The Wild West for Publishing

Once a month I host the SCBWI Denver Schmooze with Hilari Bell. Today we had a wonderful speaker, Deb Courtney, Managing Partner of Courtney Literary, LLC, who gave a talk on epublishing and using social media to promote your books. Boy, did I learn a lot. I’ve done some epublishing, as well as traditional publishing, so I know the steps to getting a book ready for press. What I picked up was some general information about the market and how to use social media.

Deb is a micro publisher. She has created a niche for herself in today’s Wild West of Publishing that didn’t exist ten years ago. She does managed self-publishing, what she describes as, “Tip to toe full service publishing.” You have to send a query to Deb, the same type of query you would send to a traditional publisher. If she likes your idea, she’ll ask for the manuscript. She has a couple of readers who know her tastes. If she decides to take you on, then she’ll meet with you and outline a publishing and marketing plan. She might decide epublishing is the best approach, or she might decide to also do some POD. She positions your books in select bookstores as well as promoting them online. That’s just a very, very brief overview of what she does. If you are interested in approaching her then I would recommend checking out her submission guidelines.

What I found fascinating was her information about the epublishing market. In one quarter last year ebooks made $282 millions dollars. Adult ebooks during that quarter grew 28.4%. Childrens and YA ebooks grew 233% during that same quarter. Clearly the childrens and YA market are the faster growing segment of ebooks. At the SCBWI Fall Conference I heard similar information from Will Terry. The hot trend right now is in children’s apps. Check out my blog on the conference for more information about the app market. Deb speculated that as more and more adults buy digital readers like Kindle Fire, the Nook, and iPad they will want to upgrade them as new models come out. They’ll probably give the older model to their kids. This market is here to stay and will only get bigger.

Deb also helped me see a better way to use my blog. I spend a lot of time writing one weekly blog post, but she said in order to build a readership I need to write 2 blogs a week. I groaned. While I like writing this blog, it does take a fair amount of time. I try it make it interesting, something that would invite comment, or present a new way of looking at the subject of writing. But she said readers like the personal. They want to connect to you. Social media is, above all, a social contact. She suggested I do a second, shorter blog once a week that’s anecdotal. I like that idea so starting on Wednesday I’m going to post something short and hopefully, funny. Tune in on Wednesday and see what strikes my funny bone. It will probably have something to do with my dog, Bo, who makes me laugh everyday.

1 Comment

  1. Nice blog, Anna-Maria. Wish I’d made it to that schmooze!


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