It’s the age-old problem: what does an author do, if they have a good book in need of an audience?
Today, the possibilities are endless. The rise of ebooks has removed all barriers to publishing. It’s a brave new world, yes, but it’s also a pretty scrambled one. Instead of there being only a few titles picked out and published every year by the big mainstream houses, there are thousands of books being published every day on sites like Amazon and Smashwords.
The issue for authors isn’t publication, now. It’s competition.
And this isn’t a bad thing, of course. But a lot of authors don’t have the knowledge or technical savvy to navigate this new world, and let their book find a place and a readership. Plenty of them get hoodwinked into paying for marketing packages that don’t work, or services they don’t need. Some of them just plain can’t afford to pay for the copyediting or professional cover design that their book needs to really make it the best it can be. The vast majority of them get very bad advice about what to do to get their book selling.
Raynfall aims to change this at the most basic level, by giving authors the tools and teaching them the skills they will need to give their book the best shot it can get. I write articles about technology and the publishing industry, and I provide the technical expertise self-published authors need to launch their books into the market.
Raynfall is my dream, my concept. I have a vision of this new world, of a way for authors to find success without having to give up the lion’s share of their royalties, of a method of doing business as a publisher that doesn’t rely on the somewhat outdated ideas of the legacy industry. I also work as and when I’m needed on individual projects, for an up-front fee.
The Idea of Publishing as True Profit-sharing
I came up with the vague outline of Raynfall in January 2012, after spending a long time reading and learning about the current state of the publishing industry while struggling to finish and edit the second draft of my first book. It was strange, in a way, to be an outsider looking in and seeing missed opportunities everywhere for publishers and authors to make use of the power of the Internet. It was heartbreaking to meet authors taken in by shady outfits who promised big things they didn’t have a hope of delivering. It seemed that authors didn’t really have an option in between trying for a mainstream deal or going it alone entirely.
Ebooks cost nothing to produce, I thought. I have all the skills to do it myself, so self-publishing was a strong option, but it got me thinking about every other author I met who didn’t have my expertise. The more I thought about it, the more sense it made that there should be an intermediary; a company in-between self-publishing and mainstream that could handle the duties of a publisher, be an author advocate like a literary agency, and do more above and beyond either if necessary.
It’s early days yet. The idea is untested, like all novel business plans.
Who am I then? My name is Claire Ryan, a freelancer with an embarrassingly long list of design skills and a strong affinity for anything technical. I’m also a writer, an editor, and an ex-marketing director, and I have an excessive interest in copyright and intellectual property laws. (The relentless ambition and drive to take over the world is just an added bonus, really.)
The name came from a misspelling of my surname. I liked the imagery of rainfall, of something fresh and pure that somehow leaves the world renewed. Coming from Ireland, of course, I’m quite used to the rain.
Feel free to contact me.