Monday, September 27, 2010

Royalties: Mainstream vs. Indie

Show me the money! No kidding, Jerry Maguire.

This weekend, I received my first payment from CreateSpace for the copies of my book sold in August. My earnings are $2.86 per $12.99 paperback sold; although Amazon has now discounted the sale price to match Barnes &'s price of $9.35, I'm still receiving the same share. The Kindle version of the book is now $2.99. My earnings are $2.04 per sale, based on the 70 percent royalty.

Today, I checked in on one of my favorite blogs, JA Konrath's A Newbie's Guide to PublishingHis post on Friday covers the cost of e-books, but he's provided some information on traditional earnings that almost made me fall off my seat:

"...So, for a $7.99 paperback, the author earns 64 cents per copy sold.

For a $13 trade paperback, the author earns 75 cents.

For a $25 hardcover, the author earns $2.50 to start out, though it can get to $3.75 if it sells well...."

Do you have a headache too after looking at those figures? Pretty dismal.

I still believe mainstream publishing offers a level of exposure I may never have by going indie. When I compare my royalty percentages to those in traditional publishing, I'm more than happy with my decision. In fact, it makes me consider whether I really still want to chase that big print deal. Especially, if I get to do most of the hard work, and earn much less than a potential publisher will.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

"You Wrote That? Really?"

While strolling through the park one day, in the merry, merry month you thought I was gonna burst into song, but I swear it'll never happen in your or my lifetime. Random bursting-into-song freaks me out, the end result of several torturous viewings of High School Musical with my nephews. Sorry, Zac Efron, but I hated that crap!

Speaking of other things that freak me out....The park was Madison Square Park, and the day was today, one of those gorgeous fall days that makes NYC a joy to behold. It was pretty crowded as usual at the Shake Shack, but I decided to grab something to eat on the way into work. I was standing in line with three copies of my book, which I'm shipping out to reviewers later today. A woman peered over my shoulder and said, "Wow, that's a really nice cover. What book is that?" So I gave her title, told her it's historical fiction, which she proclaimed to love with a little girlish squeal. I gave a little more detail; love destroyed by Norman conquest of 1066, yada yada. She was totally unfamiliar with the history, but said she's a sucker for lovers torn apart and maybe she'd check it out. Then, she asked the writer's name and I told her. She followed with, "But, why do you have three copies of the same book? Is it that good?" I said, because it's mine, I'm the author.

That's when it got weird. She looked me full in the face, looked at the cover, back to me, back to the cover, following with, "You wrote that? Really?" I nodded and smiled, a genuine one, not the usual sarcastic, half-assed smirk that most people get from  me. Then, total, absolute, dead silence ensued. Oh well, it was time to place my meal order anyway.

Walking on, I'm still slightly bemused by this woman's reaction, and don't quite know what to make of it. Why did she seem so shocked at the prospect that the books were mine? Was she unsure whether to believe me? Did she fear I was suddenly going to start hawking copies on the Shake Shack line? Guess I'll never know.

What reactions have you encountered from others, friends and random strangers, when they learn you've written a book?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Twitter Addiction

When I'm not writing, reviewing, blogging, or obsessively checking web stats, it's likely because I'm on Twitter. I never, I mean NEVERthought I admit this, but here goes: My name is Lisa and I'm addicted to Twitter. More than two months after my first official tweet, I'm wondering how in the world this happened to me. The same person who once swore, "I'll never be a twit!" I've now learned that's 'tweeter', thank you very much, and that I am now part of the 'tweeple' in the 'twitterverse'. It's a bit much, I know, but tweeter is fine and definitely much better than the word a cousin of mine used. She's just as sarcastic but slightly less foul-mouthed than I am. Hint: it starts with a 'T' and rhymes with 'what'.

Now, I check Twitter many times a day, too often to count on my computer and phone. I don't need an intervention just yet. Of course not. What addict ever admits that? Still, it's hard to fathom that naturally shy, introverted me has gone this route. I'm not one for talking to random strangers or people I've never met - I try to avoid those kinds of situations at all costs. So, what happened to make me change my mind? Probably the same thing that happened when I decided to start blogging. I discovered a community of writers, many of them whom I admire. I wanted to talk with them and not just about writing. Those writers can be easily categorized into two groups: those who use Twitter to promote themselves and those who don't and have lives beyond writing. I've found something interesting about the latter half: they are the ones I'm most likely to engage and to cheer on if they ever announce something noteworthy about their books. It's great to connect with people whom I probably wouldn't dream of approaching, even if we only exchange 140 characters at a time. I think my Twitter addiction is here to stay.

Are you a Twitter addict too? Tweet me @lisajyarde. Happy tweeting.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Goodreads Book Giveaway: On Falcon's Wings

Goodreads Book Giveaway

On Falcon's Wings (Paperback) by Lisa J. Yarde

On Falcon's Wings

by Lisa J. Yarde

Giveaway ends September 17, 2010.
See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

What do you have to do to potentially win one of five, FREE copies, you ask?

-Click the link above now until September 17, 2010.
-Open to US and Canadian residents only (sorry to any other International Goodreads members, but the cost of shipping is often more than the cost of the book).
-Enter your information and you could be selected.

Good luck!

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Fall’s in the air in New York City, a season of change. It heralded the end of my nine-day vacation in Barbados. It was great to reunite with family members living there and reconnect with others from the UK. We had an impromptu, mini family reunion. Not only did I come back with sunburn (still have the peeling skin on my forehead and cheeks to prove it), I also gained a perspective on how much things have changed over the years.

My arrival occurred long after the sugar cane harvest, so it wasn’t a surprise to see bare fields, while driving around the island. Still, I’m not accustomed to the amount of land, which was once used for sugar cane cultivation that instead supports golf courses and new housing developments. Sugar cane was once Barbados’ lifeblood and now that seems to be dwindling away. As both of my mom’s sisters say, all the good Bajan sugar is now shipped to the European Union, leaving little to none for the people who once endured backbreaking labor during the harvest season. Being a history buff who has fond memories of living in Barbados, I get a little nostalgic for the way things were, when sugar cane was grown less than a stone’s throw away from the house I grew up in. The memory of the sweet juices dripping down my hand hasn’t faded. Times are different now because of the influx of tourism. Barbados has long been a tourist mecca, for Britons especially, but I wonder how the older generation feels about the changes the industry has brought to their country. Perhaps they don’t care, if it means more foreign exchange is available. If my grandparents were alive today, I don’t think they’d recognize the island where they raised eleven kids in a small house on the south coast.

Something else of a sinister nature happened while I was on vacation. When I was a child in Barbados, some odd-twenty years ago, personal safety at home or in the workplace was hardly ever a concern. Now my aunts are locking their doors from strangers passing by, doors that used to remained unlocked until at least 10 or 11pm while we kids played outside. Then last Friday, a vicious murder of six women took place, when two men threw a Molotov cocktail at the lone entrance of a clothing store they had just robbed. The six women trapped inside died from smoke inhalation and burns. The women were between the ages of 18 and 24. When I ask my youngest aunt, “What is this island coming to?” she just shakes her head, and says, “Girl, you don’t know Barbados.” I think she’s right.

Today, my perspective on my island birthplace is a little bittersweet. A paradise it remains, but one where those my New York street smarts might come in handy in the future. And, while I know change comes eventually, sometimes it's a little sad to see.

Time flies when you're having fun, or writing novels.

It's been a tremendous twelve months. A new job and health issues have impacted my writing time, but I'm still at it, trying to wrap...