as designated by the publisher. I apology for this confusion.

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  11. Just wondering if anyone's had an opportunity to venture over to my website at http://www.kaylinmcfarren.com? Just posted a full chapter there for anyone who would like a free read. :D

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  12. Glad you found a wonderful publisher for the book.

    amysmith98 @ yahoo.com

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  13. Truly appreciate your kind words, Amy. Thanks! :)

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