Thursday, May 27, 2010

You aren't necessarily JA Konrath, but you can be

Excerpt from a press release by author JA Konrath:, Inc. announced that AmazonEncore, Amazon’s publishing imprint, will release the newest book in bestselling author J.A. Konrath’s Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels series, “Shaken.” The AmazonEncore Kindle edition of “Shaken” will be available in the Kindle Store in October, and the print version of the book will be available in February 2011. For more information on AmazonEncore and upcoming titles, visit .

In case you don't know JA Konrath, he's a mystery/thriller author well known in writing circles for his blog entitled A Newbie's Guide to Publishing. And he's chosen Amazon's imprint to release the next book in his Jacqueline Daniels mystery series. The seven earlier novels in the series were published by Hyperion. When Hyperion seemed less than happy with book eight, and since JA Konrath has capitalized on the Kindle fever by self-publishing early unpublished works, he decided to take publishing in his own hands. He's proven he can make a living at this crazy, convoluted, dinosaur-structured publishing business. His ebooks alone net him $4000 per month.
Admittedly, I got excited about what he's doing. "Is there a chance like this for me?" crossed my mind. But Konrath will tell you himself that everyone isn't him.
This man has spent 5-6 years canvassing the country, schmoozing bookstore managers and employees, creating an amazing blog, speaking at innumerable conferences, and pouring his soul fulltime into his writing career. Add all that effort to the fact he's a heck of a thriller writer, and you see how he's made a name for himself.
Of course he can now self-publish. He's built the platform from which to cast his net. He has a fan base that follows him everywhere, from readers to writers, both in awe of his work ethnic and hilarious, in-your-face personality.
But he does show two things to those of us still fighting the uphill battle:
1. A platform is everything.
2. You can self-publish if you care as much or more about the promotion as you do the writing itself.
Part-time effort and wishful thinking that you'll "be discovered," won't work. But if you work hard at both the writing and the promotion, and I mean damn hard, for longer than two months before and after the release, you just might build that platform. Then when you are ready to release your third, fourth, or fifth novel, you'll have that fanbase ready, willing and eager to buy your book - no matter how you publish it.

For more on the JA Konrath phenomenon, see the Publishers Weekly article at:
Origin Origin             The List The List      Afraid Afraid   Disturb Disturb        Whiskey Sour (A Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels Mystery)  Whiskey Sour (A Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels Mystery)

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