Page 1 of 1

Timing in Publishing

Posted: July 21st, 2013, 11:34 pm
by Fenris
Hi all, it's me again. Sorry for yet another long absence--school plus work plus writing plus editing equals a rather tired Fenris, but I've come back at long last because you've always been a merry (and helpful) bunch, and I found I rather missed you.

Also, I had a question.

I've been working on an expansion to my original MS, Harbinger, the first part of which now spans two and a half books. The structure of the series is such that (provided it stays on track) it will be composed of at least two, possibly three smaller sagas with an overarching plot. This is important because of the way I write. I like having the option to backtrack--even to prior books, if necessary (and I find myself consulting them often)--to fetch facts, make references, and just generally double-check that I'm not contradicting myself anywhere or unwittingly writing myself into corners. As such my plan was to finish the first saga, which will span three books, before publishing any of them, just so I could still have that option to go and change certain bits of the first or second one if I discovered that events in later books necessitated it. I'm currently having second thoughts, but it's likely that I'll stick to the original plan in that regard.

The question, therefore, is this: once finished, I plan to self-publish, though I may make forays into the world of traditional publishing beforehand to sort of test the waters and see what happens. If that falls through and I go to e-publishing, should I set all three books on the table at once to try and make a splash, or go with the more standard method of releasing them one at a time in an attempt to allow word of mouth to circulate (assuming, of course, anyone notices them)? Thoughts on both this question and the above method of withholding my work are appreciated--after all, if you exempt money and nourishment, feedback is how we thrive.

Thanks in advance! (Oh, and I'll try and get on here a bit more often. I really do miss you guys.)

Re: Timing in Publishing

Posted: July 22nd, 2013, 12:37 pm
by Quill
Fenris, welcome back. Although there are nearly no "guys" left on this forum anymore, unless you count the crickets.

Assuming your books are fiction, I would recommend self publishing in fairly close succession, say, one a month. This gives you the chance to benefit from each separate launch, and yet show readers that your series is viable. Readers like series, but many like to be assured that multiple titles --- or even the entire series, in the case of new writers -- is available before investing in them. Too many self-pubbing authers, I guess, fail to complete their announced run of titles.

Good luck, and be sure you put them out with professional-quality covers and description blurbs. There's a lot of competition out there.

Re: Timing in Publishing

Posted: July 27th, 2013, 4:43 pm
by Fenris
Thanks, Quill! And yes, they are fiction--fantasy, in fact. Staggered releases sounds like a good compromise now that you mention it. I think the most frightening aspect to a newbie like me is how much I have to learn if I expect to keep my feet in e-publishing, but I'll just have to buckle down and do my best. I've already started looking around for good cover artists and the beta reading stage is currently underway, so I guess I'd better start studying the process now before I'm at the precipice. Thanks for the well wishes, and good luck with your writing as well!

Re: Timing in Publishing

Posted: July 27th, 2013, 6:31 pm
by polymath
Quill addressed your question directly. Beyond timing, a mountain of marketing practices also are worth consideration. Marketing is a top-level practice that falls within four corners: packaging, advertising, promotion, and publicity. Take release timing, for example, some of each packaging, advertising, promotion, and publicity. Packaging in the sense of timing might be affected by legal concerns. A copyright page ought to include the notice of copyright registration. A copyright page is part of book's physical design package. The copyright has to be registered within three months of publication date in order to enjoy the full gamut of legal remedies in the event of infringement.

Note: publication date, not per se release date. The date of release may coincide with the publication date, but fortunately, is not required to be the same date. For legal purposes, the publication date can be the date the final copy is put into a fixed and tangible form that is perceivable by others. So though the prospect of including a copyright registration notice before publication release seems like a catch-22, it's not. Also, the U.S. Copyright Office has streamlined registration with an online application and mandatory copy deposit--electronic--plus, it costs less than hardcopy registration and deposit.

Cover design, packaging; book design, packaging; typeface and font choice, packaging. Which electronic media to publish to, packaging: Kindle, Nook, Lulu, xLibris, PDF, Mobi, proprietary Distribution Rights Management or no DRM--Goodreads proscribes DRM. How to publish then also overlaps into advertising, promotion, and publicity concerns.

Direct and indirect advertising (also overlaps into promotion and publicity). Spam is advertising sent directly to potential consumers. Splogging is indirect advertising posted at blogs, chatrooms. BulletinBoards, etc. Amazon and Barnes & Noble online sort of advertise in a number of ways: indexing titles, writers, etc., posting title standings and hosting free samples and reviews, etc. Astroturfing, laying artificial sod, or family, friends, and writers under sock puppet identities posting vanity reviews at online venues, like Amazon, Wikipedia, and blogs, though a vanity advertising practice, is also promotion and publicity.

Promoting a product is about enticing potential consumers to sample and consume. Book signings are an example of in-person promotion. Electronic promotions might offer limited-time sampling of a particular item; for example, the first installment of a serial publication.

Publicity they say is always good no matter how bad it is. Creating sincere controversy is one potent way to generate publicity. Though reputations may suffer and feelings be hurt. The one general ideal of publicity is to get consumers talking about a product, generate word-of-mouth buzz. No matter if the buzz is at the office watercooler, the local tavern, an online venue, or lifestyle critics expressing their likes and dislikes or literary critics expressing the interpretations and intents and meanings they decode. It's all good publicity.

Re: Timing in Publishing

Posted: July 27th, 2013, 7:17 pm
by Fenris
Heh heh. It's a good thing that doesn't sound too bad now, because come publication I might realize it's worse than I thought. Still, no sense cowing now. Thanks for the info and tips, Polymath--I'm glad the guru's still around to impart wisdom now and then.