Dramaquill's All Things Writing

June 7, 2011

E-book format: Does this mean self-published? NO!

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I’ve had this topic on my mind for a while now as I continue to see and hear comments that if it’s an e-book, it was self-published.

The e-book format does lend itself to self-publishing, for obvious reasons:

  • cheaper to reproduce than print books
  • quicker turnaround time
  • digital books are becoming more popular
  • invention of the e-reader
  • portability (can carry an entire library of books with you in one small device)

But I’m frustrated that the general assumption is that if one has published an e-book, then it must be self-published.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.

More and more new publishers (as well as some of the big houses) are developing and offering e-books.  For first-time authors trying to break into the business, this is great news.  Because an e-book doesn’t cost as much to reproduce as a print book, e-publishers may be more willing to contract a new writer who doesn’t yet have agent representation.  That doesn’t mean your manuscript can be less than amazing.  E-publishers offering contracts are going to be just as diligent about publishing books that have engaging characters, page-turning plots and brilliant writing.  Many e-publishers also do publish books that have generated a decent amount of sales into print versions.

Here are some e-pubs who offer contracts, editing, cover designs, ISBNs, royalties and the chance to be seen and read by the millions of people already enjoying downloading books onto their Kindle or iPad rather than lugging around yet another paperback in their purse or backpack…

http://www.redrosepublishing.com

http://www.echelonpress.com/

http://www.literaryroad.com/index.php

http://museituppublishing.com/

http://www.newconceptspublishing.com/about.html

http://www.synergebooks.com/aboutus.html

http://whiskeycreekpress.com/submissions.shtml

http://lionhearted.com/index.html

This list is just a sampling of the different e-book publishers actively pursuing manuscripts at the current time. 

As with any submission, make sure to do your research on any publisher you choose to target before sending off your query and your manuscript.  Follow any submission guidelines to the letter.  Check out the types of books published to see if what you have written fits into the publisher’s catalogue and style.

E-books are gaining popularity and e-publishers are an excellent way to break into the traditional publishing business.

May 10, 2011

E-books vs. Print – the debate continues

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The world of modern technology moves faster and faster with each passing day.  We already know that whatever new gadget or program we purchase, it’ll probably be obsolete by the time we get it home as developers work on the next generation.  There’s always something faster and better just around the corner.

As writers, we are faced with new technology when seeking publication of our manuscripts.  There’s the traditional print book, the POD (print on demand), books on CD Rom and e-books. 

Many see the surge of popularity toward the e-book as the downfall of the printed hard copy, but as an author whose first novel has come out in e-book format, to be followed by print, I can attest that a large majority of followers still prefer having an actual book in their hand, something they can display on their bookshelves.

E-books have been around a lot longer than one might think.  According to Wikipedia, the earliest e-book, developed for just a select few, was in 1971.  The nineties saw the addition of books on floppy disk and CD Rom.  By the mid ninetees, ebooks appeared online and at the turn of the century, large publishers, like Random House, began selling this digital version as well.

So are e-books going to replace the paper version anytime soon?  This author doesn’t think so.

What are the advantages of buying e-books?

  • often cheaper
  • an e-book reader can hold an entire library
  • one can carry their library with them, all inside a device smaller than many print books
  • books can be downloaded and read instantly (no waiting to order)
  • e-books can be downloaded and read on your computer (no need to buy a device)

The e-book reader and this digital technology hasn’t been embraced by everyone.  It’s not likely that schools will be able to afford to order e-book readers for all kids enrolled, so the paper version of books will likely line library shelves for quite some time.

Many individuals do not want to have yet another gadget, or are not willing to learn new technology and feel that print books are a simpler way to get their reading done.  Many say that holding a book in their hand is still a feeling they enjoy.

But for authors trying to break into the publishing world, there are many e-publishers offering traditional contracts who might just be a little more willing to take a chance on a new author because creating an e-book doesn’t cost as much as a print run.

Does this mean your writing doesn’t have to live up to its highest standards?

Absolutely not!

Are e-books all self published?

NO – this is a myth that many less informed individuals subscribe to, thus impeding their switch to the digital format.

If you do decide to purchase an e-reading device, there are several out there to choose from including Amazon’s Kindle, the Kobo, the Sony e-reader and my favorite, the iPad, which is a tablet computer, not just an e-reader.

http://www.amazon.com/Kindle

http://www.kobobooks.com

http://ebookstore.sony.com/reader/

http://www.apple.com/iPad

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