Dream on, Writer, Dream on.
Deciding on how to publish my novel was a tough choice. Sure, I’d like the prestige of having a major, or even a not-so-major, traditional publishing house buy the rights to my book and pay me a royalty. But that statistic I mentioned in my previous post, that a literary agency accepts fewer than one percent of submitted manuscripts gave me pause.
I’m not twenty-five years old. I don’t want to spend years submitting and resubmitting my manuscript to agents and hoping to be one of few writers accepted as a client. In the past year, I’ve participated in Twitter pitch parties five times, more than that, if you consider that hopeful writers can pitch one project more than once during the hours the pitch party runs. The only interest in my pitches has been from other writers. Too bad they’re not also editors from publishing houses.
WordPress seemed like a good option since I have a few followers, it has Reader to help bloggers find each other’s posts. I can link to other social media platforms. But even with the help of a WP customer service person, I couldn’t figure out how to set up a premium block. Maybe I’m too impatient. I don’t know if I’d have to set up a block each time a published a new chapter. That would be more work than I want to do. I want to write, not set up premium blocks.
Patreon is a platform where creators can offer their material to subscribers. I seriously considered it, but when I went to their site, I could find other creators’ posts to see what they’d done. That was annoying. Anyone can look at WordPress and see what’s on offer.
Vella is Amazon’s new publishing platform where writers can serialize their books, chapter by chapter. They pay a royalty of fifty percent, although the first three chapters are a free sample. Much better pay than any traditional publisher. The writer retains creative control. I don’t have to worry about word count. There are books on the market that are much longer than mine, but selling them to a publisher isn’t easy; the acceptance rate is probably even lower than that fraction of one percent. One of my writer friends encouraged me to do with Vella because it’s new and therefore Amazon might push it more. It’s certainly in their interest to do so. They get a bigger cut than they would from books published using KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing)
Considering all that, Vella seemed like a good choice, so I went with it. I published the first chapter of my novel today. It was easier than publishing with KDP, which is also easy. It can take up to seventy-two hours for the episode to go live, but I’ve published stories on Amazon before and it always took less time to be approved. It helps that the material is short.
Maybe I’ll never make more than pennies per chapter. I’ve already done some self-promotion. Hopefully, the pennies will add up and the stack will get higher as I add more chapters. If this goes well, I have another book to publish on Vella. It just needs a bit more work.
Whatever happens, I’ll keep on writing. It’s what I do.