Day: June 11, 2013

When E-Publishers Go Out of Business?

When e-publishers go out of business it can be very upsetting to authors and readers, especially on an emotional level. Authors who work with e-publishers almost always have good experiences and they become both loyal and attached. Sometimes we even get blasted because we’re so loyal to our small e-publishers. But you just can’t help becoming emotionally attached to the people you’ve been working with for years. Even though you may never meet many of these people in person, you still can’t help bonding sometimes.

However, the reality is that e-publishers like all small businesses can go out of business. I don’t think it’s a surprise by now to mention that is one of them. Here’s what’s up on the web site:

Going Out Of Business! We want to thank all of our loyal fans and customers for 8 great years of bringing you your favorite titles. Join us for 25% off until June 30th, 2013. Thanks again.

To say that I was upset when I heard this would be a huge understatement. I’ve been working with LYD for almost seven years and I’ve come to trust and depend on them in many ways. They allowed me to do things I never would have been able to do with other LGBT print presses at the time I started with them. They weren’t the first e-publisher I ever worked with, but when I started to build a relationship with the owners and the staff and realized how happy I was working with them I just continued to build my list. Thanks to them I’ve been nominated for TLA Gay E-book awards, and more than one title has hit bestseller lists…always when I least expected it. And some of their other titles by other authors have won awards like Lambdas.

Working with was one of the most positive experiences in my writing career, and I’m very sorry to see them go. It felt like home.

But I do understand and life does continue, and we all have to move forward. I’ll be getting the rights back to all of my titles with LYD at the end of the month. And I had to make a decision about what to do with them. I thought about shopping them to other e-publishers I work with. I thought about shopping them to a few new interesting e-publishers I’ve seen pop up in the last year or so. And I will be working with one of my developmental editors from LYD in the future with a new venture she’s starting this year. But those will all be new titles, and I just couldn’t decide what to do with my backlisted titles from LYD.

The ultimate decision I made wasn’t simple because it’s going to be a lot of work. But I have thirty-two titles with LYD and I don’t want them to disappear. I also want to have more control over them now. So I’ll be re-releasing them myself, through Ryan Field Press, just like I published Chase of a Lifetime and my other indie books. And I think readers will probably benefit from this the most because I will release them all as .99 e-books. I’m leaning toward the Kindle lending program for the first three months, too. I like the concept of lending, and I’d like to support that for at least three months.

Although I would have had the option to self-publish five years ago if my e-publisher had gone out of business, it wouldn’t have been as viable as it is today. Five years ago I would have definitely shopped the titles to other e-publishers without thinking twice. But things have changed a lot since then, and now I do have a viable option in self-publishing.

So that’s how I’m going to deal with this for the time being. I love and support all e-publishers, and I hope to continue to work with them. In a perfect world, all small e-presses would thrive and no one would ever go out of business. But this is the third time it’s happened to me. And I’ve seen it before with other e-presses. So if and when they do go out of business I want to know that I have a back up plan. I want that empowerment. And I’m hoping my readers will benefit from the decision I’ve made to re-release these e-books for .99…and the freedom I’ll have in the future to offer more events and promotions. I’m also looking into selling my e-books myself on my own web site. That’s a little more daunting, but I do think it’s going to be an even more viable option for authors in the near future.

Keanu Reeves at Cannes; New F Word; Self-Publishing Tips

Evidently, Keanu Reeves made headlines at Cannes when he arrived looking slightly different than usual. If you do a simple search you’d be amazed at what you come up with. The article I’m linking to is the only one that said basically what I think about all this.

He arrived at the Cannes Film Festival looking less than stellar, and suddenly he’s getting treated worse than Kim Kardashian by the media. (“Keanu Reeves Looks Bloated at Cannes Film Festival” is a real headline that came up when I Googled his name.) And then they zoomed in to a horrific photo of his chin taken from below — because that’s always a good angle.

Read more:

It looks to me like he’s getting ready for a new film. And frankly, I saw the photos and thought he looked fine. But none of that should even matter anyway.

Women get this kind of thing all the time about body image and weight issues. But men get it, too, and you don’t have to be famous. I’ve been starving for years. Last weekend I went to a BBQ at an old friend’s house and it was the typical menu…most of the foods I never eat anymore. I passed on potato salad, pasta salad, hot dogs, and burgers. But you can’t just sit there and eat nothing because that would be rude. So I picked on a bunless burger and thankfully there was a mixed green salad. I’ve been conscious about food and gaining weight all my life, and when all else fails I always revert back to the Atkins diet principles. And sometimes I wonder why I bother. But this image bullshit has been so ingrained in us (gay men and women especially) it’s not simple to shake. Because when a man as gorgeous at Keanu Reeves shows up a few pounds overweight and gets slammed for it, there’s something wrong.

The New F Word

While I don’t think anything can ever replace the satisfaction you get from telling someone to go fuck themselves, especially a bully, I do like the idea of this new trend to take action.

Friend Movement has launched a new groundbreaking anti-bullying campaign with the support of stars, activists, dancers and athletes.

Ronnie Kroell and Elliott London, along with co-creator Bianca Kosoy, have launched the campaign, titled “The New F Word,” which is “designed to empower individuals and inspire” everyone to “take action.”

Celebrities such as Tim Gunn, Adam Lambert, Frenchie Davis, Carmen Electra, LeAnn Rimes, Lance Bass, Aubrey O’Day and others have lent their faces — and their middle fingers — to the campaign, which features photographer Ryan Forbes capturing them giving bullies the bird.

I also think all anti bullying campaigns are important now more than ever with so much online bullying happening. It takes a while to build up a layer of skin thick enough to deal with online bullying, and a good deal of time before you can smile and say go fuck yourself to a bully. But things like this campaign make it a little easier for people who aren’t sure how to deal with bullies. In other words, they validate what other people have been thinking for a long time.

You can read more here.

Self-Publishing Tips

I’m linking to an article now that talks about a few interesting topics when it comes to self-publishing. There’s the international factor, learning to be retail specific, and branding. I don’t remember where I found it, but there is some good info. On the other hand, it’s also a good example of why things like BEA can be a waste of time for many authors. Everyone’s talking about branding and no one’s actually saying anything.

The problem I always find with things like this about self-publishing and events like BEA is that even though they make sense and they might work for some people, they are coming from the POV of people who don’t always have the hands on experience. As a result a lot of people who attend events like BEA for the exposure wind up sounding extremely knowledgeable…only they are basically smiling and saying blah, blah, blah without knowing anything about indie publishing from personal experience.

Some of the most crucial meetings at BEA aren’t those where you pitch new business, but the opportunities where you build existing relationships; particularly with retailers. It’s a BEA tradition of ours – and many publishers – to sit down with the account managers at our retail partners. We update them on our plans for the coming year and they tell us about their latest technology developments and sales recommendations. Frequently, these meetings offer tantalizing glimpses into new features and storefront and device capabilities. Here are three of the biggest takeaways for authors that we noticed from this year’s meetings with Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Samsung and others at BEA.
In spite of the fact that I’ve never met anyone who came away from a conference like BEA and said, “This changed my life,” I do think the article is good for people who don’t know anything about e-books or self-publishing. Just yesterday I saw a woman on a comment thread who said, “My mother-in-law thinks I should write an e-book. I’m already writing three other books and I don’t have time to write an e-book.” My first thought was she doesn’t know what she’s talking about, because an e-book is a book…and why aren’t her other three books being released in digital format, too? Sounds like she needs to listen more to her mother-in-law if you ask me.