The Stonechild Chronicles began to take shape sometime around 2002. I began to write and to explore publishing opportunities. I bought books on publishing and completed my first novel, Stonechild Volunteers. I began planning a series and adopted the overall name, The Stonechild Chronicles. I began sending query letters to publishers and agents, and quickly determined the traditional publishing route to be a dead-end, both for my topic and the reality of being a non-credentialed writer.
On, or near the year 2005, I abandoned any initial hope of obtaining a publishing agreement and decided to publish on-line. First, though, I focused on building content. To the initial title of Stonechild Volunteers, I added, Stonechild and the Minotaur Maze, and Stonechild’s Enigma.
My wife and I had already self-published my dad’s biography, Horses, Trails and Trophies and I planned for Dad’s book to accompany my novels into the on-line world. With four major works on hand, I began to research methods of publishing on-line. Fortunately for me I had reached a sweet spot in the evolution of on-line publishing.
Smashwords.com provided an avenue for uploading Microsoft Word documents, setting one’s price, collecting money from purchasers, and retaining only 15% of the sale price. Should works submitted come with covers and hyper-linked table of contents, Smashwords would place such works in their premium catalog and forward items to Apple’s iBookstore, Barnes and Noble, and some other on-line retailers who would then charge about 30% in royalties.
A problem surfaced at the end of year one in marketing on Smashwords. Readers had purchased a few copies, a mere $75.00 worth, but still a few. However, for Smashwords to forward a royalty check I had to register with the American Internal Revenue Service
I decided to seek another publisher, more friendly to non-American writers. I found Kobo and moved my titles to that site.
Again, I haven’t gotten to the place where royalties are flowing, but still hope Kobo to work out. The process for uploading is similar to Smashwords.
However, uploading to Amazon.com and to the Apple iBookstore offers greater potential than Kobo. Kindle ereaders and Apple iPads are far more numerous than Kobo ereaders. As I begin to put more emphasis on marketing and not just writing, I will have to seek the widest possible market-place.
American IRS here I come.