Well, I think it’s about time I introduce myself. I’m Kaye Manro and I do write romance. I have a background in journalism, and in fact work in that field. As for romantic fiction, I like to write in several genres, Sci-Fi with hints of paranormal being one area. I also have a great love for anything Medieval. I like to combine all my favorite elements into stories. Of course, the sensual stuff just creeps in and makes the writing even more fun!
I usually target the big print markets with my work, and in fact have a Silhouette Nocturne in edits right now. Suffice it to say that was and still is a hard long road! But today I’d like to speak on a subject I talk about sometimes on my Kaye Manro blog. That is, the advantages of e-publishing.
I know there are writers on Lindsay’s Romantics who have opted to have their work e-published. I also have several friends who do the same. With good reasons so it seems, not to mention good results. I might add here that I also have a few stories in the works targeted at an e-publisher myself.
Let us face it; publishing is a hard business for any writer. At one time, there were about 75 to 100 print publishing companies, owned by people whose tastes and criteria varied. Now five major media corporations own most imprints. Committee chooses titles who consider content less important than demographics of the customer base. The major publishers want books that will sell. They are not interested in producing mid-list authors, or in keeping books in print, or publishing a good book that will not find a wide audience just because it is good.
Luckily, there are more opportunities for first-time/unknown authors, or authors of unusual books in e-publishing. For writers whose stories don't fit the mold, e-publishing can be a way to find an audience and good reviews. Deb Staples says that e-books are a great way to put your foot in the door. Now you can say you are a published author, and begin the process of marketing and learning how the industry works. “E-books get talented authors into a market that might otherwise never see them.”
Here are a few more good reasons for those writers involved or interested in e-publishing:
Less emphasis on standard novel lengths. E publishing offers a market for books that are longer, or shorter, than traditional print novels. It is an excellent market for novelettes, which sell for a lower price than a paperback novel, and often more acceptable to the consumer.
More control over the process. Writers have greater freedom with characters and plot, more say in revisions, and possibly more input in cover art and sales blurbs. While e-publishing editors make suggestions for revisions in a manuscript, authors note that there is considerably more room for discussion and negotiation.
Higher royalties. Because the costs of e-published books are significantly lower than print books, authors receive a far higher percentage of revenues. Forty percent is fast becoming the industry standard. Most e-publishers pay royalties every quarter rather than once or twice a year like print publishers.
However keep this in mind -- don’t expect to get rich. Karen Wiesner, who has sold hundreds of copies of her romance titles and several thousand copies of her nonfiction e-book, notes, "I don't think the combined total from all my book royalties would equal what a standard mid-list author with a traditional publisher makes off a single advance."
Author-friendly contracts. I think most e-publishers ask only for electronic rights, leaving the author free to market print rights and subsidiary rights elsewhere. In addition, most e-publishing contracts are renewable rather than indefinite.
Shorter response times. Most e-publishers attempt to respond to submissions within two to four months. Response times are lengthening, however, as the number of submissions increases.
Faster publication. Some e-publishers will bring out a title within months of acceptance. However, this is becoming less and less common, particularly among the larger e-publishers, who have backlogs of manuscripts.
International availability. "Readers in Australia can buy the book the same day it's released to buyers in the U.S. It is immediately accessible to everyone, everywhere.
Longer shelf life. Since it costs very little to keep an e-book in stock, a book does not have to sell thousands of copies. As long as sales remain good by e-book standards, most e-publishers are willing to keep a title in their inventory, rather than dropping it for a more profitable title.
How do you feel about e-publishing? Does anyone with e-pub experience have anything to add? I'd love to hear from you on this subject!