Monday, October 3, 2011

Guest Post: Aurora Lightborne

Today I am very happy to welcome Aurora Lightbourne to The Ink Puddle. She is the author of Brass Hearts, a book described as a "Classic romantic tale, set in a picturesque steampunk world". (Seems like steampunk is the thing these days!) Here's a small summary:

"All Dulcy Spry wants in life is to inherit her father's small, family business, and help run it while she waits. But after a fateful encounter with the snobbish Mr Pridget on the roadside Dulcy's best friend, Alise, and younger sister, Rosa, drag the reluctant Miss Spry into high society, where lies, manipulations and family secrets threaten to ruin her peaceful life and cast her into the dismal prison of an unwanted marriage.

Brass Hearts is a Cinderella-esque type story. It is a sweet, old fashioned romance, complete with bad impressions, lies, misunderstandings and social divide."

Without further ado... please welcome Aurora!

Will readers continue to buy only 'Brand Name' books?

With all the new technology, full service printers and small publishing houses available as options, many talented authors are turning to 'alternative' means of publishing instead of the 'traditional' big companies. The question remains though, will the majority of readers remain 'brand name' book shoppers or will they give the indies a chance?

So far it seems independent authors have an uphill battle in proving they are not rejects that can't take a hint or sub-par writers with no marketable skills, but solid, gifted writers who just happen to want to keep more control over their own creations.

Why would good authors who could have gotten contracts with large companies choose to go the maligned self-published or small publisher route?
I can think of three reasons, and none of them are disgraceful.
1. They want to retain the rights to their work and place them as they see fit.

2.They happen to want to benefit more from the sales of their creations.
I don't think most readers realize that an author, and especially a 'traditionally published' author, sees very little of the money from their book sales. Bookstores alone can require up to 55% of the cover price for their share, add into that the publisher's cut, the printing cost, the agent's cut and the actual creator sees sometimes only 10% or less of each sale, that is less than a customary tip at a restaurant.

Remember, another editor could have edited it, another agent could have handled it, another publisher/printer could have distributed it, but only one author can create it. Without that one creative individual there would be no story. Don't they deserve to benefit more from it?

3.The books they are trying to place is not in the current 'tending topic'. Agents and publishers are looking at one thing, their bottom line. It usually doesn't matter how well a rejected author writes or how good his storyline is. Most of the time the work itself is never read, they only get as far as the genre or basic outline and the answer is; 'this is not the type of book we are looking for at this time'.

I think there is a need to redefine such literary entrepreneurs, to identify them and their worth, and get some distance from the foul reputation that does not fit most of these great individuals. Maybe we can say “Independent Author” or “Independent Literary Artist”.
I mean, we have independent artists of other kinds. Crafters, graphic artists & Music artists are more and more going the independent route, and are none the worse for wear by doing so. So why are independent book writers still looked down on?

Is it because some of the independent books will stink royally? Perhaps, but even many 'brand name' books have typos and bad edits, some have appalling punctuation, terrible story lines and showcase mediocre writing skills. Yet, somehow 'self-published' seems to be held to a higher standard.

I personally do not see a problem with 'Literary Artists' choosing to treat their writing as a sole-proprietor business, if you will. This movement towards writing as a small home-based business will not only benefit the authors in being able to keep control over and benefit from their own works, but it will benefit the reading public as well. More variety of stories will be out, more variety of writing styles will be available. Independent authors are probably not going to 'take over the publishing world' but, I believe, they are going to change the face of it. Make it more personal, more of a direct link from 'artist' to reader.

And seeing as independent authors often price their work competitively while offering rather large chunks as Free samples, I don't see where you can go wrong.
Not sure if an unknown author is worth your time? Download their free sample and try out their style. Don't like it? Nothing lost.
So when you see 'Independent Literary Artists' hawking their wares on social networks, inviting you to their online 'book tours' and in-store book signings or being represented in book fairs, don't just turn your nose up at them because they aren't 'name brand'. Give these fine, hard-working artists a fair chance and let them tell you their stories. You might just find a new favorite!

About Aurora:

I began writing stories almost as soon as I learned to write. From my 1st grade 'journal' full of tales of rabbit adventures to my first full length book at 14.  I have always had a love for writing stories.
Besides words I also have a love for tech. From an early age I built 'bread boards', soldering diodes and components to create such things as a light detecting alarm clock and other such ...useless things.  I moved on to building my first DOS PC at 15. I also graduated School at 15. Later on I became a certified PC tech. 
I am happily married with lots of furry little 'children'.  Most of which I raised by hand when a local rescue group or friends brought me orphaned babies to bottle feed.
Most of my writing is SciFi/Fantasy based, and almost all of it contains humor. I like short, fun, humorous stories.
My favorite authors are Jane Austen and Douglas Adams.
I hope you enjoy reading my work as much as I enjoy writing it.

Aurora is on a Virtual Book Tour Sept 20-Oct 30 2011 with her latest release Brass Hearts-A Steampunk Fairytale.
Follow her blog tour and leave her comments to get in on a prize drawing taking place Nov 1, 2011!
Aurora's tour schedule, book synopsis and buy links can be found on her Website
Thanks Aurora for taking the time to stop by The Ink Puddle! I hope you guys enjoyed her post and will check out her book!



BK said...

This is an EXCELLENT post! I absolutely love it and you are so right in why authors choose self pub. Fantastic! Thanks for hosting Jordan.


Niina said...

I enjoyed this! Great entry. :)

A.Lightbourne said...

Thanks, glad you guys liked it. ;o} AL

Jordan Butcher said...

Thanks again AL for doing the guest post, I loved having you here!

Niina: I'm glad you enjoyed it!

You're welcome BK!

A.Lightbourne said...

Thanks for having me! Maybe we can work together again sometime. ;o}