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Brainstorm… or at least a respectable drizzle

Y’all know I’m an Internet junkie even if I don’t post here often.  It’s a case of no time compounded by less time these days, and I’m really ready to think about changing things around.  I’m also thinking of ways I can help my friends get ahead of the game, and if I can do both simultaneously – you bet your sweet bippy I’m going to do it.

We’re all writers or we wouldn’t be here.  Our level of interest in writing varies from one to the other, obviously, but we’re articulate and smart and all the things that go along with it.

Raise your hand if you’d like to publish a book and not have to pay Lulu to print it, and have it available for sale tuit suite, where you get the majority of the money from the sale and can count on a regular payday each month.

I can do that.

The world of Kindle and all its kind has opened up a new world for authors.  The era of the eBook is here and it’s rewritten the rules (pardon the near-miss pun twist in that one.)   If y’all write the books, I’ll sell them for you.  Seriously.  I can put together an online store that takes PayPal and can make it go live within just a few days.  If you send to me in .DOC or .RTF format I’ll convert to .PDF, the eBook industry standard.  Just beware – I’ll also be a real bitch of an editor, because if we do this and make it successful we need to offer quality enough to generate buzz.  I can promote it and am game for putting my own money into advertising for a kick start.  I’ll shanghai help to do cover art to get things moving, though I’m most definitely not averse to anyone supplying me with their artwork or photography that matches their book.

If you have the genuine expertise to write a resource book – such as antique cars (nobody I know could do that… right, Poolie?) or how to stage a theatrical production (ditto both Poolie and Rosie) or such, those tend to command higher prices as a rule than fiction, but I’ll out-bitch myself on the editing.  If you command a premium price you need to provide a premium product.

If you’re doing fiction, humor and such, the per-item price can be lower but methinks the potential for sales will be MUCH higher.  Keep in mind that while a Nora Roberts might pull down $6.99 for an eBook, she’s got a built in fan base.  We’re unknowns… so far.  We need to convince somebody to buy on faith that what they’ll get is a nice, juicy, fantabulous tale.

This isn’t NaNoWriMo.  This is a serious plan if y’all are in.  Every day I see someone who decides to sell a single book on their website and make a million bucks.   It ain’t gonna happen.  If we hope to reach a wide audience we need to promote both the sales and the authorship end, but I’m way more than happy to start with works by my friends.  So how about it?  Can you write – and actually finish – a publish-worthy book?  Karen (Cosmic) did self publication, and paid a small fortune for the privilege.  I’m not going to charge you anything unless your book sells, and then I’ll take 20%. (I’ll be the admin and have to cover costs for the site, plus building and maintenance of it.) Will you make a lot of money?  Maybe, maybe not.  But you never know until you try, do you?

So… is anyone interested?  I can see both Poolie and BrainGerbil doing this, and would do almost anything to include a volume from Miss Hiss.  Hell, a whole SERIES of books from Miss Hiss and the rest of us can bask in the glory of her satisfied cast-offs and still make a killing.  Damgerspouse, this means you, too.  I’ve seen what you can do and you and Miss Hiss together would jointly be plenty to make this a successful venture.  Rosie, I know about your Norte idea – can you put your mouth where your money is?

Herstory – you already know what I think there.

Pretty much all of the folks that read and respond to me have the capacity to write interesting, intellectual, funny, remarkable stuff.  Can you turn it into 75,000 words or more?  That’s the threshold for a novel, though it’s a mighty short one.  45K is a novelette, which is still saleable.

I won’t pretend to do this unless I get enough submissions to make it happen, but look at it this way – if you write it and this project doesn’t get off the ground, I can tell you about other outlets.  Amazon pays you 70%; I’ll pay 80%.  I’m also thinking of a good name for the store at this point.  Indie Connoseur?  Starving Authors Incorporated?   (Just kidding on the second one.)   I’m also open to suggestions or names, concepts, etc.  I WILL tell you that while I’m game for buying the domain once I decide on a name, I won’t build the store unless and until I have at least a few viable manuscripts in hand.  We need enough titles to make it worthwhile for someone to visit us, so they can tell two friends, so they can tell two friends, etc.

Anybody in?

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