Science fiction author Kevin J. Anderson has written more than one hundred books (and counts more than 20 million in print), but has decided to take the self-publishing his digital books.
At the Kobo booth at Book Expo this week, Anderson told GalleyCat that he often has readers come up to him looking for a particular title in one of his series that has gone out of print. “It doesn’t always make sense to do a total reprint,” said Anderson. “But now I can say, you can get it here and we never run out of copies.”
Anderson has self-published a number of his backlist titles as he regained the rights. While he was at the show speaking for Kobo, Anderson admitted that he has self-published these books on Amazon and Barnes & Noble too.
Interestingly Anderson said that when he self-publishes, he does the opposite of what his print publisher would have done in the old days. He uses serial numbers. He explained that his publisher’s thinking was that if your whole series wasn’t available at a bookstore the day the customer was shopping, then they wouldn’t buy it. eBooks endless availability alleviate this problem, he said.
Anderson is using the self-publishing eBook medium as a way to give back to fans as well. For his latest print book series about a zombie detective which is coming out from Kensington in September, Anderson said that he is going to release a free eBook short story in between each of the six novels. “It’s a lot faster than having to deal with writing a story for a magazine, which can take a year,” he said.
As a serial author, one thing Anderson would like to do is to release bundles of titles, so that readers can buy a whole series at a discounted rate. He said that he still has to work this out with the retailers, as their 70/30 royalty split has a price threshold that would cause an issue.
But Anderson isn’t about to give up traditional publishers entirely. For his Star Wars and Dune spinoff titles, Anderson said that he appreciates the big marketing budget that publishers have to offer. Anderson also warns authors to be diligent about editing and copyediting their self-published works. He said, “If your ten publishers rejected your book, don’t just self-publish. There is probably a reason for the rejection. Maybe it needs to be worked on.”