As part of the promo-blogtour for AN INTRODUCTION TO PLEASURE I’m hosting Jess Michaels today. I’ve read and enjoyed most of her Jenna Petersen books, both with publishers and self-published and I look forward to reading her new release with Samhain. A warm welcome to Jess and I hope you enjoy her post about the differences between publishing with big and smaller publisher and self-publishing.
Thanks so much for having me today, Pearl! This is an exciting week for me because my latest Jess Michaels erotic historical romance AN INTRODUCTION TO PLEASURE (Mistress Matchmaker 1) came out on Tuesday, June 19. This is my last Jess Michaels book from a publisher since early 2010, though last year I did put out two contemporary erotic romances as well as 7 romances as Jenna Petersen via self-publishing.
This is the strangest time in publishing. Where not so long ago, there were really very few choices for authors, now there are so many that it’s a bit head-spinning. The traditional publishers are still getting books into bookstores and even trying all kinds of new things when it comes to finally moving into the eBook universe.
Then there are smaller publishers, outside of the New York mainstream, who have been working eBooks from the beginning and are seeing a lot of inroads into the new movement toward the eBook surge.
And now Amazon and Barnes and Noble have made self-publishing easier than ever with their programs for their eBook readers. Seriously, publishing books there is so easy I’m not sure it should be legal.
I’ve been to all these stops on the road. I have published with HarperCollins and Orbit (a division of Hachette), two of the biggest publishers out there, I’m currently publishing with Samhain and have been with Red Sage Publishing in the past and of course, I’ve had a lot of experience lately with self-publishing. Every one of them has benefits and disadvantages.
With a big publisher, there is distribution. My books were in stores everywhere, which was very cool. But the process can be quite slow (readers were always asking me why the books weren’t coming out faster, but that was never a decision I had any part in) and as a writer, it’s so easy to get lost in the shuffle of all the other books out in the world.
At a smaller publisher, the turnaround is a lot faster (I finished the final editing process on AN INTRODUCTION TO PLEASURE in April and it was out in June). When it comes to promoting eBooks, they’ve been doing it a looong time and they really know where to put their efforts. In fact, when it comes to a place like Samhain, because they’re known for their erotic romance titles, an author can make sales based entirely on the strength of the brand, which is something that has faded considerably in the mainstream market.
With self-publishing, the timeline is entirely up to the author (I published 9 books in 8 months last year under three names) and the percentage of money from sales is much higher, but while all the positives are in the control of the author, so is everything else. Every bit of promotion has to be driven by the author or else there will be no sales (and for an author without an established audience, it’s very difficult to gain a foothold).
In the end, though, what matters most to me is getting good stories out to readers. Wherever and however I can do that I’ll do it. And I hope you’ll buy it, too!
Mistress Matchmaker, Book 1
Lysandra Keates is running out of options. Her father is dead, her mother is ill, and her efforts to find respectable employment have ended in failure. With her small savings bleeding away, she swallows her pride—and her terror—and turns to Vivien Manning, an infamous courtesan, to match her with a wealthy protector.
For years, Viscount Andrew Callis has lived a monastic existence at his country estate, hardening his body against the snobbish, lazy young man he once was, hardening his heart against grief over the deaths of his wife and infant son. When Vivien asks him to spend one month training a young woman in the ways of a mistress, his mind resists…but his body responds with an ache he thought long dead.
As Andrew begins his gentle tutelage, he finds himself falling under the spell of Lysandra’s innocent charms. And as they give in to the powerful hunger, the last thing Andrew ever expected, or wanted, forms between them. An emotional connection that could carry them well past the training period—if only Andrew can open his heart to the possibility of love.
Includes training in all kinds of sexual positions and delights, as well as an emotional romance. May produce swooning.