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Australian Fantasy Author (Official Site)

Massive Author Update: Writing, Publishing, Distribution, Promotions, and more!

Greetings to all of my fans and friends. It has been a heck of a long time since I have provided a major update and there has been a lot going on, so let’s get stuck into it.

Legends of Marithia – Writing, Publishing, iUniverse, Amazon, and more…

For those of you who have been following the short posts I have put up, you would know that I have spent the last 6 months working on a new edition of Legends of Marithia: Prophecies Awakening. There are many reasons for this and I will very much get into them… but before I do, here is the new cover of the second edition (Uncut and Extended), which also has a preview up already for those who would like to read the first two chapters, and is available on Amazon Kindle (Click the cover): 

So, let’s have a discussion regarding the why this rewrite took place, as there were many reasons for doing so. First and foremost, I will get into why I decided to basically ditch my publisher, iUniverse, who published my first edition of Legends of Marithia: Book 1.

I had thought I made a great decision to choose a POD publishing company, and they did a good job of the publishing process for my first book, but therein lay the problem. There was nothing that they did, that I couldn’t do myself. After shelling out a huge amount of money to have it published and investing more into editors, etc… It was the worst decision I had ever made, but it sure did teach me a lot.

iUniverse did the following:

  • Gave me an “editorial review” of my manuscript, which really served as a sales pitch as they gave examples of things that needed to be changed. If I wanted more, I needed to pay by the word count for someone to do it. I could have done this myself outside of the publishing company
  • Designed a cover. This involved me selecting a royalty free stock image for them to work from and they designed the rest. I could have done this myself.  For Legends of Marithia 2 and Legends of Marithia 1 Uncut and Extended, I contracted Claudia Bartoli-Mckinney who designed two images for the covers that were “out of this world good”
  • Designed the book block. I learned to do this myself and being that I have Photoshop skills, I should have
  • Sent out a distribution list to bookstores. Amazon does the same for a tiny fee… and I don’t remember any USA bookstores actually getting my book in stock. I paid extra money for a book buyback option, so they had no risk.. and they *still* didn’t stock it. If you are a new writer, I highly recommend that you don’t make the same mistake

iUniverse did not do the following:

  • Any marketing or promotions for my books to aid sales. They did however, continually contact me for me to invest more of my money into marketing and promotions (through them)… of course, entirely at my own expense
  • Absolutely anything further than putting the book out there, that I could have done myself
  • Convert the paperback and hardcover to eBook other than a PDF copy… No, I had to pay $70 for the privilege of having this done

So, I obviously decided that going through iUniverse was a major mistake and one that I would not repeat moving forward with my writing career. I then wrote Legends of Marithia 2… acting as my own publisher and following their processes as well as doing a much better job of it all on my own. Here’s where it got interesting.

I went back to iUniverse to ask them how I go about changing my original book’s cover to match my new title. What a surprise! I could do so, at a massive expense of hundreds of dollars, even if I wanted to do it all myself.

Everything that I wanted to do to my first book was going to cost me a huge amount of money for any change required. A bad taste in my mouth was not only apparent, but overwhelming my senses.

If I wanted to buy in  copies of Legends 2 for local sale, bookstore stocking, etc… it was reasonable… through iUniverse, forget about it.

Legends of Marithia 2 was well received by both critics and my fan base, but when new readers picked up Legends 2, and wanted to buy Legends 1… I had no say or control over Legends 1’s pricing, changes, etc. It was a painful thorn in my side that I just had to remove.

But, what do you do? Do you unpublish a book that many have already bought and enjoyed? Of course not!

A lot happened with my original edition of Legends of Marithia 1, including:

  • Many scenes being taken out
  • Deletions of content based on some proofreader feedback that it was “too much” (another mistake I will never make again)
  • The manuscript feeling unfinished

Since I wrote Legends of Marithia 2, my writing had drastically improved as I studied my craft for a long time before penning the sequel. I take critic’s feedback seriously and on-board to improve my stories and readability.

All in all, I made a decision soon after releasing Legends of Marithia 2 to the wide world, that I would rewrite it into a new edition. Not just add some details, but a complete rewrite that is worthy of re-releasing to my fans and future readers. I set out to do this in a short timeframe, and achieved it in 6 months. Not only did I have the cover I wanted (Claudia is amazing!), a fantastic literary editor who helped me polish it even further, but I added in all the details and scenes that I had cut out or not included the first time around. I also have some amazing artists on-board to provide some great material for the series, you can check out their work here

Both Legends 2 and Legends 1 uncut went through Amazon Createspace, and I had a great experience with the entirety of publishing through Amazon. I couldn’t recommend them enough.

Now, I have two editions of Legends 1 in the world, and that is okay by me. Wanting to look after my fan base, I made and make a promise that I will provide a free eBook edition to any reader who had purchased the first edition, plus the sequel of my books (eBook, paperbacks, or hardcover).

Book 3 will be in the works soon… and more information will come.

Promotions

There is a lot going on at the moment. I am speaking with bookstores (one at a time) about stocking my books, and now that I have regained full control of my work… it all becomes easier.

I am designing posters for stores, some other goodies, and will be working on other surprises to come down the line. There is a lot happening, and you can keep up with it all here, as well as on my Facebook author page

Other changes

You will notice that the Marithipedia is changing and growing. This will be a side project of mine and you will see regular updates to it. You can even comment on the various pages and ask for inclusions, make suggestions, etc.

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