Let’s talk about the word publisher for a moment. The notion of a publisher has changed recently. We used to think of the Big Six — the old-school thinking, where they pay you a pittance, take on 1-to-4 new authors a year, and rely on their current bestselling novelists to pay all the bills. Their attitude is frequently, "No platform? No past sales? Then no deal." They focus on retailers, not readers. They dread having "midlist" authors. Isn't there another way to think of a publisher?
The last few years have brought us the "new model" publisher — an indie publisher who is more of a publishing partner than a publishing boss. They do both print books and e-books, and they don't think anything to do with digital books are evil. They've learned to sell to readers, not just to retailers. And they understand that the huge majority of authors are mid-listers — people who have another job because they don't really make enough from their books to be full-time writers. Best of all, they've figured out that a "midlist" author might actually be able to make a living at this writing thing, if only the writer learns how to work the online game.
Let me tell you my own story: I went full time at writing with only two books to my name. My first book (Sweet Dreams) came out in all its unedited glory, in December of 2008. By the time my next book was out and I starting to figure out this business, I had hit the Amazon bestseller list. I was #1 in three categories for over two years. I went full time at this in November 2009, and started my own company, StoneHouse Ink. We now have about 40 authors and are blessed to have around 10 bestsellers with us. I speak all over the country about publishing, online marketing, creating eBooks, and the future of the industry.
Why the brag list? I figure after beating up some people in my last post, you might want to know that I am pretty good at what I do. I'm not special, I just did not know that there were rules to publishing books — so I broke them all and found a new way to do it. And it's all working so far.
I also am the co-founder of the Idaho Book Extravaganza, which meets every October in Boise Idaho. It's a combination trade show and "future of the industry" conference, and we had over 5000 people this last year. We teach classes and hold workshops and tell you what you need to know in the changing world, and we also share the behind-the scenes stuff that the big publishers don’t want you to know. This part is my favorite subject (in case you couldn't figure that out on your own…).
StoneHouse Ink also just started StoneHouse University, a series of online and local classes on different subjects related to publishing. How to Market on Amazon, What is a Blog Tour, and How to write a Book People Can’t Put Down are three of our recent titles. As one of the "new model" publishers, we want to be more than just a publishing house —we want to be a resource center for writers. If you want more information about what we are doing check out my list below.
Thanks for having me on, Chip. And I thank you for being one of the good agents that get it!
Aaron Patterson is the publisher of StoneHouse Ink and the author of the best-selling WJA series, as well as two digital shorts: 19 and The Craigslist Killer. He was home-schooled, grew up in the west, and loved to read. As a small child he would often be found behind a book, and this love drove him to want to write his own books. His wife Karissa prodded him to try it, and with this encouragement he created Sweet Dreams, the first book in the WJA series, in 2008. Airel is his first teen series, and it is already climbing the bestseller charts. He lives in Boise, Idaho with his wife and children, Soleil, Kale, and Klayton.
Michael (coming soon)
The Craigslist killer (Digital Short)
19 (Digital Short)
Sweet Dreams (UNCUT Edition)
StoneHouse University: HERE