Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Doranna Durgin On Changes in Publishing

C. J. Cherryh introduced me to Doranna Durgin on Facebook because Doranna had begun a Group called Backlist eBooks.  Here below is more from Doranna Durgin directly. 

Backlist eBooks is a group of professional writers who've been working in Mass Market and Hardcover (many in Romance) now posting their own novels in eBook at bargain prices.  Here's an Amazon store full of their work:

You can see the list of names at the left, click and see a list of their eBook releases.  Amazing! 

Helping build this Group has been an adventure, and I don't regret a moment of the time spent on it, though the last few weeks I've been ignoring all the List posts from Backlist eBooks. 

I will get back to participating in the Group's projects (which are legion, and include an anthology I'm probably going to be in) now that I've finished the 118,000 word novel, THE FARRIS CHANNEL (Sime~Gen #12) and now it's in production.  The previous 11 Sime~Gen novels are already available in eBook and POD.  You can find them listed neatly here:

Margaret Carter said nice things about Sime~Gen on this blog:
Since I met Doranna I've read one of her novels, THE RECKONERS from Tor and reviewed it (rave; 5 star) for my column scheduled for August 2011 http://www.simegen.com/reviews/rereadablebooks/2011/

Yes, she writes our kind of stuff. Get to know her! 

.She says of herself:

Doranna Durgin writes across genres to include fantasy, mystery, tie-ins and various flavors of romance--from the action-oriented Bombshells to STORM OF RECKONING, her latest paranormal release; she also manages the Backlist eBooks project with author partner-in-crime Patricia Ryan. She spends what's left of her time hanging around with horses, dogs, and wildflowers.

For more about Doranna's books, you can catch up with her at her webstead, FaceBook, Twitter, or her blog. There are also free bookmarks to be had!


And here she is talking about what I talk about a lot here - CHANGE!


Caught in the Airstream
Doranna Durgin

Publishing Industry changes--boy, is there a lot of talk about that! We've seen them coming, watched them loom close, and now they've caught us up in its airstream on the way by (complete with doppler train sound effects.) They’ve also left us spinning around in their wake, and really, the only question is…where are they going to spit us out?

I have now used up my big meaningful metaphors for the day. Ow.

The obvious point is, we're doing our best to land on our feet.

Of  late--as professional authors who have always channeled our work through big house publishers--we've had more tools to do that. We've got online digital options to publish that book that never quite sold no matter how we believe in it, or the manuscript that lingered because it fell short not in quality, but market predictability. And we've got online digital repubbing options for out-of-print favorites.

And because publishers have pushed and pushed and pushed, dropping ever more responsibility on our authorly shoulders, we also have the experience with marketing. So, that big bugaboo of taking on the e-production chores…? In exchange for the freedom of muse and the freedom from absurdly low royalty terms, the payment delays, and the struggle to regain the rights to our own work when our publisher is no longer supporting it? To plenty of us, it seems a decent trade.

That's why long-time friend Patricia Ryan and I have started a project called Backlist eBooks, featuring the author-repubbed work of experienced writers. We have a FaceBook page (okay, who doesn't?), and we have a web page, and in both places we keep a list of members--where to find their books (all the formats, with plenty of DRM-free options) as well as a groovy Kindle store for convenience.

We've also got a permanent web site under construction, and once that launches in late spring, each author will have a page, each backlist ebook will have a page, and each of these will have direct links for purchase at all available options. There will also be the occasional original--a chance to see what we would have written in these past years, if we'd had a chance. The books that wouldn't let us go.

It is going to be WAY COOL. (There's a newsletter sign-up form if you'd like to keep in touch about the sales we run and the web site launch.)

And while I've waxed poetic about what this particular revolution means to us as authors, that point was abruptly and completely driven home to me within the past weeks…and suddenly it all means so much more than it did before. Because my beloved ConneryBeagle--my performance partner in many sports, primarily agility and of late, tracking--is in prime of his life...and he's sick.

He's always walked a brittle line, coping with a questionable immune system with great heart and enthusiasm, and I've always also worried that one day I wouldn't be able to meet his needs. And now...here we are. He needs testing; I'm at the long end of a long string of publisher delays: late payments and contract slow-downs that push the next income further and further out regardless of my work delivery schedule.

So--thanks to the new publishing options and the experience I've gained with my backlist ebooks--I'm compiling The Heart of Dog collection, the proceeds of which will provide the procedures to help us understand what's going with him, and the means to treat whatever it is. The story collection is full of not only my best spec-fic dog goodies, it has a bundle of donated work by Jeffrey Carver, Julie Czerneda, Tanya Huff, John Mierau, Fiona Patton, Jennifer Roberson, Kristine Katherine Rusch, & John Zakour .

It's work I had available within a month of conception, and the pre-orders quickly made all the difference in the world to us.

So…do I still wish for the old days, when I could simply write, and when writing the very best possible story encompassed the sum of my job? In fact, I do. Like most authors, writing isn't something I do; it's something I am. And that means I'll do what I have to so I can keep doing it. If what I've learned saves my dog's life in the process?



So now you've met Doranna Durgin. Notice she knows the writers we know? Does that tell you something about the world of cross-genre publishing? And the future of cross-genre Romance?

Jacqueline Lichtenberg

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