When we started Booktrope, just over two years ago, we had to prove to our potential investors, and potential authors and other potential team-members that we really could do what we thought we could do…without doing it first. So, I scoured the internet for evidence that someone other than the Big 6 (now Big 5) were not the only ones able to write and sell books. That was when I discovered the blog “A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing” which is maintained by J.A. Konrath (Joe), a thriller writer who has been traditionally published and is now predominantly a convert to self-publishing (although he has published some titles with Amazon Publishing as well). As an aside, I should also say that I read his books, and would highly recommend them. You can read my blog post here.
What was especially satisfying to me about this experience was the chance to interact with some of Joe’s fans. Not all of them were cheerleaders for our idea, but that is what I think makes the internet interesting. I will say, all were polite, and no one was troll-like, even the dissenters. We also had some fantastic and encouraging comments, like these:
“Thanks for the post, Joe. Katherine, the model you’re using sounds fantastic, and it’s just what’s needed. To make a good job of self publishing is costly – an editor alone isn’t cheap, but as you’ve pointed out it doesn’t stop there.
Not everyone has the resources to fund this kind of outlay to publish their book. However, with your model, they don’t need to, they only need to come up with a great book.
I love the idea. Good luck with it.”
(comment by user Tony Benson)
“Booktrope seems like a great idea when you consider my book is already $1000 in the red. It will take a lot of sales at 70% to make that up before I see a profit. I have found ways to cut that cost for the next book, but it’s still steep (probably half), and I wouldn’t mind giving Booktrope a try. What if an author wants to do more than a book a year? Is there a limit on how many books your authors can submit?” (* answer – nope, we love multiple book authors!)
(comment by user Brian Drake)
I have tried to emphasize the fact that Booktrope is not the *only* choice for book publishing, nor do we intend or imply that we are. We are not trying to replace traditional publishing, or self publishing. We are one more choice offered to authors in this time of change and innovation. That is the best takeaway from all of this – as authors today, you have choices. You have more choices than ever. Take your time, evaluate what your strengths and perhaps more importantly, what your weaknesses are. Find an option that works with them both. No one should tell you what that choice must be. Decide for yourself and go after it.
One of my proudest accomplishments with the company and something we have been working towards since we started Booktrope, was achieved this month and was a main reason why I wanted to have a guest post at this particular time. We now pay all team members, including authors, their royalties on a monthly basis. Digital Book World covered our news here. Anyone familiar with the traditional publishing bi-annual schedule will understand why this is significant! We have wanted to do this, because in our business model, not only is it possible, it is the fair and right thing to do.
I tried to answer any questions about what we are doing over on Joe’s blog, but of course, I am more than happy to answer anything that comes to mind here as well! Obviously, you can find more information about us on our website www.booktrope.com including links for submissions and all the details on how we work. We truly strive for transparency, so, ask away!