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Q: What's your experience with print-on-demand publishing?
A: I find myself wishing I'd worked a little harder to attract a mainstreampublisher. The book is real; I can hold it, touch it, show it off. But allof the sales so far have required our active involvement and we want towrite not do sales and marketing.
Further, while getting published was easier, the rest of the worldtreats print-on-demand as a new kind of vanity press because of it. Thatmeans there are automatic barriers that you have to work to overcome whenyou want to sell copies of the book.
On the good side, the novel will always be available, and 1stBooks gotthe novel into the Amazon.coms of the world. On the bad side, they put sucha huge price tag on it that I don't expect any sales from that venue at all.My website, my author signings, and my working to find customers has beenrequired. Plus it hleps that my price is 50% of Amazon's.
A mainstream publisher might have made that a bit easier. And since print-on-demand allows us to keep the rights to the book, we may yet try again to go to a mainstream publisher.
Q: What did you like to read when you were a child?
A: Anything and everything. English is my third language (German, Latvian) and I'd read books in all three languages. Growing up was in the States, and I was most interested in the Hardy Boys while young, then science fiction as I got to middle school.
Q: What has the Internet meant for you as an author?
A: It's been very helpful. Carl and I couldn't have pulled this offwithout the net and emails. We got our cover art via an artist in Albanyand did that whole effort by email. The corrections of the galleys thatwent back and forth to Indiana were mostly done by email, even with thepublisher. The ebook communications went to California by net. The audiobook (which we declined) meant emails to Florida. And the printer was inTennessee.
The one thing I've wished I'd done more of is researching the connections between publishing badges. You submit your manuscript to a Tor, get a rejection, then submit it to a Baen and it comes back immediately. It's only later that you find out the submissions have gone to the same company and may even have gone to the same reviewer. In the future, the net will help with that too - now that I've learned the questions to ask.