There is always chatter on writer loops about websites Pirating eBooks. This is a huge problem and does often take revenue from the author and publisher. True, pirate sites should be shut down, but spending the time chasing them and sending take down notices takes up a lot of valuable writing time from the author. But one website recently struck a huge cord in the writing community. I saw a lot of talk amongst authors regarding this site in at least five different loops and on various writer boards.
The site is Lendink. I’m not promoting the site or suggesting that readers or writers use it. There are many other sites like this one such as eBook Exchange, Lending eBook and on Goodreads if you go to their groups and search for lending eBooks you will find message boards of readers who are willing to lend out their eBooks to other users. (Amendment: It appears the Lendink site is no longer valid. I get an error when going there that says the site either was overused or owner ran out of resources.)
Everyone breathe and let me explain what lending is and how it works (when used as it is intended).
When you publish on KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) you have the option to allow those who purchase your book to lend it to ONE person for 14 days. Once the other person hits 14 days, the book disappears from their Kindle account. The same is true for Pubit (Barnes and Noble). What this means is that if I buy Atlantis by Bob Mayer I can loan my copy to one of my friends (who has a Kindle account) for 14 days. Once that time frame is up, the book is gone and my friend no longer has access to it. AND, and this is a big AND, I can only lend the book ONE time.
What these sites do is hook one reader up with another to share books they LOVED. This to me is awesome both as a reader and an author. Why? Because the more people who read my book, the more people are more likely to buy one of my other books, so if one found me through it being lent from a friend, then yippee for me.
Word of mouth is still the number one way to sell books.
So are these sites bad? It’s a gray area, but one that can actually help the author. Consider this. Your book, your name, your brand…is listed on a site readers hang out. They are not selling your book illegally, they are simply lending the book for a short period of time to another user. This is readers’ talking to readers’ and well, readers rule.
I do want to clear up one other thing. This is very different from the Amazon Lending Library, which allows members for Amazon Prime to download free eBooks. The author gets paid for each of those downloads (done through the KDP select program) and the sale goes towards your book’s rankings.
I agree, those who pirate books, meaning steal the authors work and sell it for a profit should be shut down. However, this gray area of lending books is something we, as an industry, need to understand and figure out if and how it adds value to our overall careers. The technology is changing rapidly and we need to be aware of what is going on and how it affects our business.
Go here to find more information about Kindle Lending. Go here to find out about lending on Nook. To my knowledge, you can’t lend books via the iBookstore. You can borrow books from you local library and read them on on your Kobo reader. FYI, Cool Gus is getting their books into the library system through Overdrive. Working on that right now.
The publishing world is moving faster and faster as it becomes digital. At Who Dares Wins Publishing, we’ve embraced the digital world, but also realized that the creative world isn’t moving as fast as the technology allows and readers are starting to demand product quicker than we can produce it. Since we already exceeded our year-end 2011 goals by June, we’ve redone our business plan and are ready to take the next step.
In traditional publishing, you were considered odd if you published more than one book every twelve months. In fact, one of the reasons I wrote under four different pen names was I was writing faster than my publishers could handle. The due dates in my contracts were always spaced a year apart.
That’s all changed. In the past year we’ve uploaded 20 years worth of my backlist along with several new titles. The result has been fantastic, with sales of over 100,000 eBooks a month. I’m currently going through the last book in the nine book Area 51 series: Legend and the 8th, Area 51 Nosferatu is uploading on all platforms. I’ve still got to go through the second book in the Psychic Warrior series, the first of which has just been uploaded exclusive to Nook and our web site. (If you’ve seen Men Who Stare at Goats—yes, a program like that existed, I was affiliated with it, and it wasn’t that funny, but it was intriguing).
But here’s the problem. I’ve got several different series that readers want new titles in. There’s simply not enough time in the year for me to write all those books. I’ve prioritized which ones I’ll be writing and I’ll still be working on the same schedule I did with traditional publishing: no more than four titles a year, most likely only three.
Thus: we’re looking for a few good writers to move some of these series forward with new books.
Let me lay this out clearly so you know our parameters, what’s expected, and have a realistic view of what will happen.
Parameters: Writer Qualifications:
- Have been published traditionally or have experienced substantial sales in self-publishing.
- Have your own backlist you have self-published or want us to publish for you at the highest rates in the business or that your traditional publisher controls and is selling.
- Have a social media presence and understand how to market and promote yourself, your books and any books in our series you write.
- Be able to write action/science fiction/thrillers.
- Be able to take story lines and characters that already exist (in some cases invent new characters and story lines using an existing back story) and move them forward.
- Be willing to read all the existing books in a series.
- Be willing to work with me on developing a story outline. (in many case we have ideas and in some cases story outlines already developed).
- Be willing to write an outline and two sample chapters on spec before getting the final go-ahead and contract.
- Write the story and be willing to work together on revisions.
- For Black Ops/Cellar/Green Beret, practically all the books, be able to write the semi-paranoid mindset of the covert operative.
- For the science fiction series, be able to write high-tech scifi.
- Participation in established series written by a NY Times Bestselling author where the titles are still selling solidly.
- 33% of gross royalties earned, paid out quarterly by the 15th of the following month.
- Co-author cover credit.
- I’ll be launching Readers Rule shortly, a cooperative of several bestselling eBook authors that will generate publicity.
The reality: no money up front. You’re working for the future. I can’t guarantee income rates but as we decide on each series, I will tell you what the books are averaging in sales per month, so you can get an idea of what you might be earning. The key to this is the long tail. You’re doing the work up front, but as long as we push these series forward, and we get more titles up, your income will continue to grow. So, if you’re looking for money now, this isn’t the deal for you. We’re also looking for books to be around 50,000 to 60,000 words so we’re not looking for the usual 80-100k novels. They will be priced between $2.99 and $3.99 on all platforms (earning 70% royalty rate and 100% from our web site). Other than the writing and revising we take care of everything else, from editing, covers, formatting, etc. although we would expect you to assist in marketing via social media since your name will be on it. Besides earning money on the long tail, this could assist sales of your own titles.
Here are the series we’re looking to co-author:
- Chasing series. (Chasing the Ghost. Horace Chase as the protagonist). We have a concept for the next book and partial outline already: Chasing The Dead.
- The Cellar series: Bodyguard of Lies and Lost Girls. We have a concept for the next book about the Cellar, the organization that polices the world of covert operations.
- The Green Beret series: We’re looking to launch a brand new Green Beret series set in the current day, so in this case characters and plot are wide open, as long as a Special Forces A-Team is at the center of the story. If you’ve watched The Unit, you have an idea what we’re looking for.
- The Black Ops series: Taking characters from The Gate, particularly, Lake, we want to extend the series about a counter-terror operative working inside of the United States. Several story ideas have already been generated along with outlines.
- Psychic Warrior: The first book has just been published for the first time in eBook. Psychic Warrior Project Aura will be out later this year. We want to extend this series about Special Forces soldiers operating on the virtual plane via avatars than can come into the real world.
- Archangel: A concept only, but it would tie to our Area 51, Atlantis, and new Nightstalker series. High tech scifi with a literary base.
- Area 51 and Atlantis series. These are our real money-makers, but the reality is I ‘closed out’ both series in their overall arc. However, if you’ve read the series and have ideas for spinoffs, we’re open to that. Area 51 has the possibility of moving forward as Earth helps other Airlia seeded planets, and Atlantis also has the same possibility as our timeline saves other timelines.
Additionally, we’re looking for one or two authors who have extensive backlist who want to make the plunge into self-publishing but don’t want to do all the heavy lifting themselves and want to be part of our team. We offer the highest royalty rates off gross in the business, do all the work, charge no fees, and also do direct sales from our automated web site. Our experience in e-publishing is extensive.
If you are interested, send us an email: admin@WhoDaresWinsPublishing.com or visit our submission page and attach all necessary information.
Please give links to your backlist as published, or if it isn’t back in print, or held by a traditional publishing houses, links to your titles. Your background for the series you think you could write and any other pertinent information.
Thanks and Write It Forward.