Are you an outdoors author? Do you create books, articles, or blogs about adventure, travel, nature, conservation, or sustainable development? Then let me explain how John Harlin Media might help you, when the time comes.
My goal is to eventually build this website into one of the world’s greatest go-to resources for e-books about adventure and conservation.
I know it doesn’t look that way now. That’s because we’re doing a soft launch, which means we’re starting small so we can work out the bugs as we grow. Our initial focus is on alpine journals from the world’s mountain clubs. I’ll soon add my own books, along with those of my friend and hero, Mark Jenkins, and a few others whose names we’ll announce in coming weeks. Meanwhile we’re developing an affiliate marketing strategy that will allow clubs, authors, and anyone with an Internet presence to host their own bookstore with our content.
As we smooth out the kinks, we’ll embrace more and more authors. Within a year this should be a pretty good group. Maybe it can include you. You’d earn 50% of the sales price of your books sold in a John Harlin Media bookstore, plus a 10% affiliate fee for any additional book sales that originate from your website, blog, or emails. Read our affiliates pages for more on that program.
Beyond the bookstore and sales, we’ll also help authors with any needs you might have in converting your backlist of print books and magazine articles (blogs, too) into e-books and anthologies. We can scan, prepare formats, or provide editorial guidance on converting your old printed work into born-again e-books ready for worldwide digital resurrection.
Please get in touch if you’re interested in digital publishing or just selling your e-books. And sign up for our newsletter if you’d like regular updates on how we’re progressing.
Meanwhile, I prepared a long Q&A that I hope will address most of your questions. This list is ambitious, anticipating about a year or two of growth. It’s a way of seeing where we’re headed. At the moment we’re just getting started, so please bear with us.
John Harlin III
How do you define “author”?
If you’ve published and sold books and magazine articles under your name, you’re an author. We don’t limit this to the popular press; we’re also keen for professional work from scientists, environmentalists, sponsored athletes (writing for brands) and development workers. This work can be old (it’s been out of print for years), really old (it was written or photographed by your great grandmother), or quite recent (a collection of your blog posts). It just has to be good, as in professional.
How do I digitally re-“print” my work?
If the work wasn’t born digital, you’ll generally need to scan it, after which it will need some work depending on what sort of digital book you want to create. The most basic is a PDF book that looks just like the original, only with bookmarked navigation. There are any number of things you can do after that. Please see the Digital Transitions tab to learn more.
Building e-book anthologies of magazine articles, blogs, and photographs requires packaging them into a new layout. We can help.
How much work and cost is involved in creating e-books and who bears it?
Most of our books will begin with previously published works, which means they’ve already been edited. We’ll have to pay for the scanning and put in a few hours to bookmark the resulting PDF so it’s easy to use. If your book needs updating, you’ll be the best one to estimate how long that might take. We can make simple changes to the text pretty easily, and even swap out color photos for the old black and white. But before you get too carried away, you might want to put the original scanned version on the market for a while at a good price to see how much of an audience there is. If you get some good feedback, then it may be worth investing serious time into updating it and improving the photos for what’s essentially a brand-new product.
We’ll have several ways to pay for our services. One is for you to pay up front, which saves you a little money down the road. Another is for John Harlin Media to advance you the cost and get reimbursed from your royalties. A third is for us to act as your publisher with an adjusted royalty rate. These services could run from $200 for simple scanning to several thousand dollars for a large new project started from scratch. Either way, there’s no risk to you if we arrange for payment from royalties.
What about copyright and digital rights management?
You must own the rights to your work. John Harlin Media will not take your rights; from our perspective, they’ll always be yours. If your book rights are partially or wholly owned by another publisher, we’ll need to work with your publisher. If your old publisher hasn’t relinquished these rights back to you from a previously published work that’s currently out of print, you’ll need to ask for them back in writing. Legally they have up to six months to provide this, so it’s best to start early.
Our preferred approach to digital rights management (DRM) is to simply password protect our books and include a polite statement to readers that the work may not be copied or distributed beyond the purchaser’s personal e-reading devices. Controlling DRM more strictly than that is a hassle for users. But if you or your publisher insist on more protection, we’ll do our best to accommodate your needs.
Will John Harlin Media sell my unedited self-published ramblings?
We are exclusively for professionals selling quality work. We’re attracting readers to our bookstores by promising them a trustworthy experience. If you previously published on dead trees, your work was likely edited and designed to high standards and we’ll be glad to re-sell it as is. New work must reach at a similar standard. We can supply you with a list of professionals from around the world who can edit and design in various languages—and translate, too.
Why wouldn’t I publish and sell my own e-books, bypassing John Harlin Media?
You certainly can. This is a fantastic time for self publishing, and you have plenty of options. We’re happy to simply be one of your bookstores, competing against the others. We’re hoping that our niche audience and targeted affiliate-based sales will provide your best marketplace, but you’re welcome to sell your books anywhere you like.
If you need more than a simple bookstore, John Harlin Media is happy to help. We can offer you most of the creation and production services you can find elsewhere. We’re developing a network of professionals in e-book production, we’ll broadcast press releases to magazines and news outlets, we’ll provide resources for book-promoting speaking engagements, we can find translators, and we’ll offer you access to large e-book distributors that are closed to self-publishers.
What about e-book retailers like Google Play, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, eBooks.com, etc?
1) Please try them. You can sell direct, through your publisher, or through John Harlin Media’s accounts with these outfits.
2) We’ve found that the megastores are remarkably poor places to browse and discover e-books about niche genres such as the outdoors, adventure, travel, nature, fitness, outdoor sports, etc. If you’re not a best-selling author, your work likely gets lost in the jumble and clutter. Our bookstores will provide a vastly better shopping experience for our kind of books.
How can I promote myself through John Harlin Media?
In due time we’ll offer each author their own subdomain on JohnHarlinMedia.com (something like JaneDoe.johnharlinmedia.com). We’ll create a coffee-shop social atmosphere where you can connect with readers, re-publish book reviews on your work, and promote yourself as a speaker, guide, consultant, and whatever else it is that you do. But even at the outset we’ll provide you with a page or two to tell us about yourself and your work, and we’ll link it with your reviews and discussions on GoodReads.com. Of course you should also link to your independent website, blog, or Facebook page.
This will be a great place for you to recommend other people’s books on topics where you’re an expert. If you’ve joined our affiliate network and readers buy your recommended books, you’ll earn a percentage of those sales.
Why would someone want to buy my old books and magazine articles?
Some work is timeless; the only reason it’s not still in print is that it’s been buried by the crush of new titles. Other old work might be more appropriate to digital sales than paper. Let’s say you once wrote a guidebook to Nepal that offers useful background info despite being out of date; travelers might still want it because they’ve seen it recommended (it’s a classic) and now it’s easy to buy on impulse and download onto a phone, tablet, laptop, or viewed online at an internet café. But why leave it out of date? If sales of the Digital 1.0 version are decent, you should update it in various ways: directly on the old pages, in appendices, or in a new book redesigned from scratch. While you’re at it, why not add a gallery of color photos like you always wished you could do in the print version? If you make that old book young again, sales could soar—after all, now it’s both new AND a classic. You might even sell more copies than you did the first time around, especially if you translate your books into other popular languages (we can help).
Have you collected your magazine articles into one or more anthologies? We encourage you to gather your stories into themes of your choice, add photos, re-edit what needs it, add an introduction to each volume, and presto, you’ve created a new work that’s worth buying. There’s effort involved, but probably less work than it took to write just one of those articles in the first place. The same process applies to collections of blogs, though you might need to spend a little more time in the editing.
How will you handle translations?
Translation used to be an expensive hassle that was risky for publishers. No wonder most books have remained in a single language. John Harlin Media will help with translations, potentially at no risk to you. To start, we’ll supply references to translators who work in your field. You can hire them with a fee for service, of course. That’s how most will want to work. But some translators will be open to creative arrangements, like working in exchange for royalties from books sold in their language. You might translate just one chapter as a teaser, proceeding from there depending on interest. This lets you experiment with multiple languages. There are all kinds of creative solutions; we look forward to helping authors learn from each other.
Why should an author care about affiliate sales?
Individuals, clubs, organizations, and businesses worldwide can use affiliate marketing to sell our specialized e-books to their special-interest readers. If you’re participating as an author, then everyone wins. This works especially well within shared fields of interest—climbers selling books about climbing, conservationists on conservation, travelers on traveling, etc.
How else will you market my work?
We expect the affiliate network to be our workhorse, but we’ll also develop targeted newsletters and e-magazines that introduce new authors and new work from our established authors. Readers can sign up for these free publications in their fields of interest.
How to send us your books:
Click on the TransferBigFiles image below and it will take you to a page where you can send us your books. But please discuss books by email prior to sending them to us. Thank you.