Cat Grant’s New Publishing Journey

Hi! Thanks for joining me on my double-duty blog tour! I’ve got two books coming out this month – By Chance, the first book in my rewritten, re-edited, self-published Courtland Chronicles series, and Fearless, Book Three in my Irresistible Attraction series from Riptide Publishing. Leave a comment for a chance to win an ebook from my backlist! I’ll also be giving away some special prizes – a brand new Kindle Fire HD to one lucky commenter drawn from all the tour stops, so follow along and party with me at each–you can earn an entry at every stop! Winners will be announced December 31st.

I’d been kicking around the notion of self-publishing for a while, but it wasn’t until I talked to other self-pubbed authors at Authors After Dark in New Orleans last summer that I decided to take the plunge. I knew next to nothing about what goes into producing a quality ebook before I started, but, as I’ve discovered, it’s really not as intimidating as it sounds.

Going into it with the right attitude is key. If you think you won’t succeed—well, self-fulfilling prophecy and all that. You also need to be prepared to make a lot of decisions. Note the “self” part of self-publishing, which means you have to do everything yourself—or figure out what aspects of production you want to farm out.

First thing—and I cannot stress this enough—you need your manuscript edited by someone who knows what they’re doing. Don’t think you can get away with just running it through spellcheck and letting a couple of your friends beta-read it. You won’t do yourself any favors by putting out a book riddled with typos and plot-holes. Hiring a professional editor can be pricey (most of them charge anywhere from three to five cents a word, depending on the level of editing required), but it’s all part of the cost of doing business.

If you have a flair for Photoshop, you can probably learn to do your own covers, with help from any number of stock photo sites. I don’t, so I decided to hire a cover artist. Cover art usually ranges from $75 to $200 or more. As with anything else, you get what you pay for. Take a look at some of the major epublishers’ sites and check out their covers—most of those artists work freelance.

You can also learn to do your own formatting. There’s a steep learning curve, but unlike cover art, it’s more dependent on patience than talent. Or, like me, you can farm it out to a professional converter. The one I use charges $45 for converting to the three most common ebook formats–.mobi, .epub and .pdf.

Once the formatting’s done and you’ve got your brand, spanking new ebook in your hot little hands, it’s time to upload! Kindle Direct Publishing and B&N’s PubIt make everything very easy. I also sell through All Romance ebooks—the only one of these venues, alas, that allows indie authors to put up their books for pre-order. I haven’t tried Smashwords yet, mostly because I’ve heard their formatting requirements are a real bear.

Now for the hard part—promo. Yup, you heard me right. Like most writers, I’m an introvert. I hate getting out there and selling myself, but when you’re self-pubbed, you have no other choice. Booking a blog tour was pretty easy for me, but then, I’ve been pubbed before. If this is your first time out, don’t despair—Twitter and Facebook are your friends. Offer a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. Do a Goodreads giveaway. Be chatty and friendly, but please, please, please don’t make it all promo, all the time—it’s a huge turn off.

Don’t be discouraged if your first few days—or weeks or months—are slow. It takes time for sales to build, even if you’ve been previously published. But that’s when the real perk of self-publishing kicks in—65 to 70% royalties. Well worth all the hard work, IMHO. 

Here’s Cat’s various hideouts on the Internet:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS | AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

You can contact her directly at: cat@catgrant.com

Her current releases are By Chance

By-Chance-final-titledA life of wealth and privilege doesn’t equal happiness—just ask Eric Courtland. Growing up with a cold, unfeeling father and unstable mother has taught him exactly what he doesn’t want out of life or love. The troubled young man prefers a solitary life and is content to keep it that way until a campus emergency saddles him with an unwanted roommate.

Popular, wholesome, straight Nick Thompson is far more temptation than Eric’s prepared for, but Nick’s warm, easygoing manner gradually cracks through Eric’s prickly protective shell.

After Eric suffers a traumatic attack, their friendship gives way to an intense passion. Eric’s no stranger to casual sex, but what he feels for Nick is something deeper, and more fragile.

Independent Eric doesn’t know the first thing about being in a relationship, much less with a lover who can’t even admit he’s gay. But conservative Nick can’t seem to find his way out of his own personal closet.

Rock, meet hard place.

Available at All Romance ebooks: HERE
Available for Kindle US: HERE
Available for Kindle UK: HERE
Available for Nook: HERE

And Fearless

Fearless_400x600How can you plan for the future when escaping the past seems impossible?

After over a year together, Connor Morrison and Wes Martin decide to tie the knot. But an ethics complaint regarding their deeply non-traditional relationship threatens Connor’s job and Wes’s Ph.D. The fact that Connor tried to keep it from Wes—even with the best of intentions—makes the situation even worse and casts a pall over their plans for a Christmas wedding in New York.

It doesn’t help that Connor still treats Wes like glass, though Wes insists he’s recovered from the brutal assault he suffered a year and a half earlier. Wes may be okay, but Connor isn’t. Memories of taking a battered, terrified Wes to the emergency room that night still haunt him, and he can’t let go of the need to protect Wes from any and everything life might throw at him.

But Wes has had enough. Between the specter of the ethics complaint and Connor’s overprotectiveness, he’s already beginning to question their plans. Add in a family ashamed of and angered by his choices, and Wes might just leave Connor standing at the altar.

Available at Riptide Publishing: HERE
Available for Kindle: HERE
Available for Nook: HERE