Monday, November 7, 2011

Here goes nothing...

Well, the book cover is finally finished. It will go to Amazon publishing in the next few days. There's a few little things yet to be done on the cover above; make the radio smaller (the space to the right of the radio is for the barcode).

I'm also going to edit the synopsis and my credits and drop the "He lives in Los Angeles", someone suggested that always goes in novels but I figure it really doesn't have to be there. I have a thing about too many credits.

Publishing your own book used to be called the "Vanity Press", mostly because the books were often so bad that nobody wanted to publish them. That and the "wacko" fringe who wrote books that were for marginal readers.

Amazon, of course, changed all that. A few weeks ago Penny Marshall sold her autobiography to Amazon for $600,000. That's not chump change, as they say. It also indicates where publishing is going.

Like movie scripts, books are getting harder and harder to publish. And you have to already be famous (or infamous) to even get a publishing company to consider your book. I spent 8 months writing to publishers without a bite.

But you can bet that publishing houses did not greet the Amazon deal with Marshall with enthusiasm. Book stores are closing, look at Border's. There's a big empty 2-story building here in Sherman Oaks that was built for a Border's store and now it's locked and empty.

A friend of mine has a crime novel on Amazon that has earned him around $14,000 for the last 3 years and averages around $3000 a year. Not like Penny Marshall, but nice enough for a totally unknown writer.

And then there's audio books and that's an increasing market. Amazon is coming out with 3 new Kindle e-book readers with prices starting at $79, $99 and $199 for a souped up reader with iPad features and screen.

The last model, the $199 is going to change the iPad market. While Apple will still be the leader, they and other companies like Samsung, Sony, Acer and all the others will have to drop their prices as they now sell for anywhere from $400 to $700.

As some of you know, Emperor of Mars is based on a screenplay I wrote in 1989 and have had it nearly made 5 times. "Nearly" doesn't count of course so I spent some time writing it as a novel, which I had never done before

Novels are a different animal, while a screenplay is in present tense (as in "he reaches for the door"), novels are written in the past tense (he reached for the door). Simple as it sounds, it changes the whole dynamic of writing.

Another thing is that you can extend your character's history by going into their head or into your head. Again, the screenplay would read: "He reaches for the door". In a novel you can say "he reached for the door, remembering the last time he stood there and wondering if this was the right time"

While a screenplay scene could be one line, a novel could stretch that single line into a full page.

Is there money to be made by using Amazon? That depends on a lot of other things; you have to design your campaign by yourself, they suggest a Twitter account, a website, a Facebook page, copies to reviewers and a whole lot of other things.



  1. I love the cover. Congratulations and please upload a link when it's officially on Amazon! - Best of Luck. N-

  2. How do you get books on school lists (besides publishing with Scholastic)? I think EOM would do well in that market.