Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The future of the Hal Spacejock series

For six years now I've tried as hard as I could to make the Hal Spacejock books available to readers in the UK and USA. I signed with a literary agent in England, I talked my publisher into selling the ebooks via my site, I ran monthly competitions and posted copies all over the world at my own expense, but in the end it just didn't happen.

Until now.

I just re-acquired the worldwide rights to my Hal Spacejock novels. Kindle editions will be available as soon as Amazon finishes processing the upload (24-48 hours?), and I've signed with Lightning Source to offer trade paperbacks via their UK and US printing facilities.

The printed editions will probably take a month or two, but expect to see them before October. I'm very excited about this, as you can imagine.

I realise POD printing isn't the same as books in shops, but I've set the UK price to GBP7.99 and the US price to $11.95, which I believe is reasonable for 350-380 page 5.25" x 8" trade paperbacks. (Correct me in the comments if I'm wrong.)

The ebooks will be 3.99 or 4.99, depending. I know there's a lot of noise about .99c ebooks, and I may occasionally drop the price over 24 hours as a special, but I think $4 or $5 is a reasonable price for an 80,000 word professionally-edited novel.

Simon Haynes is the author of the Hal Spacejock and Hal Junior series (Amazon / Smashwords / other formats)


Greg said...

The prices you suggest are reasonable.

There is no reason you won't get your POD books in the shops. With a little effort you can definitely pull it off. I have my first novel on the shelves of some of my favourite bookstores. Printed through CreateSpace but with their EDC you also get services from Ingram.
Sometimes, they are also printing with Lightning Source. I chose CreateSpace because the startup costs were much less, the book price could be lower and the support and ease with which you get started is phenomenal.

the quality of the end product has exceeded my expectations. It sits next to Tom Clancy and Jeffery Deaver in one Swiss shop and looks every bit as good.

Good luck with going POD.

Greg (avid user of yWriter).

Simon Haynes said...

Thanks Greg! I don't think I've held an LSI book in my hands before, but I've heard good things.

Greg said...

I am unsure of whether these ones came from LSI or CreateSpace's own facility but rumour has it they are indistinguishable.

See the quality in the photos on this post. http://www.gregscowen.com/books/the-spanish-helmet-orell-fussli-display/
I don't know how anyone could pick it out as POD.

I hope you feel the same when yours arrive.

BTW, am planning a post at www.onemanbookteam about yWriter. Just as soon as I get 5 minutes. But very keen to support your software. I would never have finished my first book without it.

Mary O. Paddock said...

Very reasonable prices for all. Check Smashwords if you get a chance. I'm still investigating them, but Zoe Winters, author of "Smart Self-Publishing: Becoming an Indie Author" (the go-to source, in my opinion), highly recommends them.

.99 is for those of us who are still looking to break into the market--though we're encouraged to move up fast and not under price. You've already got a readership that will probably expand now that the US market is open to you.

Simon Haynes said...

Smashwords is a definite. It won't be straight away because they require a DOC file and that's one thing my process doesn't produce. I'd have to export to RTF, manually set up the chapter titles etc, then save out to doc.

Greg said...

I removed my book from Smashwords after 2 months.
Sales could never even pretend to touch Kindle, you have to edit yet another version when you find an error, and you re in company of a LOT of really trashy writing.
In the end, just to get on Apple and Nook, it wasn't worth it for me.

I trialled at 0.99 for a week. Went straight back up to $2.99 and will never do it again.
You don't have to sell cheap to establish yourself, Mary. Selling too cheap also gives the potential customer a reason to believe they aren't getting a quality product.
I was nervous about selling at $2.99 at first but apparently my first two months sales were very good. Granted, I haven't made any top lists just yet.

For me, $2.99 really is the sweet spot. 70% commission with Kindle, not looking like cheap trash, and still a impulse buy. Heck, I mostly make more on those sales than on paperbacks.

Wordsmiff said...

Good luck with it Simon - the rest of the world DESERVES Hal, Clunk and Navicom!

Lara Morgan said...

let's hope you smash it out of the park in the sales dept. And also, no I don't think 4 or 5 $$ is too much to ask. I don't believe in the 99c model after all we need to be getting people to understand how much effort goes into producing a book, regardless of the output mode.

Simon Haynes said...

I chose 3.99 for the first book, but will probably list the rest for 4.99

Let's be honest ... how many professionally-published comedy science fiction series are out there? It's not exactly a competitive sub-genre.

Once all 4 are up, I'll run occasional 24-hour sales at 99c. That's something authors can do in five minutes and publishers have to plan for weeks or months.

Simon Haynes said...

Wordsmiff - I'm still trying to work out WHAT the rest of the world has done to deserve Hal & Clunk...