Continuing my theme of procrastination I thought I would take a closer look at what was happening with the various publishing houses and other sites that accept works from erotica and romance authors. What I found was frustrating more than anything else.
A lot of sites were offering royalty rates or flat fees that would amount to less than a quarter of what it costs to edit a script at commercial rates.
Exclusivity across the board was another sticking point. Forgoing reprint rights globally for up to 5-10 years is unacceptable in an environment where there is no guarantee that the site will even be around in 5-10 years.
It was sobering to note just how many erotica publishers disappeared in the last 10 years (many who failed to transition to online services), and how many retail sites have also disappeared in the last few years.
So, if the cost to me is reduced royalties and loss of publishing rights for an extended period, what possible attraction could there be to go with another publishing house?
Quite simply it would be exposure. The small following I am establishing through hard work could be obtained in greater numbers and with greater speed by going with an established publishing house. A quarter of something is better than three quarters of nothing, so the hope would be that over time the greater exposure would result in greater income.
What I have read a lot of in the past, is that authors with agents or smaller publishing houses find that they need to do quite a lot of their own marketing, so there’s no real benefit in that aspect.
At the moment I am getting titles distributed to a number of the major retail sites, and have worked out the various ins and outs of each system to ensure that exactly what I want to see published is. I am also working hard on increasing my fanbase and the number of titles published (especially at the short story length).
The only things that would change if I went with another publisher is that I wouldn’t have that control over where the titles are distributed, pricing, or ability to reprint / modify at will. That loss of control is a little bit too much for me at the moment. Perhaps a couple of titles in the future can be released under that approach, but not now.
On the upside, there are still a couple of publishers out there who, it seems, treat their authors with respect and actually give a really good boost to exposure for the tradeoffs associated with handing over a manuscript.
After all of that, might some of my upcoming titles be published through someone else? Who knows? For now, expect to see fortnightly short story releases at least until the end of September (next story should be out by the end of next week), published by me.