We have just over a week left before NaNoWriMo begins. Are you ready? As I explained, I won’t be doing NaNoWriMo this year, but I will be writing — my current Regency romance is shaping up nicely. I should finish the first draft by the end of November.
Our local writers’ group is made up of NaNoWriMo aspirants. While most writers just want to complete their novel, and haven’t thought about publication yet, several of us discussed ways to sell NaNoWriMo novels.
Ways to sell your NaNoWriMo novel
Self-Publishing is changing. So we brainstormed ways in which to sell novels in the face of the current concerns that some authors are having about their numbers.
Here are some of the most viable ideas.
1. Go the traditional publishing route
The big benefit of going the literary agent/ traditional publishing house route is that everything (except marketing) is done for you. You get an editor and a copyeditor. Your book’s cover and formatting are done for you, as are paper editions, and audio editions.
The only hassle with traditional publishing is that it takes forever. It might take a year or longer to get an agent, then another couple of years to sell the book to a publisher, and get published.
The drawback of course is that you make much less money. If your novel doesn’t hit any bestseller lists, it’s unlikely you’ll earn out your advance.
2. Go “wide”, selling on all ebook retailers, as well as creating print and audio versions
Die-hard self-publishers today are opting to go wide, and publish their books everywhere they can. The challenge with self-publishing of course is that you do everything yourself. The benefit is that the profits are mostly yours.
3. Writing a series: have two books ready to sell next year
This is an intriguing idea. Here’s how it works. You set out to write a NaNoWriMo novel which is part of a series. While editing your NaNoWriMo novel, you write the next novel in the series.
Then in 2017, you release the first novel, and then a month later, release the second. This gives you much more visibility on the ebook retailers, and providing you bring out novels three and four next year, you should do well.
4. Join an authors’ cooperative: contribute to group marketing
Authors’ cooperatives have been around forever, in various forms. One form of a cooperative operates like a publisher’s imprint. The books have similar branding, and are published under the cooperative’s brand. This form of cooperative needs a staff, who are paid, and it’s both expensive and risky.
That said, it can work, and work well.
Another form of cooperative is completely informal. The members promote each other’s releases, and have one website, and one mailing list. New members can join at any time. Members who want to remove their books can do so at any time.
5. Write a serial, with ten 10,000 word episodes
One of our writers’ group is writing a serial. During NaNoWriMo, she’ll write the first ten episodes, at 10,000 words each episode. While she’s editing those episodes after NaNoWriMo, she’ll write another ten episodes.
She’ll release the episodes after all ten are written, at a schedule of one episode every two weeks.
Serial publication has been a popular publication method for several years. Is it for you? The downside is that your serial may not sell. On the other hand, if you get readers, your serial may sell very well, and is a wonderful boost for your future books.
How will you sell your NaNoWriMo novel?
If you’re doing NaNoWriMo this year, think about how you’ll sell your novel once it’s done. You have many options. Choose one — don’t let your NaNoWriMo efforts languish on your hard drive. Get it out to readers. 🙂