CANDACE SCHULER TAKES CHARGE (and everyone gets a free book)

image WELCOME one of our RWTTD originals and longtime reader favorite, Candace Schuler!

When Kathy Eagle asked me to hop in the convertible and write a blog post on my journey to self-publishing my backlist, my first question was, “Where do I begin?” Actually, that’s the very same question I asked myself after I finally succeeded in getting the rights back to 16 of my early Harlequin titles and wanted to do… well… something with them. Where do I begin? What’s the first thing I should do? What can I logically do? What’s the minimum I need to do? It was all so confusing.

My very first step was to do what I always do when starting a new project. I researched it. And what I found out was; if you’re interested in publishing your backlist as ebooks there are a whole lot of options available. All the way from doing absolutely everything yourself—scanning, formatting, covers, uploading and so on—to turning the whole mess over to someone else to worry about.

The thing is, I really don’t have the time or the skill to do it all myself. And, yet, the whole point of getting the rights to my backlist and self-publishing them was to retain as much control as possible because… well, just because.

clip_image002So, with the first book, WILDCAT, I decided to just dive in and do it all myself. Well, after I paid someone to tear the book apart and scan it. I have a day job (business and grant writing) and didn’t have time to do that part. But once the scanning was done, I would definitely do the formatting myself.

But, damn, formatting is hard (have you seen Amazon’s formatting guide for e-books!?) and it’s not a one-time thing and you’re done. You have to format differently for Kindle and the Nook. After a couple of days of false starts and hair-tearing frustration, I decided the wisest course was to hire someone to do the formatting.

And then there was the cover. I had ideas for the cover—great ideas—but I’m not an artist and I didn’t have the first clue as to where to look for cover art that wouldn’t get me slapped with a fine (or worse) for copyright violation. Plus, there was the lack of time element (hello, day job), so I needed someone to help me with the cover, too.

So I contracted with Nina Paules at eBook Prep to do the formatting and cover design. And it turned out beautifully. I was (and am) thrilled with the cover.

Once that was done, though, I was determined to do the uploading to the various e-book platforms myself, because, hey, I am the captain of my ship, right? And I need to maintain some control. And, really, how hard can it be?

It took me about two hours to just to figure out how to set up an author account at Amazon.com. And then there was additional time spent figuring out what to write in the author bio. And the sales blurb. Mustn’t forget the sales blurb. And reviews because, well, you need to include reviews, right?  And then I had to do it all again to upload it to the Barnes and Noble ebook site.

And I hadn’t even begun to think about publicity. Well, except for the fact that I knew I was supposed to actually do some. Tweeting was a recurring theme in the research I’d done. And Facebooking–that’s actually a verb now! I’ve never tweeted (twittered?) and I’ve never “liked” anyone electronically because I don’t have a Facebook account.

And that’s when I decided control is way overrated, and called Nina at eBook Prep again. For my next three backlist books—PASSION & SCANDAL, SEDUCED & BETRAYED, and LOVERS & STRANGERS—Nina was involved from the beginning. She did the scanning and formatting. She helped design the covers. She provided guidance in deciding on a sales concept. She told me what had to go in the excerpts and blurbs and author bio. She uploaded everything to all the various e-book sites. And she (or her minions) will do the bulk of the publicity.

And the nice thing is, I really didn’t give up any control at all. I picked out the cover photos and had the final say on the cover design. I worked with Nina in designing the sales concept and developing the sales copy. I selected the excerpts. And, now, instead of still being mired in trying to get my second book up for sale as an e-book, I have four books up for sale and am in the process of getting three more up within the next month or two. And all while still doing my day job and having a life.

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I know there are those more stalwart and tech-savvy writers out there who will insist that doing it all by yourself is the way to go. And there are those who will swear that turning the whole process over to someone else is the best road to take. For me, the middle ground has turned out to be the best of both worlds.

So, what route did you decide to take on the journey to publication of your backlist?   And for those of you who are primarily readers and not writers, do you have a preference as far as what electronic devise you read on? And how important is formatting or, rather, at what point does bad formatting start to interfere with your reading enjoyment? And covers! How important are covers in e-books? Do you ever buy an ebook (or check out a sample) just because you like the cover?

Everyone gets a free e-copy of Lovers and Strangers today at Amazon!  Tell your friends.  And please hit “like” while you’re there.   

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About Kathleen Eagle

Kathleen Eagle is the award-winning, New York Times best-selling author of over forty novels.
This entry was posted in Candace Schuler, e-book, ebook publishing, hot romance, romance, self-publishing. Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to CANDACE SCHULER TAKES CHARGE (and everyone gets a free book)

  1. lindina2 says:

    Thank you for the freebie. I got it, shared it on facebook, and sent an e-mail to a few friends who need to start using their smartphones as Kindle readers. Good luck with self-publishing. You’re new to me, and I’m looking forward to getting aquainted via Lovers and Strangers.

    • OMG! Out of the business for…um, let me check… When was my last Harlequin published? Oh, 2007. That long ago?! So, out of the business for five years and I’m new again. I don’t know whether that’s good or bad, but I’m going to go with good ’cause it means brand new readers. I hope. Thanks so much for downloading my baby.

      • Isn’t it cool, Candace? Suddenly we’re available not only to a new generation of readers but readers who are discovering the genre through a new medium. I was a Doubting Thomasina on the e-book front, but now, as the Monkees put it so profoundly, I’m a believer!

      • lindina2 says:

        I’m sure it will be good. I joined this because of Cindy Gerard’s fabulous stories and men. I have bought a few books by other authors here, and I’m firmly hooked on Kathleen Eagle’s great cowboys, especially the wild horse sanctuary, but I got involved in the mustangs while living in Nevada. So many books, not enough years left, but I’m reading as fast as I can. It is really great to find new authors I like. I hit the jackpot with Christine Feehan, but now I’m all caught up and she takes so long to write books. (Worth the wait.)
        I never go anywhere without a book. I had my Kindle at court today with a friend, but wasn’t allowed to read it. I luckily had a paperback along that I’d started because of all the time on an airplane when you can’t use Kindle.

  2. Kylie Brant says:

    Good for you, Candace! I am fortunate to have a techy son who does formatting, uploading and covers for me. Love yours!

  3. loisgreiman says:

    Hey Candace, thanks for joining us. My daughter is doing some of the covers for my newly released back list. In fact, my son will be on the new cover for My Desperado, I think…if we ever get it done. It’s all fun and exciting, isn’t it?

    • Yes, it is fun and exciting again! I sort of lost of the fun and excitement of writing a while back amidst all the angst the the business part of it but it’s back, big-time, and I’m jazzed about writing again.

  4. michelehauf says:

    Looks awesome, Candace! Welcome to the world of self-pub!

  5. leannebanks says:

    Congratulations Candace! I have always enjoyed your books, so I’m thrilled that they will be available again!

  6. Jody Vitek says:

    Congrats, Candace, on getting the rights back and re-releasing your stories! I’ve thought of you on and off throught the years, since you left MFW. I’m excited for you and will make sure to download the book, since I haven’t read your backlist. I wish you much success!

  7. librarypat says:

    You are right about doing everything yourself. I used to, but with age (and wisdom?) I have decided there are some things worth paying for. I can better use my time for other things, plus others can do those things better and faster.

    Good luck with your self publishing venture. Thanks for making LOVERS AND STRANGERS free for all of us.

  8. Good morning, Candace, and welcome back to the ‘vert. You’ve done a beautiful job packaging your books. Okay, you had some help, but you’ve always been a woman in charge of her destiny. I’m so glad to have access to your good work again and to be able to add them to my Goodreads list and mention them on my FB page. Good books like yours us more readers to the genre.

  9. How cool! I am impressed with your progress in self publishing! I got three back from H/S and requested seven more, but they quickly exercised their chance to epub those seven themselves. I was sooooo disappointed. I’m so glad to hear that you had better luck at getting your rights back. Best wishes with your epub sales! I went right away to download your book, and posted on FB, too.

  10. Congratulations on your first four reissues – such a joy to have the chance to reread them!
    Fortunately, I haven’t come across any formatting issues in the ebooks I’ve read. My reading device of choice is the Nook – i do have the Kindle PC app but rarely use it.
    As for ebook covers – I’ve seen the same cover used for different books. so I pay more attention to the author.

  11. Thanks, everyone, for letting me hitch a ride in the convertible. It’s been a fun trip.

  12. Thanks for the freebie 🙂 it looks wonderful & I can’t wait to dive in to a new world! I have never read you before but I am sure I will become a fan because Maggie Shayne recommended we check it out on her Facebook.

  13. Sumiyati E Monoarfa says:

    Thank you Candace for Lovers and Strangers. I really enjoyed your blog. I also want to thank Maggie Shayne for letting me know.

  14. Saly says:

    Hey, Candace it is so great to see you e-publishing. I have 3 books of yours that are my favorites and they are all related, The Other Woman, The Right Direction and Just Another Pretty Face. These 3 I had the luck to find at UBS and then grabbed the very few ebooks of yours on Amazon, now I am glad to know your backlist will be showing up gradually. We readers don’t realize how much hard work goes in a work, even digitizing an old one.

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