I write stuff for kids...and muse on writing, children's books, and the publishing industry in general

Monday, May 28, 2012

May Self-Publishing and Digital Publishing Series (Week 4: Adina West Guest Post)

By Rachael Harrie; @RachaelHarrie (with guest post by Adina West; @Adina_West)

A reminder: don't forget to stop by Rach Writes... next Monday, June 4, for my next Beta Match, an opportunity for you to connect with Critique Partners and Beta Readers!!!

Today's post is the last in my May series on Self-Publishing and Digital Publishing. It's been so much fun to do, with guests posts by:

  • Michael Offutt (Monday, May 7, 2012), 
  • Rachel Morgan from Rachel Morgan Writes (Monday, May 14, 2012), 
  • Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi from The Bookshelf Muse (Monday, May 21, 2012), and 
  • Adina West from Stairways and Landings (today). 

  • I hope you all enjoyed yourself and found lots of useful information and tips! So, for the last time this series, some agent tips/posts and "link love" on the pros and cons of self- or digital publishing:

    Some agent thoughts on self-publishing

    (Former) agent Nathan Bransford: Traditional vs. Self-Publishing is a False Dichotomy

    And this one: On Self-Publishing and Having a Chip on One's Shoulder

    Other "link love"

    Why do so many Hate Self-Published Books? by Tracey H. Kitts

    3 Tips for Assessing Self-Publishing Companies by Andrew Chapman of Curiosity Quills Press

    David Robinson: One Author's Experiences with KDP Select

    Where will Self-Publishing get Quality Control?: Roz Morris

    How to Self-Publish an E-book by Chris Gaylord

    The Domino Project: Using Ebooks to Promote Ebooks

    Joel Friedlander: Self-Publishing on Unwavering Faith

    Hope these are all interesting and useful! Now on to the digital publishing journey of one of my original Writers' Platform-Building Campaigners, Adina West from Stairways and Landings:

    Guest Post by Adina West of Stairways and Landings

    Campaigners rock!

    Adina West
    Rach and I have shared time in the trenches. We’re both Australian, and even though we originally met online, we’ve been lucky enough to meet up in real life. We started blogging around the same time, (though I am MUCH less prolific) and in 2010 and 2011 I participated in every one of her early platform-building campaigns, and met some wonderful bloggers and writers.

    My fellow campaigners were there for me back in 2010 when I was angsting over my search for an agent. (if angsting isn’t a word, it should be!) Recently, they’ve also shared my exciting news; after an eighteen-month-long search, I’ve finally signed with a publisher! So it feels appropriate that my first ever guest post is for Rach Writes..., our campaign headquarters.

    New beginnings

    My book, Dark Child, will be published by Momentum, the brand new, digital-only division of Pan Macmillan Australia. Working in collaboration with industry professionals to edit and revise the manuscript is really exciting. Many minds are better than one, and I’m confident that all our hard work will result in a better book. 

    My work space
    Here’s a picture of where all this is supposed to happen: my new writing space. My husband and a friend rescued this desk from the roadside for me one rainy night...

    I wrote my first book while sitting at the kitchen table. Or with the laptop in front of the TV. So I’m not sure if this special desk-of-my-own thing will work. But at least now I have a safe place to charge my computer away from my son’s grasping little fingers!

    Down the track, I’ll be very glad to have the expertise and support of my publisher’s marketing team behind me. And other people doing the cover, and layout, and organizing an ISBN, and a myriad of other tasks that I’ve probably never even heard of. I’m very grateful to be able to share the workload with other professionals who can do their various jobs so much better than I could.

    The digital publishing model makes a lot of sense.

    Publishing a title digitally is less expensive than the print alternative, so it’s easier for digital publishers to take a chance on someone new. My book straddles the line between young adult and adult. And it blends genres, with paranormal elements, and suspense, and romance, and a touch of epic fantasy.

    I’ve found Momentum keen to use the flexibility and responsiveness of digital to market my book to as diverse an audience as possible, which is great, because marketing to cross genre audiences can be tricky. And by publishing new writers, they’re playing their part in nurturing the best selling authors of the next generation. I believe the ultimate winner in this scenario will be the reader.
    I’d like to thank Rach for hosting me today – and I hope you’ll share my journey in the months to come. I’m also more than happy to answer any questions you have in the comments.
      About Adina

      Adina West grew up surrounded by trees, on a remote property on Australia's east coast, in country New South Wales.

      "As a child, I was never afraid of the dark," she says. "The night, for me, was filled with infinite possibility."
    Adina wrote her first story at age eight. "I typed it up on my parents' old typewriter," she says. "I knew I wanted to be a writer."

    Though her subject matter may have matured, that desire has remained unchanged.

    Adina lives in Sydney, Australia, with her husband and two children.

    Some random facts about Adina in no particular order:
    • She occasionally drinks tea and coffee to be polite, but prefers rooibos. Or hot chocolate. Or chai (which doesn't make much sense, because it has tea in it)
    • She loves vintage and hand crafted and made-from-scratch. She's also a recovering Etsy addict.
    • She has scraps of paper and computer files and notebooks full of jottings and song lyrics and bad poetry, but Dark Child is her first completed novel.
    • She can't whistle to save her life, but she can whittle.
    • She can dance the Heel and Toe Polka and Pride of Erin. But can't manage a normal waltz.


    Cally Jackson said...

    Nice to meet you, Adina. Fellow Aussie here. Your book sounds right up my alley so I look forward to when it's released.

    Rach - thanks for this series. I've got a lot out of it. :-)

    Adina West said...

    Thanks Cally. :-) No release date scheduled yet, but I'll be spreading the word when I have one.

    And thanks again to the wonderful Rach for hosting me!

    Anonymous said...

    Hi Adina. Nice to meet you. I like chai tea and also hot chocolate. : )

    Hi Rach. Thanks for the links and for doing this series.

    Savannah Chase said...

    Adina, it is lovely to meet you.

    Rach, thank you for all the fantastic links..

    Adina West said...

    Hi Susanne - it's getting cold here in Sydney. Definitely the weather for hot drinks!

    Savannah - likewise. :-) And all Rach's links show that there's still a huge buzz about the rise of digital and what it will all mean - but I think we're in the process of seeing it become a very mainstream way for new authors to find an audience...

    Charmaine Clancy said...

    Great post as always, lots of helpful links. Am following that conversation about self vs traditional publishing and the assumptions people make.
    Also great to find out about Adina :)

    Carrie Butler said...

    "My book straddles the line between young adult and adult."

    Oo, you should come hang out with us at NA Alley sometime! :) Great post, Adina!

    Adina West said...

    Hi Carrie. *waves* Good to know there's an official place for us in-betweeners! I might just come and visit...

    Suze said...

    Hi, Adina!

    I think that desk looks very appropriate for a 'recovering' Etsy addict.

    I enjoyed reading this post and getting to know more about you as well as a bit of background on your journey, your choices and your experiences with your team, now, as a result. Will continue to follow the progress of 'Dark Child' with great interest and support.

    Lydia Kang said...

    Those are some great links to dig into. Thanks Rach and Adina!

    Brooke R. Busse said...

    I was going to suggest NA Alley, but I see Carrie already beat me to it. ;)

    And while I fully grasp the awesomeness of digital publishing and why it is awesomeness, I do not read solely digitally published books because I do not enjoy reading books on digital devices. I'm also scared for my paper. So scared!

    Adina West said...

    Suze, you're the best. :-) And I love that you think my desk pic is etsy-worthy. If you'll forgive the expression, I think of Etsy as the original home of craft-porn. Must not go there. Must not...(uses left hand to pull right hand away from keyboard)

    Adina West said...

    Oops. Blogger seems to have eaten my response to Lydia and Brooke. Apologies if this comes through twice.

    Lydia - thanks for visiting!

    Brooke - I've already been over to visit Carrie and the gals based on her recommendation. Great to know there's a place supporting fiction for the in-between ages!

    And on paper vs digital, I don't think anyone envisages it as an either/or scenario. You're in good company if you don't choose to embrace the e-book. I was really just making the point that digital offers more opportunities for new authors, as the costs are lower for publishers once a print-run is taken out of the equation.

    I'm glad to have the opportunity to be published digitally first, as it will mean my book can be made available internationally, and at an attractive price. Hopefully that will mean more readers will take a chance on it!

    But that doesn't mean I'd say no if a print publication deal came my way down the track. :-)

    Hart Johnson said...

    Adina-I hadn't heard your publishing news-Congratulations! I totally agree with you about digital publishing. I have a few friends who have totally broken in that way. I think digital publishers are more willing to take a chance on debut authors because the up front cost is less so the success required can be more moderate. Then, if you prove yourself, the next step is easy peasy!

    Adina West said...

    Hart - thank you. :-)
    And I'm glad to hear you have more evidence to support my digital hypothesis! Here's hoping for great things in the future...

    Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

    Thanks for all the links and it's nice to meet you Adina.

    Adina West said...

    Likewise Michael. Here's hoping digital publishing is kind to us both - though I'm still some months away from a publication date.

    cleemckenzie said...

    The links about self-publishing are so interesting and very helpful, since I'm in the middle of that process. Thanks so much for all of them.

    Good luck to you, Adina on your book. It sounds great and I enjoyed your post a lot.

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