Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Hybrid Publishing: An Interview with Adam Glendon Sidwell, author of The Buttersmiths' Gold

It may be that we’ll look back on 2013 as the year of The Big Shift in publishing, the year the market tipped in favor of the Indie Author. 

Who’ll curate? How will readers find books they love? How will authors find time to write and publish and promote? These are among the questions I explored with Adam Glendon Sidwell, whose second book, The Buttersmith’s Gold, came out last week. 

On the day it launched, Sidwell’s first book, Evertaster, rose to number 51 on the Amazon Bestseller List. “And the funny thing is,” Sidwell wrote in a post for A Storybook World, “there was no one to do my marketing but me.” Sidwell had “an amazing agent” and together they had tried for years to place his work, but as editor after editor championed his story, the final decision at each house they approached was the same: “We don’t know how to sell your book.”

Evertaster was a hybrid venture between the publishing house you created and
your literary agency. Tell us a little about how this worked. In what ways has this
collaboration been helpful for you and your book? Will The Buttersmiths' Gold be
a similar collaboration?

My agent at Trident Media Group, Alyssa Henkin, provided the editorial insight and review that helps when putting a book together. Working with Alyssa is great, since she also was an editor for years at Simon & Schuster. We worked on the manuscript for two years together. Then they take care of all the copyrighting, and ebook creation, and I handle the print product. The world of publishing is wide open right now, and cooperation like this is possible. The Buttersmiths' Gold will be a similar approach.

The Buttersmith’s Gold is being marketed as a novella, which isn’t a term one
hears much in association with children’s books. Tell as how you decided on that
genre, and what it means to you as the author.

I'm calling it a novella simply because it's a shorter book -- 124 pages. Don't worry, it's not a Latin American Soap Opera! I wanted to do a story about Torbjorn and Storfjell from the first book, but this wasn't a sequel. The Buttersmiths' Gold is a spin off story, and you see novella being used to describe shorter books all across genres. It was the most fitting description.

What do you think are the top ways in which young readers found out about
Evertaster? In what ways are you replicating and refining the marketing reach for
The Buttersmiths' Gold?

It's really been word of mouth. Often from my mouth to their ears, but something they hear about with a lot of buzz. I've been sure to build up the Facebook page and the excitement surrounding the book there. Then I had a book trailer that explains the general idea succinctly. And after that, I spent a lot of time touring and meeting people. It was great. I will continue to tour with The Buttersmiths' Gold.

To what extent do you find young readers embracing the e-book format? In what
ways do they find out about e-books as opposed to printed books?

I was surprised to find out how far behind the e-book format lagged the print version! Only about 6% of my book sales are ebook. Which says a lot about young readers on ebook -- they're not there -- yet.

What advice do you have for writers who wonder how to balance the demands of
marketing with the time they need to create their books?

If your marketing is selling more books, keep doing it. Don't get caught up in time-drainers though. And you better ask me that question again after I've finished The Delicious City -- because it's the exact question I'm asking myself right now! I hope I'll have an answer for you then!