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[personal profile] catherineldf
Last week, I did my second talk at DreamHaven Books about starting and running a small press. I gave the first one after 11 months of actual experience publishing and 2 years of planning and ramp up. Last week’s was the Year 3.1 talk so it was kind of cool to reflect on what I’ve learned and added to Queen of Swords Press in the intervening year and change. I was hoping to have my second talk recorded, but my videographer ran into problems at work and couldn’t make it. I’ll be doing a somewhat different version at UntitledTown Book and Author Festival in Green Bay in May and will see if I can get a recording of that. Some other differences between the talks: slightly  more people at the first one, almost entirely different crowd at the second than the first one and, of course, I have a lot more experience as a publisher now. Here’s a link to the first talk and this post includes some highlights from last week.

Here's a few things that have changed in the last 2 years of running my own small press

  • I got a bunch of pointers and good ideas from my lovely pals who run Blind Eye Books, to give credit where credit is due. They inspired me to get a table banner, new approaches to shipping, structuring sales and planning.
  • Queen of Swords Press now has a YouTube channel for readings and other related content.
  • I’ve put out 8 books total, built up a reviewer and book blogger network and increased the outreach footprint for each book.
  • I saw one book make it to the Colorado Book Awards Finalist’s list (yay for Alex Acks and Murder on the Titania and Other Steam-Powered Adventures!). Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space) got a really nice review in Publisher’s Weekly and Silver Moon got on the Rainbow Awards list.
  • I edited and published out Queen of Swords' first anthology, Scourge of the Seas of Time (and Space), featuring stories by authors from 7 countries.
  • Thanks to Andi at Dragonbyte, we have a website shopping cart so you can buy Kindle and Epub format ebooks direct from us (we’ll do print on special request, at the moment).
  • I published my first author who is not me, namely the awesome Alex Acks, whose books you should be reading.
  • I started a monthly newsletter (you can sign up on the website!)
  • Had books in 2 StoryBundles so far. In addition to selling books and making money for the press and our authors, they both raised money for Rainbow Railroad, a nonprofit that assists LGBTQ refugees.
  • I've hired a part-time press assistant to help with monthly marketing, proofreading and other tasks and am contracting with a marketing person for bigger campaigns like book releases.
  • I've got a regular book designer, Terry Roy, who makes our print books look fabulous and several cover artists who do amazing things.
  • I've been trying something new additional for each book and trying to get on a schedule for something new each month: different promotion, more review sites, more announcements, more tie-in events, videos, etc. It seems to be working so far. Sales were up 23% in 2017 from 2018.
So, huge thank you to everyone who bought books, reviewed books, boosted, interviewed me or Alex, recorded videos, hosted us, came to our events and generally helped things move along!
What's next?
  • I'm going to be starting a line of mini-collections this year, with a small collection (5-6 stories) of my horror to be released around Halloween. I'm talking to another author about next year's collection and hope to announce it soon. I've noticed that people are more open to new to them authors at the $8-10 range at book tables, so we're going to give these a whirl
  • Blood Moon. Which I will finish this year, dammit.
  • Opening up to book submissions for a few weeks in late April - May. Stay tuned.
  • Plan at least one more title for 2020 and look into crowdsourcing for a second anthology.
  • Get books out sooner to make the 3-4 months before release print deadline for Library Journal and the Library of Congress.
  • Keep growing and start paying myself.
  • We'll see how it goes. Stay tuned!

Date: 2019-03-27 02:33 pm (UTC)
duskpeterson: The lowercased letters D and P, joined together (Default)
From: [personal profile] duskpeterson
Man, what a productive person you've been - I'm impressed!

Date: 2019-04-09 03:15 am (UTC)
cloudscudding: Photo of Abra Staffin-Wiebe (Default)
From: [personal profile] cloudscudding
Wow, that is a lot of leveling-up! Is the most recent talk going to be posted at some point? I couldn't make that one.

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