What I’ve learned from LION’S SHARE
So, one week after the release of my first indie (independently published) novel, I’m ready to say I’ve made several mistakes and have learned many things, all of which should help the publication of the sequels go much smoother. Those who are interested, read on…
(These are just the parts that affects readers.)
- Speed of publication. Putting out an independent release is much faster than publishing a book with a traditional publisher.I finished the first draft of Lion’s Share at the end of October, 2014. Less than four months later, I released the book. That’s five months from the time I started the first draft until the day readers could read the book. During that five month period, I had fourdeadlines from traditional publishers, including two complete rounds of revision on MENAGERIE. Those deadlines HAVE to come first (they pay the bills) so even though I only worked on Lion’s Share between deadlines, I was able to put the book out much faster than with traditional publishing.
(For perspective, MENAGERIE has been in the works for 3+ years, I believe, and I sold THE STARS NEVER RISE two years ago this month, and neither of those books is out yet. For further perspective, even though I make a much larger percentage of each book going the indie route, I will likely sell far fewer copies of my indie books, without the NY traditional publishing machine behind me.
2. Quality. This is the aspect that kept me out of independent publishing for such a long time. Without a traditional publisher behind me, all of the editing (revision, copy editing, line editing, proofreading–the things that traditional publishing is VERY good at) has been up to me. I hired a professional copy editor to work on Lion’s Share (and he’s wonderful) and I had critiques from both my CP and a trusted beta reader, who is a professional technical writer. Even so, things were missed. It’s nearly IMPOSSIBLE to put out a book that has no errors, even with an entire team of traditional-publishing professionals behind you. I’m sure you’ve all read books that had typos and inconsistencies. In fact, many authors keep a “mea culpa” page with a running list of the mistakes made in previous books.
Putting out a quality novel on your own is even harder, and the mistakes in Lion’s Share are entirely mine.
Fortunately, one of the pros of indie publishing is the ability to update the e-version of the book as often as needed. In fact, I did that this morning. It hasn’t gone through yet, but later today, you should be able to download the updated version (at no additional cost), which hopefully has far fewer typos and inconsistencies.
Also fortunately, I caught most of the big ones before I released the book for print publication! I hope to have a new print proof to examine by the end of this week, and if it’s all good, I’ll release the print version for sale then.
My mea culpas. (other than simple typos)
- The timeline issue in ch 2: As Jace and Abby pull into the driveway of the Lazy S, the sun is just setting (around 5 pm in December), yet when they go inside and smell Karen’s chili, it’s 10 pm. [ALL FIXED!]
- My mis-remembering of Kaci’s backstory: Two wonderful readers have pointed this out to me, and they’re both absolutely right. It’s been 7 (or more?) years since I wrote Pride, and I confused Kaci’s backstory with that of a stray Faythe & co. found during her trial in the mountains. I’m terribly sorry about that, and I assure you it wasn’t on purpose. [ALL FIXED.]
- Mistakenly assigning Abby to the Southeast Pride in chapter 20. She’s actually from the East Coast Pride, as mentioned earlier. [ALL FIXED.]
- Jace putting his shirt on twice in ch. 19. [ALL FIXED.]
Confusing point which isn’t actually a mistake: Do not click to read this one unless you’ve actually finished Lion’s Share, because it IS A SPOILER!
Having said all of that, I just want to THANK all the Shifters readers who remembered my world and characters better than I did! That is the sign of a truly loyal and enthusiastic fan base, and I am honored by your close attention.