If you’ve been following me for awhile, you may know I’ve struggled with creative output, and even tried to hire some ghostwriters before but couldn’t get the process down. I’m going to try again: I’ll basically be recruiting paid interns who want to learn to write fiction that sells – they’ll help me finish a rough draft, but it will be my idea and outline, and I’ll edit and polish it until it’s good enough. I’ll publish under my fiction imprint, but not my name, because I want to give the authors the credit.
I’m also partnering with a friend of mine, who does amazing things with advertising and audiobooks; so my goal is to supply lots of content, and let him work his magic. I’m nervous, because this is a big step and difficult to get right – but it could be glorious. If you’re already making money with your books, this probably isn’t for you. If however, you think you have some skills but are eager to learn what it takes to succeed, here are the details:
Urban Epics publishes urban fantasy and paranormal thrillers with blood-pumping tension and heart-wrenching drama. We don’t accept unsolicited manuscripts, and have a unique business structure, but it’s the best way we know to get more excellent books out to readers, while helping indie authors build a platform.
If interested, you’ll submit writing samples and a resume or website, then we’ll ask you to write a one-chapter sample (about 2000 words). If we think you’d be a good fit for a project, we’ll discuss details and help you draft an outline using Derek Murphy’s plotting templates for commercial fiction.
You’d start writing a draft, and check in if you get stuck or need help sorting out the story (editorial critiques from a Ph.D. in literature = priceless).
Once the first draft is done, we’ll take care of everything else!
WHAT YOU GET FOR FREE
You get a professional book cover, a blurb that will sell, a detailed course on writing bestsellers, 3 rounds of editing from our team of editors, promo and marketing material, and audiobook production… AND we pay for all the ads. We invest at least $2000 in every project.
You also get your name on the book – our books are successful, so this will boost your author profile on Amazon and help sell any other books you write independently.
PAYMENT = $0.01 PER WORD
Instead of offering you future royalties on a book that may not sell, we pay authors directly by the word count ($500 for a 50,000 word book). That way, not only do you get personal coaching from bestselling authors and professional editors, an advanced masterclass on writing commercial fiction, and all publishing and book marketing costs fully covered, you also get guaranteed cash-in-hand security.
Most of our writers can write at least 50K words a month, and enjoy the stable, long-term income they can earn, while learning how to improve their craft and getting tons of visibility for free.
WHAT, NO ROYALTIES?
The sad truth is, most books don’t ever earn out an advance, which means the publisher loses money on most of the books they publish (they make it back with just a handful of bestsellers).
With our streamlined marketing system and hungry audience, not to mention our unrivaled focus on producing high quality books readers love, we’re able to keep most of our projects profitable. A lot of writers have skills, but still can’t make a living with their own books – whether because their craft is lacking, or because they don’t have the time or money to invest in book marketing.
Publishing with us is kind of like an paid internship program; you’ll get to see how the industry works while also getting training, coaching and feedback. It’s like an MFA in creative writing, but better – because we focus on writing books that SELL.
This isn’t for everyone, and if you think you can make more than $500 publishing your own books – go for it (most authors invest for years without ever seeing a profit).
But if it’s interesting, and you want to try it out, why not send in a sample and see how it goes? (We’ll get back to you as soon as we can; we get hundreds of submissions a month and accept less than 2% of writers).
You get help with the plotting, which means stronger plots with less time planning; we take care of marketing, book design, covers, editing, and all those other expenses; you get your name on the book, so all that marketing we’re doing will boost your author rank and profile, leading to more visibility for anything else you publish on that author account; we already have a large platform of readers we’ll be promoting the books to, so you don’t have to work for reviews.
Who comes up with the story ideas? We do – to make sure they’re commercially viable; we’d love hear your input and story ideas, but we will have the final decision on plot and story issues. You’ll find it’s much easier to write when you don’t get stuck wondering what happens next.
Once you’ve completed some projects with us and gotten the hang of it, you’re welcome to suggest your own projects or something that interests you, and we can help you develop your idea.
Who owns the writing? We do – your name will be on your books (we find this inspires our writers to do their best, while helping them build their personal writing income up much more quickly) – but we will own that particular series and characters. You’re free to write anything else you want, to cash in on all the marketing we’re doing for the UrbanEpics books by having side projects published under the same name.
Will this work? Most publishers will give authors a cut, but most books also don’t earn out their advance. Some respectable publishers have also done a profit share, but pony up for expenses. Getting a publishing deal with a grate royalty rate doesn’t mean you’ll earn; and most publishers really do the marketing or platform building (very few publishers are genre-specific, which means they don’t build genre based platforms; which means they have no more ability to reach your readers than you do).
It’s possible we’ll invest time and money that we’ll never earn back, but because we already know how to publish commercial fiction and have a strong marketing arm and backend, I’m pretty confident we can do this better than anyone else.