Robert Fate, author of the Baby Shark series, is a Marine Corps veteran who studied at the Sorbonne in France, rough necked in the oilfields of Oklahoma, fashion modeled in NYC, sold show scenery in Las Vegas, and has been a chef in Los Angeles. As a Hollywood special effects technician, he won an Academy Award for Technical Achievement. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, a ceramic artist, and his daughter, a cum laude graduate of USC. A regular guy, he has a dog, two cats, and a turtle named Pharrell.
GOING DIGITAL AND GETTING THERE
by Robert Fate
It was sad news when Capital Crime Press, my honest, hard working publisher, decided to throw in the towel, but more than that, it was scary. How about the agreements with the distributors? Where were readers, bookstores, and libraries going to find my books? And what made it the scariest was how fast change was happening all around me. But how could I be surprised, though, with major bookstores going belly up and taking their WiFi and coffee bars with them? Larger publishers than mine were calling it quits; eStuff was replacing dead tree stuff so fast it just felt rude. Okay, maybe books must go, but why not with a little more dignity? Nope, no time for that––the future had arrived.
The truth is, I wanted to go all Pollyanna and believe that things would take care of themselves, after all, folks weren’t going to stop reading books––were they? So I let a little time slip by before reading some altruistic Joe Konrath rants and seeing the light. Joe has a way of throwing that switch. No more dragging my feet, I had to go digital.
For me, going digital, meant penning 2nd editions of the first four Baby Sharks and releasing them on Kindle. This was the beginning of the “process” part of leaving one world and entering the next.
Okay––making the books available for Kindle readers was step one. But how about all those folks who like holding a “real” book in their hands? After all the badmouth that has been given Print On Demand (POD) by the traditional publishing guys (to serve their own purposes, I fear), I was happily surprised to learn that POD books look EXACTLY the same as the book traditional publishers print. Hooray! That meant all readers would be served.
So, new covers for the PODs would need to be arranged, as well as some other details, since I was now the publisher, but it was all within reach. I think it is fair to say that Amazon (Kindle) makes it easy to self-publish, but that’s relative. If you want to go this route, be prepared to exert some effort. It ain’t rocket science, but there are many niggling details that must be addressed. Patience and perseverance are required, and also some thick skin, since there is still a lot of resistance to “going it alone,” even if it is the American way.
The final stage of the “process” is the marketing, of course––the Sisyphean task of making folks aware of your books. Amazon offers help, but as in all things, you must help yourself, as well. I am now in that final stage. Here comes some marketing.
Baby Shark will be offered free for five days on Kindle –– Click HERE on May 18 thru May 22, 2012 for your free book. The purpose of free books is to introduce the series to those who haven’t yet read it, and to re-kindle (you should excuse the pun) an interest in the series with those readers who’ve been there, done that. The other books in the series will also be offered free in the near future––go to www.robertfate.com for that information.
If the free dates slip by you, borrow the titles from the Kindle library, that’s free, too. Ain’t it great? However, some restrictions may apply, as they say.
When you go to robertfate.com to read all the fabulous reviews, be sure to check out the Book Club section, some new stuff there.
More marketing––watch for the summer 2012 publications of Baby Shark’s Showdown at Chigger Flats, book five in the Baby Shark series. And, Kill the Gigolo, a contemporary standalone with a male protagonist and a femme fatale that is a real piece of work.