From The Guardian:
Six books into a self-published crime series, Kerry Wilkinson has signed a 14-book deal. Will he ever go it alone again? ‘Definitely’
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How did you come to self-publish?
When I turned thirty, I’d been doing the same job for a while. I wanted to try doing something different with my life, and made a list of things I thought I could do if I put a bit of effort in. “Professional sportsman” was unfortunately a long-disappeared aim, due to my increasingly dodgy back and, more likely, an utter lack of ability. It’s also hard to make a living from sitting on your sofa playing The Elder Scrolls. I had been working as a journalist for almost ten years and figured I would try to write a book. It sounds a bit simplistic but I just went for it, working every day around my job until I was finished. I looked at the traditional publishing routes – three chapters, stamped addressed envelope and a tiny piece of your soul to an agent, wait six weeks for the rejection and go again – but figured life was too short. I saw the “self-publish with us” button on Amazon and never looked back.
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Talk us through how you’re publishing – print and ebook? DRM or no DRM? How are you pricing it?
After writing Locked In, I always knew I was going to write more in the series because I had so many ideas left over. I wrote and wrote more or less every day for a year – early mornings and late nights. Because I knew there was more to come, I put Locked In at 98p, trying to sell in bulk, rather than worrying about money. The subsequent books sold for increasing amounts. Pan Macmillan have more or less continued that.
I’ve seen fellow authors saying it’s awful that books sell so cheaply, before putting their own stuff up for 99p and then crowing at sales figures. There are a lot of hypocrites, when people should just be honest and say they want their books to sell. I’m proud that the Jessica books have sold tens – hundreds – of thousands of copies for higher prices. It’s simply not true that self-publishers can only be successful if they sell for under a pound. Readers like the character of Jessica and, as long as they don’t feel ripped off, they are happy to invest.
As for DRM… I’d rather they were DRM-free. Publishers shot themselves in the foot by looking to be draconian and saying books shouldn’t be copied, and then realising they had helped to create a near-monopoly in the e-book market. Consumers don’t want to buy a book for a Kindle and then not be able to move it onto a different e-reader, say a Kobo or Nook. As such, many people bought a Kindle and stuck with it. That said, I have a Paperwhite and it’s brilliant.
DRM doesn’t stop piracy. Pirates are always way ahead of any DRM methods and, if they want to copy something, they will. I think most people will choose to pay for something they enjoy.
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How did you come to be spotted by a traditional publisher and what sort of deal is it?
I’m not naive – the initial interest came because I’d sold a lot of books, but my editor – Trisha – liked the character of Jessica and the publisher’s decisions came from that. Publishing is a business but editors still have to be invested in what they’re working on because, otherwise, there’s no passion and they may as well be putting out a phone book. It’s nice to work with professionals who are keen on your work because they’ve seen so many things before. I’ve signed five separate publishing contracts now for a total of 14 books. I’m also published in around 10 languages around the world, plus AudioGo produce audiobooks of my work
Link to the rest at The Guardian