ANNAH TORCH: That Gutshot Smile, by Jim DeFilippi, (Brown Fedora, 2020)
A comatose prep-school girl is found in a locked room. Across her lap lies a smoking, sawed-off shotgun. Across the room is the smiling, gutshot corpse of her roommate. The beautiful, brilliant, at times brutal Annah Torch must dig out the truth and prove the girl’s innocence.
A Rogue Publishing Company … Brown Fedora
BROWN FEDORA BOOKS is a consortium of writers dedicated to publishing books that are “Rebar Tough and Built to Last.” Some of our authors prefer to use the BROWN FEDORA imprint, some opt for other mainstream or independent publishing houses. All of us are committed to creating memorable and unique reading.
Says Jim: “BROWN FEDORA is a group of pal-writers. We all do our own publishing, usually using Amazon’s KDP program for paperbacks and ebooks. No money changes hands, we all do our own labor, and keep our own books. BFB is just a way to publicize. I built a website (which I’ve been neglecting lately.) BFB also helps remove the stigma of ‘self-publishing,’ a term which I never use. It’s direct publishing.”
The Brown Fedora Guide to Direct Publishing:
THE NEW AUTHOR’S GUIDE TO DIRECT PUBLISHING
So, you have written a book and you hope that it will turn you into a published author. You are in luck. It’s the 21st Century, and technology has produced the greatest tool for writers since Gutenberg invented his printing press. It is called Direct Publishing.
My usual advice to new authors is to spend six months to a year “hunting dinosaurs.” By dinosaurs I mean the literary agents and acquisition editors of the traditional publishing houses, from biggies like HarperCollins and Random House, and agents looking for new clients, to smaller independent publishing houses (Some of whom will charge you money to help improve your book, or find an agent, or even publish it for you. My general rule is— if they ask for money up front, run away. Reputable publishers and agents take a cut of your royalties, no money up front).
But, to be honest, you probably won’t connect with any of the dinosaurs. Just getting a response will be an achievement. So, in my opinion, it is now time to go the direct publishing route.
You can do it all by yourself, just go to Amazon’s KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) site and let them lead you through the process. It’s free and fairly easy. Paperbacks and eBooks.
You keep complete artistic control, including title, cover, book design, and content. You get a better royalty rate than you would get from mainstream publishers. Your book gets instant worldwide distribution.
A few authors have been selected to be published by us here at BROWN FEDORA BOOKS. The process is about the same: the author does all the work, no money changes hands with BFB, it’s all between the author and Amazon. BFB can give you a little prestige and publicity, which are the only two things a mainstream publisher has more of. Again: With BFB, you do all the work with Amazon, you get all the royalties. No money changes hands between us.
- Go to Amazon KDP and start an account. (You can also try Barnes and Noble if you want a hard copy instead of a paperback, but we can’t vouch for them.) KDP will ask for some banking info, but they are trustworthy. They only want to send you those royalty checks.
- Follow the steps for publishing your book. Jim DeFilippi (BROWN FEDORA’s CCO) can talk you through the process. It’s a bit confusing unless you’ve done it thirty or so times, like he has. Jim will answer any questions as you go, but also use the KDP support. They are great. Ask them anything and they will solve your problem, usually the same day.
- List “BROWN FEDORA BOOKS” as the publisher on the title page of your manuscript, and everywhere else it is asked for. We at the FEDORA usually send in the manuscript as a PDF, but any word programs also works.
- Once the book is published (the same day!) BFB will put its giant publicity machine into action: personal Facebook pages, the BFB Facebook page, our website (brownfedorabooks.weebly.com), assists from other BFB authors, etc.
- Publicize it on your own (maybe mention BFB) as much as you can.
You won’t get rich going this route, but you’ll feel good about it. Here is an essay that explains the glory of indie publishing.
One Good Book
by Jim DeFilippi
Two literary critics were talking and the first one said, “F. Scott Fitzgerald died a broken man, because The Great Gatsby was a commercial and critical flop.”
And the second said, “Yeah, but he knew he wrote a good book.”
Don’t let those agents and acquisition editors and big house publishers get to you. They’re mostly nice, overworked people, but they’re 20th Century dinosaurs, breathing in the volcanic ash of technology and slowly going extinct. Fugetaboutit.
Technology has set us free. Just go to somewhere like Amazon KDP and publish your book. It’s free, easy, you have complete creative control, the royalty rates are great, and you get immediate worldwide distribution.
Why are commercially successful writers like Lee Child and James Patterson and Stephen King still giving publishing houses a cut of their spoils? I have no idea. Loyalty maybe? Inertia?
No, you won’t be the next King of book sales. You won’t get reviewed here in The New York Times and you probably won’t get rich and famous. But you might. I have a friend who publishes independently (Remember: Don’t call it “self-publishing,” it’s Independent Publishing) who has sold over 30,000 books. Another friend often gets on The Times bestseller list. Another has had a major movie made from her book.
Will this happen to you? Probably not. I know it hasn’t happened to me. But that’s not important. There’s only one thing that matters:
You wrote a good book.
Thank you, Stephen, this is great.
Stephan, I hope you and yours had a nice Thanksgiving. I’ve really been enjoying The Silverback. Here are two websites you might be interested in featuring. I’m not sure onto which of your daily categories they would fit, but they are fun sites for readers and writers. http://www.five minute lit.com http://www.wordsunboundstudio.com
Stay well. Stay healthy. Keep fighting the good fight.