Wednesday, March 09, 2016

The reasons why I love being a historical fiction author-publisher.

Last week I released The Duke and Miss Bannerman – again.
I wrote this book many years ago and sold it to DC Thomson, then to large print with Linford Romance. It then went to a US e-book publisher, which folded, and the people who worked there started Musa. It then came out with them. I got back the rights to this book two and a half years ago and since then it has been languishing on my PC waiting for an opportunity to reappear.
The book has been re-edited and proofread again – you wouldn't believe how many things were wrong with it. How did two supposedly professional editors miss the major historical error? I referred to the duke as "my lord" instead of "your grace" throughout the book.
Therefore this is its fourth reincarnation. Hurrah for e-books is all I can say at this point. I know a lot of writers disapprove of Amazon but for me they have turned my career into a success story. Indie publishing is no longer looked down on but is considered a professional choice for many writers.
Of course, a few years ago, if my then agent had found me a major deal with one of the big five I would have been delighted. How things have changed.
However, I'm now content with my writing life and have no desire to become entangled with an outside authority. I have control over my writing output, my covers, when I publish and what sort of book I produce – why would I want to relinquish control of all that? 
Another crucial issue for me is being able to set the price of my books – there's no getting away from the fact that readers want cheap books. Indie published e-books now make up 45% of the American market on Amazon and traditionally published books have less than 25%. The only reason for this, as far as I can see, is that our books are competitively priced. A new Lee Child e-book costs the same as the hardback – how silly is that?
 Also, I doubt that I could earn much more, even with one of the big five, than I do at the moment.
Although I am mainly known for my Regency romances I also write WW2 and Victorian sagas. I couldn't write in three different genres if I was with a traditional publisher – they would expect me to stick to the one that was the most successful. I know very successful traditionally published writers who no longer enjoy their writing because they are obliged to produce the same sort of book year after year.
I wonder how many of you actually know whether the books you are choosing to buy have been produced traditionally or by an indie publisher.

Here is the blurb for the book:

This Is a 'Pride & Prejudice' story – he is as proud as Darcy and she as prejudiced as Elizabeth. 
A marriage of convenience to Peregrine, the Duke of Essex, is the only way Rosamond Bannerman can save her family from ruin. Her twin, Amelia, is too sensitive for such an undertaking. 
However, Rose finds Perry arrogant and proud whilst he thinks Rose pert and impolite. He considers her sister Millie a more suitable bride but when Rose takes her sister's place, her actions compromise them both. 
The duke is obliged to offer an arrangement neither party is happy with.

Click US  $1.99
Click UK  £1.50


Elizabeth Hawksley said...

I take my hat off to you, Fenella. I like the classy cover for 'The Duke and Miss Bannerman' and I wish it every success.

Fenella J Miller said...

Thanks, Elizabeth, covers are really important. Although the content is important too. :)