Saturday, February 9, 2013

Raising a back list from the dead

This could be your e-book he's reading!
 Once published, the shelf life - indeed, the legitimately "published life" - of many books is shockingly brief. In some cases, it's years. Far more often, it is months or even weeks. And countless books appear only in bookstores that have specifically ordered them in for a vigilant customer or the author's admirers or friends. 
But through its new "AUTHORS UNLIMITED" initiative, the Australian Society of Authors is offering new light in this previously bleak tunnel...and not for previously-published authors only. Stephanie Dowrick reports on and applauds this timely initiative.

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Join the ASA - published writer or not - and you will have the chance to put your work into a digital edition and make it available through the PORTFOLIO PAGE on the ASA website, and also to link it to any of the widely known and used retail sites that sell digital editions.
Sales bring a royalty of 80% of your modest price.
Sales' income is remitted monthly.
My eyes are watering as I type this...! I am a former publisher and know very well how risky formal publication is for the publishers as well as writers. None the less, the risk is greater for the writer, not least because it is spread over far fewer books. Traditional royalties are around 10% of RRP and income can come as late as nine months after books are sold. And it is sent to the grateful but possibly starving author twice-yearly at best.

Yes, with this new ASA initiative there are expenses, particularly to create an ePub file.  There are even more if you have your text only in a hard copy edition. Those costs seem modest, however. There may also be expenses in time and money to let potential readers know your ancient books have been made new. I would suggest a stylish professional for cover design also. And if the work has not been published previously, I would urge you to invest in careful professional editing. But this whole scheme certainly wakes up and develops new possibilities that did not exist in the pre-digital era.

Here is the vital link to get you started: Authors Unlimited.

Even very old books could be made new again!
Do report back on your publishing, writing and reading adventures. 
Let us know if there are similar initiatives in other countries.
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You also support the Universal Heart Book Club by using the book store links above right.  

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