OLD POST ALERT! This is an older post and although you might find some useful tips, any technical or publishing information is likely to be out of date. Please click on Start Here on the menu bar above to find links to my most useful articles, videos and podcast. Thanks and happy writing! – Joanna Penn
Michelle Halket is the Creative Director for ireadiwrite Publishing, an independent press specializing in digital books. Passionate about technology and books, Michelle works with writers from submission to publication.
In this podcast, you will learn:
- How Michelle started her career with Nielsen marketing, but she wanted to help authors and foster the creative spirit. She started off with a portal for self-publishing, but this later developed into more of a traditional publishing model focusing on ebooks with a personal touch. So ireadiwrite turned into an independent press focusing on quality books.
- The attractions of an ebook publishing model. Ebooks are growing over 300% p.a. , and sales increase every month and the only other growth is mass market, so this is a great time to be in ebook publishing. It removes the paper, ink, gasoline, warehousing, freight and expenses associated with print books. The investment is smaller upfront – it still includes editing, typesetting, design etc but it is less labor intensive than print.
- So why do print books at all? 95% of readers are still on paper books so it's good to meet that market where they are. By publishing a select group of print books, sales did increase. Michelle is very careful about which books she does print, and uses print on demand and short runs to meet the market. The traditional model of printing thousands of books and shipping them to a warehouse just doesn't work for a small press.
Checklist for what Michelle is interested in publishing:
- Interesting synopsis (publishers are readers!)
- Only fiction at the moment for ireadiwrite, so be careful of what genre you are submitting – read the guidelines
- It doesn't need to be trendy, but does need to be marketable
- Marketable ebook genres which sell well include: sci-fi, fantasy, romance and erotica
- If this is all good, the first 3-5 chapters will be read to check whether it is well written and well edited. Publishers won't usually edit from scratch anymore.
- The author platform is a given right now, you need to have some way to market
- What kind of person is the author and will they be easy and good to work with – this is very important as writer/publisher relationship is a personal one.
- A small press is more like a “little family” and relationships are important. The authors are very positive about ireadiwrite and word of mouth is a great way to grow organically.
- Why an author should use an ebook publisher rather than self-publishing. Readers still want a ‘quality' filter so publishers act as a portal to books. It's also great if you don't want to do all the publishing yourself i.e. you want someone else to edit, do cover design, format for ebook publishing and distribute. You'll still need to market (like with any publisher) but if you get a publisher, you have less tasks on your plate to get your book to market. So it's about the model an author wants to follow.