BEA Day 3: Up all night
It’s Day 4 actually as my clock says it is 12:16 am. Remember yesterday when I closed saying that I was going to a power reader breakfast at Random House at 7 am and how I didn’t know what a “power reader” was? Then Ros said in the comments that a power reader was one willing to get up for a 7 am meeting with a publisher. I awoke early and got myself down to Random House at 6:50 am. The lobby was silent except for a guard who smiled warily at me. I spotted a table with a stack of name tags and breathed a sigh of relief that I was in the right location. I settled myself on a bench in the lobby and commenced waiting. As time ticked by and NO ONE appeared, I became concerned. I rose, walked around, glanced outside. Still no one and we were now past 7 am. I pull up the invitation in my gmail account and discover that the power reader breakfast is not until 8. So yeah, did I feel foolish or what? Foolish and tired. My emails to people are like incoherent word clouds at this point.
The Random House breakfast was actually a lovely networking time for bloggers with other bloggers. I’m not sure how many were invited, but it seemed like maybe 100? Random House even invited a number of readers as well which I thought was very neat. There were a couple of short speakers and one was The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg who spoke, not about his book, but about the power of bloggers. I actually thought he should have been the BEA blogger conference keynote speech. He spoke briefly about the passion of bloggers and how bloggers were fostering the love of reading and even encouraging others to read.
At the end of the breakfast, one of the publicists, Leah Johanson, brought the author Susan Elia MacNeal over to meet a group of bloggers. MacNeal’s book, Mr. Churchill’s Secretary, focuses on the war effort by women in Great Britain. She indicated that there was a continuing romance between a protagonist over a series of books. I thought Jayne would enjoy this book. (Jayne, I am sending you a copy direct from BEA).
After the Random House breakfast, I spoke with Createspace individuals. Createspace is the POD arm of Amazon’s self publishing unit. I asked them about the $2 surcharge for international Amazon digital books and was told to follow up with an individual after BEA so I hope to have an answer about that in the future. However, digital books are not part of the Createspace program. I did ask if an author was starting out, should she start out at the Createspace portal or the Kindle Direct Publishing program and they said that it didn’t matter. From a numbers aspect, a 250 page long form fiction (black and white) self published novel will cost around $3.80 to produce. Most authors will retain about a 35% royalty (although royalty is the wrong word) on a $13 book. $3.80 is the price regardless of how many you order, whether it is one or one hundred.
We spoke a little about the Kindle Direct Publishing Select program. This is where authors make a 90 day exclusive deal with Amazon in exchange for five days in which they can offer their book for free as well as participation in the pool of Owner’s Lending program. Amazon has allotted $6 millions for the year for the KDP Select program. Each month, a portion of the $6 million is set for the pool. Last month each download warranted a payment of $2.25 to the author.
I asked about quality control and I was told that every title that goes up in the KDP space is reviewed for “disappointing content”. Disappointing content was described to me as offensive content, content that might be infringing, and for quality. They do encourage readers to submit feedback on books, particularly on the issue of “disappointing content”. The Createspace individual said that they are “customer obsessed.”
Internationally, Createspace is now printing directly in UK, Germany, France and Spain which reduces delivery costs and speeds up distribution.
I asked how an author can get his or her book into a non Amazon retail space and was told that authors should go to their local indie or Barnes and Noble and ask for the book to be carried. I said that I had heard that retailers were less than enthused about carrying these self published titles, but that was the recommendation.
Is it BEA or RT?
After Createspace, I wandered the floors again. I saw two shirtless, very young men, walking around with black wings attached. They were promoting Becca “be nice” Fitzpatrick’s book “Hush, Hush.” I felt like I was having a flashback to RT what with them and this guy wandering the halls.
I spoke with a few other bloggers who were disappointed with the beabloggercon which made me feel better because I was worried I was too judgmental but it did make me think that perhaps I could do a better job of sharing about the process of blogging one of these days and maybe other bloggers could do the same so that we could exchange information in a way that would help each other.
I’m done in for BEA. I’ve got one more meeting tomorrow and that is with Harlequin. (If you have questions, let me know). After that, I’m heading for home, sleep, and a long bath, not necessarily in that order.