Well it’s been a while since I’ve posted on the Vox. But that makes sense since Google found a way to archive my blog without notifying me. That said, I started another blog called The Vincent Zandri Voyager, but that one is primarily for my travels. So now that I’m home and grounded back in New York while I await word on the exact amount of dough I’m gonna have to pay the tax man this year, I’ve decided to resurrect the Vox, only under the WordPress site so that Google can’t stiff me once again. After all, Lawrence Block’s blog is here and what’s good for Lawrence is good enough for me.
So, the rundown on what’s been going on in my literary world:
–I’ve had eight books published or re-published over the past four months. They are, The Innocent, Godchild, The Concrete Pearl, Moonlight Rises, Blue Moonlight, Murder by Moonlight, and finally The Disappearance of Grace. All have been published by Amazon Publishing’s Thomas & Mercer imprint except for Grace which was published by StoneGate Ink.
–The numbers since Oct 1, 2012: Currently it looks like I’ve sold around 20,000 units of my T&M books, while I’ve probably moved somewhere around 3-4,000 of my StoneGate/StoneHouse Ink titles. I could be a little conservative on this, but best to err on the light side.
–I’ve also published one title under my own label, Bear Media. It’s my previously published literary novella, Permanence. I’ve moved only a couple of hundred of these. This is the one title I have that I don’t think my mother will even buy.
–How do I perceive the indie vs. the major markets these days? I honestly believe that once more, the state of publishing is undergoing severe and rapid change. Amazon Publishing imprints have acquired many many titles, and it will be interesting to see how most of these do in the long run. As for self-publishing, I’m having a hard time seeing how any newbies out there can possibly make headway amidst all the titles available on Amazon, B&N, Kobo, etc. Amazon is still the primary place to sell, but now that tags have been eliminated and authors only afforded two categories under which you can list your books, it will get harder and harder to be found by readers. In other words, most self-published authors will not have the chance to attract the readership successes like Amanda Hocking and John Locke were able to accomplish not long ago. Indie publishing remains strong, and by indie publishing, I mean medium-sized independent publishers of maybe 60 authors or more who rely heavily on the Amazon KDP program. This is still an excellent way to publish but success is not guaranteed unless you’re willing to put in the time on the social marketing scene plus engage in other activities that will result in books sold.
–The outlook. I’m seeing more and more of the traditional majors sponsoring their A-list authors on the Amazon bookstore site, which tells me the majors are getting with the program rapidly. That’s a good thing, since the editors in the big steel and glass towers will get to keep their jobs, at least for a while. But if you are to ask me my advice on how to publish in 2013, I will still give you the same answer I gave you last year: Mix it up. Go for some indie publishing, some self-publishing, and if you can, grab up a major deal, be it with an Amazon Publishing imprint and/or a traditional major. Things are changing so rapidly, almost on a daily basis, that unless you maintain your options and avoid putting all those hard-boiled eggs into one basket, you might find yourself desperately without an income or a future (that is, you’re a full-time author like I am).
–So what’s up for me this year? Murder by Moonlight was published by T&M back in December. The Guilty, the long awaited third novel in the Jack Marconi series (The Innocent, Godchild…) is will be published by StoneGate Ink sometime in the mid-spring (StoneGate Ink moved 100,000 copies of The Innocent back in April, 2011). The rights to Moonlight Falls have been released and I am putting that one out under my own label, Bear Media. In the late Fall of 2013 or early Winter 2014, T&M will be publishing Moonlight Sonata. And currently I’m working on my new series CHASE (you’ll recall I traveled to Egypt a couple of months back to research the first novel…I’ve shown the first 100 pages to my agent, and in his words, “It rocks…I was hook from the second sentence on…) So looks like I have a new serial character to follow me around for the rest of my days.
There you have it, the recent past, present and future of my writing life. Now, what are you doing to navigate the perfect storm of change in today’s publishing industry.