Rebecca has posted a review of How to get quoted in the media over at Living the life of writing. Rebecca's review is especially aimed at book authors. Check it out.
On Saturday Damaria Senne Media reached a big milestone: the sales of How to get quoted in the media actually reached a stage where I could pay out royalties to my co-author. No, it was not a boatload of cash, but it was definitely a nice addition just before Christmas. This is huge for me, because it means that self-publishing (some of my works and other people's) could be a nice income stream for me.
I know that there are people who are making it big out there through self-publishing (read the story of Amanda Hocking on Friday. I'd heard about the self-publishing sensation but hadn't made the time to read the story until now, and I was not only inspired, but she also very realistic). But half my reservations have always been that Africa still has electricity and connectivity problems ( among other things), so was it realistic to expect that the market would be ready enough for digital publishing?
As Pam said during our recent email discussion: "As cheap as you can sell an e-book it would help increase access to books so much for so many people. Also a pity someone doesn't invent a solar powered Kindle like a solar powered calculator. And then get government or the Bill Gates or Mark Shuttlesworth Foundations to donate them to schools and Thusong Centres so more people, even the very poor, had access. It would be a win-win situation for authors and ordinary people!"
Problem is, I don't want to wait for that kind of intervention. I don't want to enter the market when other publishers have taken over a big share of the market. And I have things to say now, material to publish now and I'm sure there are other South African writers who do too. I also believe that that the South African digital market has some possibilities: you just need to publish material that people need, aimed at the target audience that already has Internet access and are open to either owning a Kindle device or installing Kindle on their computers. And then, there's always the PDF option, which people are very comfortable with.
So while I know that I'm no big competition for publishing houses right now ( I need them to be my clients at this stage, or to contract me to buy my new books and publish them:-), it was heartening to realise through the sales from this ebook that there is a viable starting point for a small digital publisher in South Africa right now and I could grow.
Anyhoo, Christelle is also happy. Upon receipt of her first royalty payment, she reminded me that I asked for a sequel. We know more or less what it's going to be about (in line with helping small business and NGOs do their marketing and communication better), but I don't want to narrow it down now until the ebook is at least drafted.
Pam and I are also talking about publishing a collection of her romantic short stories on Amazon. They're written, edited and once we're back from holidays, we'll start talking about launch dates.
So, I haven't done a review of 2011 yet, but judging by this alone ( launch of Damaria Senne Media and the publication of its inaugral title), 2011 has been fairly good to me.