What makes the story in When Ties Break different, exceptional, and inspirational is that the author has lived through each one of these challenging, sometimes terrifying problems. Through God's help and her own courage and perseverance, Margaret not only thrived after loss but came out on top with a new energy, a renewed spirit, and a sense of worth."
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by Margaret Norton
Five years ago, when I started thinking about writing my first book, most people recommended a traditional publisher rather than self-publishing. I took that advice but many times since then I wondered if I made the right choice. One year after my book was released; I terminated my relationship with my publisher. There were several reasons for this: I felt that I was doing most of the work anyway – except for printing the book – so why not get the full financial reward. But my biggest reason was lack of control. I felt that I had very little say over anything that happened with my book and I had no way to track my marketing efforts. Like most new writers, I wasn’t making much money, so why not venture out on my own? That was five months ago and this is what I’ve learned so far:
The electronic author has most of the same problems as the traditional author. For the new writer the biggest problem is publicity. I am doing the same things I was doing 18 months ago – press releases, blog tours, working social media, trying to build a name for myself as a writer, etc. The only thing I am not doing is physical book signings, which I could do with my remaining stock, but have chosen not to. My goal is to have a total virtual experience.
Technology is the biggest epublishing challenge, especially if you are weak in this area. For months I took classes and read articles to prepare for this change but I am overwhelmed with the amount and content of the information. Initially I was under the impression that there were two major formats – Mobi which is Amazon’s Kindle and epub which is everything else but what I’m learning is there are variations on these two and it hasn’t been easy. Most web sites that publish books have technical departments that are helpful and there are companies that assist you with epublication such as formatting and creating ecovers. But for the most part you’re on your own.
Numerous outlets exist for epublications. Traditional writers are encouraged to purchase their own books from their publisher. Epublishers typically do not have as many restrictions and once your book is in the correct format you can often list it on line for free. One list I’ve seen had 40 web sites to sell books on line. This is time consuming. After I started working the list I decided instead to focus on Amazon, Barnes & Nobles and Smashwords. The sales outlets have regulations but they’re usually doable, some charge small fees, some have time limits, most let you set your own price with a minimum and maximum, some allow you to give your book away or free chapters, some have blogs and community support and some list your book with other sites and help with promotion. Payment is quicker with epublication and varies by site – pay pal, check, or electronic transfer. Returns are not as likely with ebooks which is a good thing. Initially it takes time to set everything up but once this is done all you have to do is maintain the web sites and collect your royalties. Just don’t spend it all in one place!
Changing from traditional publishing to epublishing is going from one extreme to another. I no longer feel that I have little control but rather I have total control over everything that pertains to the distribution, promotion and sale of my book. If it doesn’t do well I can’t blame my publisher but on the other hand if it does then I’ll get to claim all the glory. The royalties are less per book but the expectation is that I’ll sell more books. Publishers tend to send you out to pasture unless you continue to generate healthy sales. Electronic sales are different – they don’t drop you if sales are down. You can spend the rest of your life promoting a book and over time perhaps generate some healthy sales. For me this was a chance that I was willing to take.
Thank you for reading my post. If you like personal memoirs, you’d probably enjoy my book.
Margaret Norton has always pushed the envelope – never totally accepting the status quo. A people person, her greatest joy comes from helping others. Preventing abuse, empowering women and improving health are her passions. As a Personal Life Coach, Margaret founded Life Transitions to help individuals deal with change. In addition, she’s a Stephen Minister and Dale Carnegie Coach. This training, along with her personal life experiences, makes her a caring and compassionate coach. She’s also a graduate of the Creative Writing Program at Long Ridge Writing Academy. Her stories have appeared in A Light along the Way, the Upper Room, various local newspapers, on-line and more stories to appear in 2012.
Margaret currently resides in Greensboro, NC where she spends as much time as possible with her four grandchildren. She has a monthly radio show, volunteers with numerous agencies and is a passionate distributor for It Works educating others on healthy living, anti-aging and weight maintenance. She believes that all life experiences are valuable and by sharing our stories we learn from each other. In her memoir, When Ties Break, she shares her incredible journey as she attempts to answer gut wrenching questions like why bad things happen to good people.
Thanks for stopping by Margaret, a lot of bloggers like to write as well, and what writer doesn't want to be well informed about how to go about getting published and how to manage ePublishing! I really appresiate you visiting with that great Guest Blog today! Thanks!