Today, we are lucky enough to have Rhiannon Frater as a guest again, to promote her upcoming vampire novel, PRETTY WHEN SHE DESTROYS. This is the third book of her PRETTY WHEN SHE DIES series and I’ve been waiting impatiently for it. It’s being released on August 27, 2013 so make sure to mark you calendars! For the time being, check out Rhiannon’s amazing guest post down below, as well as the giveaways for your chance to win amazing prizes!
Being Hybrid Author
By Rhiannon Frater
It’s amazing how much self-publishing has altered the publishing world in just a few years. I remember when I originally wrote As The World Dies in 2005 as an online serial the idea of self-publishing was a very foreign concept. I didn’t even think about the fact that by posting my story online I was in essence self-publishing. Honestly, I didn’t even think of my online serial as anything other than a distraction, a bit of fun. I had my eye on being published by one of the big six publishers.
Of course, I did end up self-publishing As The World Dies as a trilogy (it was too massive to be one book) in 2008. With my husband’s help and encouragement, I took my writing career firmly in hand and took a risk. I had a story, a fanbase, and the new media tools to try something radical. Brisk sales, awards, a movie option and a three book deal with genre giant Tor were the end result.
Many people assumed that once I signed on the dotted line with Tor, I would no longer self-publish. I had educated myself on the ends and out of the publishing world and realized that if I wanted to write full-time, I was going to need to continue to self-publish. Even though Tor’s deal with a huge life changer finically and it enabled me to leave my day job, I was going to have to find a way to garner additional income to keep writing full-time. The Tor advance would only reach so far and royalty checks come in sporadically.
Therefore, I became a Hybrid Author.
There are two common labels for writers:
Indie Author – Someone who publishes ALL their work themselves.
Legacy or Traditional Author – Someone who is published by a publishing house.
Since I do both of these types of publishing, I’m a Hybrid Author.
And we are a growing breed.
As the big publishers scour the Indie Author ranks for the next big thing, more and more writers are going to be bridging the two worlds. It is inevitable. It’s only wise to take advantage of the best of both worlds.
So why don’t I choose one over the other? At this time I feel both forms of publishing benefit me greatly. I thought I’d share how the two differ in my experience. (Note: other Hybrid Authors may have a different one)
- Traditional: My editor decides which book idea fits Tor and is most likely to sell. She has the inside scoop on the publishing world, so I benefit from this insight.
- Indie: If I want to write a book, I can. Of course, I could pour my heart and soul into a book that doesn’t sell one single copy. Yet, I still have the opportunity to publish my work and test new waters.
- Traditional: My editor at Tor is awesome. She has definitely helped me become a better writer and storyteller. She took a book that I wrote for fun online and worked with me until it was worthy of the bookshelves. She encouraged me to be fearless in my revision. I learned so much from her. She always tells me that I have to be happy with the editing changes, but if she disagrees she’ll let me know.
- Indie: My Indie editor is awesome. Seriously. She kicks me in the teeth when I need it and points out issues in the story. I love it when a review points out her excellent editing skills.
- Traditional: Though Tor has been kind enough to allow me to give feedback, in the end, the marketing department makes the final decision. I have been able to have things changed on the covers of the As The World Dies trilogy because my editor agreed with the suggestions.
- Indie: Whatever I want to go on the cover, goes on the cover. It’s as easy as that. But at the same time, I am confined by my budgetary constraints.
- Traditional: Because I’m with a big publisher, my books are in most bookstores. That being said, Tor only has the English rights for North America, United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia. I have no control over when Tor will publish the books in ebook or paperback in those countries. I have had a lot of complaints because As The World Dies is not available in Kindle in the UK and AUS markets, but I don’t have any control over that.
- Indie: I can distribute my books in English wherever I choose utilizing the self-publishers. Until I was with Tor, my self-published titles were not in most bookstores, though they are popping up more and more. Thanks to Createspace’s expanded distribution, bookstores can buy my indie titles and stock the shelves. Yet, I know that being published by Tor made it more likely.
- Traditional: Tor sent out advance review copies of The First Days, which put me on the radar of a lot of review blogs. Yet, I’m one of their smaller authors, so I don’t get the big money budgets with print ads, etc. I also don’t have book tours paid for by the publisher, or go to conventions on the publisher dime. (People always think this is the case).
- Indie: I can pay for ads if I can afford them. The name recognition that Tor helped me establish with book bloggers has made it a lot more likely that bigger reviewers will sign on to blog tours. I can attend any event I chose as long as I can afford it and I can book my own book tour.
- Advances & Royalties
- Traditional: Tor gave me an advance for As The World Dies and Dead Spots. When the sales of those books pay back their advance, I will then receive royalties. Advances are usually cut up into chunks, so you don’t get it all at one time. Usually you get those portions at contract signing, the final revision, and publication. That’s how it works for me at Tor. Sales reports let me know how the books are doing, but it’s not very up to date information. I have yet to get a royalty check, but I anticipated I wouldn’t for a few years.
- Indie: Of course, I don’t get an advance. After usually a 60 to 90 day initial delay, I get monthly payments from nearly all my self-publishing companies. At the end of each month, I get paid for sales in a previous month. All of this adds up to be more than my paycheck from my old full-time job at this time, but I am by no means rich. If sales fall one month, it means austerity measures sometime down the line. So far I’ve been able to stay a full-time writer since 2011, but should my indie sales fall significantly, I won’t be able to continue. The money I get from traditional publishing comes in spread out chunks with no assurances of it arriving when I need it.
As you can see, the two forms of publishing actually work hand in hand. I know my self-published titles encourage sales of my Tor books and vice versa. At this time I really enjoy being a Hybrid Author and plan to continue to be one.
Thank you Rhiannon for the amazing guest post and your insight on the publishing world. As always, it’s been a pleasure having you here on the blog.
More about PRETTY WHEN SHE DESTROYS:
Amaliya Vezorak always believed she was destined to live a failed life in obscurity until she was brutally murdered by an ancient vampire named The Summoner and reborn as a powerful vampire necromancer. Now it is up to her to save the world…
Other books in the Pretty When She Dies Series:
Rhiannon is offering a tour wide grand prize giveaway of all 3 books of the series plus the vampire jewelry in the picture below. Open to US/Canada only.
To enter the giveaway, obey the rafflecopter.
Rhiannon is also offering all 3 books of the series in ebook format to one reader of Tynga’s Reviews. Open internationally.
To enter the giveaway, obey the rafflecopter.
About the author
Rhiannon Frater is the award-winning author of the As the World Dies trilogy (The First Days, Fighting to Survive, Siege,) and the author of three other books: the vampire novels Pretty When She Dies and The Tale of the Vampire Bride and the young-adult zombie novel The Living Dead Boy and the Zombie Hunters. Inspired to independently produce her work from the urging of her fans, she published The First Days in late 2008 and quickly gathered a cult following. She won the Dead Letter Award back-to-back for both The First Days and Fighting to Survive, the former of which the Harrisburg Book Examiner called ‘one of the best zombie books of the decade.’ Rhiannon is currently represented by Hannah Gordon of the Foundry + Literary Media agency. You may contact her by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.