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Already ePubbed?
BarbSheridan
Posted: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 10:32 PM
Joined: 3/15/2011
Posts: 10


I actually ePublished the first time between the release of my first two e-books way back in the last century (1999) ^_^

It's definitely come a long long way from those days and all of my books from 2005 on have been ePublished.

What I like about it is the fact that ePublishers are able to take on the "niche market" stories that large publishers don't. I also love that all lengths of stories can find a home in ePublishing from 3k shorts to 100k+ novels.

Who else out there in Book Country betaland is ePublished or thinking about it?

Elaine Golden
Posted: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 2:32 AM
Joined: 3/14/2011
Posts: 10


I'm not sure what you mean when you ask if someone is 'ePublished'. Does that term refer to self-publishing in ebook form? Publishing in ebook form only (through a 3rd party publisher)? Just having an ebook (if you have a physical version of book)? Or working with a specific firm (like ePublishMedia)?

I'm inclined to think being ePublished means you've got an ebook version of any book out there, but wasn't sure since you refer to your 1st time ePublishing being 'between the release of [your] first two ebooks"
MarieDees
Posted: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 1:16 PM
Joined: 3/11/2011
Posts: 157


Hi Elaine,

I don't think epublishing has a official definition, but there are a number of publishers who publish primarily in ebook form. Actually, Harlequin's Carina Press line would count since it's a "digital first" line.

I currently have 5 works available as ebooks. The 2 mystery novels are also available in print, but the M/M erotic romances are ebook only. When I wrote the mystery novels, I didn't have any idea how epublishing worked, but back then most people didn't. Now, I find that I love being able to take advantage of the length options that epublishing has that print can't always offer. I'm working on more novella length stories because I find I enjoy them and can fit them in between novel length projects.
BarbSheridan
Posted: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 11:51 PM
Joined: 3/15/2011
Posts: 10


@Elaine

Sorry for not phrasing properly. I meant published by a publisher that's primarily an electronic press Samhain, Loose Id etc (they do print as well but ebooks are the focus).
Elaine Golden
Posted: Thursday, March 17, 2011 2:44 AM
Joined: 3/14/2011
Posts: 10


BarbSheridan,

That does help, but I'm still not really sure how to answer the question.

I'm epublished in the sense that I have a series of shorts published by an ebook-only imprint of Harlequin (other than Carina Press). Since Harlequin (at large) would likely be considered traditional publishing, it doesn't necessarily meet the criteria, though my first thought was to answer your OP as 'yes, I am!'.

These days, the lines seem to get quite blurry as more and more conventional publishers venture into epublishing. I noted the other day that Avon Press has a new digital imprint called Avon Impulse, to epublishing (as in digital first) is no longer limited to the smaller presses like Samhain, Ellora's Cave, etc.

I guess I tend to define epublishing as *digital first*. Guess I'm just thinking *out loud* about where those lines were, are and will be....

Personally, I LOVE ebooks --they're my preference for reading and so they've become my preference for publishing too.
MarieDees
Posted: Thursday, March 17, 2011 12:46 PM
Joined: 3/11/2011
Posts: 157


I think where the lines were is very different from where the will be. And the "epublished" tag meaning is just a jumble at the moment. I think of epublished the way Barb does, but that's because I have ebooks with Mundania, Cobblestone and Liquid Silver Books. Mundania is print and ebook but the other two are primarily ebook publishers.

For years the major publishers seemed to put the ebook market on the back burner. Oh, they'd release some titles on Fictionwise (which was independent back before B&N bought it), but I remember people on writing sites telling me I wasn't published if I didn't have a print book from a major publisher. Romance publishers, big and small, seem to be the first to figure out how to reach an ereader market.

But now with self-publishing on Kindle being so easy, I'm running into writers who think having an ebook means you self-published. When I point out Harlequin does digital first publishing with Carina Press, they'll say "right, that's the self-publishing thing they started that every yelled about." (Partly Harlequin's fault for introducing those two different ventures so close together.)

But the sad part is that in all this confusion, writers seem to be missing the small epress option. I hear "well, if I can't get an agent, I'll self-publish as an ebook." They don't know there are reputable ebook publisher who have editors and cover artists and can get books out to good review sites that might be interested in their work.
Alexander Hollins
Posted: Tuesday, March 22, 2011 9:35 AM
Joined: 3/13/2011
Posts: 416


I'm a huge fan of the old sci fi fantasy and mystery magazines that serialized novels, so i've been doing the online serial novel thing for a couple of years now. Once a book is finished, I'll be publishing the whole book, but in the meantime, its epubbing serially.
Robert C Roman
Posted: Tuesday, March 22, 2011 4:07 PM
Joined: 3/12/2011
Posts: 383


I've got five stories (one short, three novellas, one novel) published through a digital-first press at the moment. The first print edition ought to be out sometime later this year.

I actually see the small digital presses being very similar in niche to the old magazines. Because their costs are lower than a 10,000 copy print run of a print book, they can afford to take some chances and nurture more new authors, BUT they avoid the two primary hurdles of self-publishing; lack of support and lack of quality control / editing.

Please, self-published folks, don't shoot me for that last. There are folks who don't need an editor and can edit / market / cover / distribute their work all by themselves. I'm NOT one of them, and any of us who look at the world without bias will realze that some people who have self published are *also* not in that select group of multi-talented individuals.
Alexander Hollins
Posted: Tuesday, March 22, 2011 4:29 PM
Joined: 3/13/2011
Posts: 416


Agreed with Mr. Roman. I actually work as an editor for a few people that are publishing online, and AS an editor, I can say that I really wish I had an editor of my own for my writing, as I know it would make it better.
RFLong
Posted: Saturday, April 2, 2011 9:53 AM
Joined: 3/31/2011
Posts: 11


I'm epublished with Samhain - 2 novels and 2 novellas. They're out in print as well now (the novellas collected in one print edition).

It's been a great way to learn my way about the publishing world and I've been able to work with some terrific people. Plus as a market ebooks are growing all the time.
EmilyRD
Posted: Saturday, April 2, 2011 11:42 PM
Joined: 4/2/2011
Posts: 6


Hey, I recognize some names and faces in this thread.

I'm e-published and have a print edition available from an e-published title. I currently have titles available at Ellora's Cave, Freya's Bower and Liquid Silver Books. I've been involved in several discussions with friends, lately, and we all agree digital publishing and print publishing alike are changing at remarkable speeds.
tcastleb
Posted: Sunday, April 3, 2011 5:48 AM
Joined: 4/2/2011
Posts: 2


I have six out with Loose Id and four (three forthcoming) with Carina.
MarieDees
Posted: Monday, April 4, 2011 12:59 PM
Joined: 3/11/2011
Posts: 157


Hmm, looks like we could use an erotic romance place to chat in the forums.
HJakes
Posted: Friday, April 15, 2011 4:18 AM
Joined: 3/14/2011
Posts: 46


I should have an Urban Fantasy novella coming out from Carina Press later this year. (I say should because we haven't set a release date yet) I am looking into traditional publishing for novel-length works, but due to the length and genre, e-publishing seemed like a good option for this work.
Alexander Hollins
Posted: Wednesday, April 20, 2011 5:38 PM
Joined: 3/13/2011
Posts: 416


Well, I just epubbed an anthology of which I acted as editor, as well as having one of my own stories in the anthology. Dunno if that counts.
Ixtumea
Posted: Sunday, April 24, 2011 2:41 AM
Joined: 3/29/2011
Posts: 4


I'm soon to be e-pubbed with Muse It Up publishing. My other book CROSSED OUT is with a small press and so is my upcoming book.
Gwenyffer
Posted: Monday, April 25, 2011 2:37 AM
Joined: 3/16/2011
Posts: 27


I ebpubbed early this year with Wild Rose Press (a romantic suspense). And honestly I didn't find the experience rewarding/satisfying. Curious to know, those of you who have epubbed numerous titles, what about the process makes you continually return to it? Is it the publisher? the editor? the freedom to write 'outside the lines'? What makes it preferable to traditional print publishing or to self e-publishing?
MarieDees
Posted: Monday, April 25, 2011 5:19 PM
Joined: 3/11/2011
Posts: 157


Hi Gwen,

Your experience might be why it's a good idea for people to talk to an epubbed authors and understand expectations before they try the process themselves.

For the most part, my epubbed works are M/M erotic romance. Only 1 is full novel length. Big publishers aren't really looking for M/M erotic romance so it is still a market that is most epubbed. And working with epublishers does give me the freedom to work in non-traditional lengths and for more niche markets. It doesn't mean I'd turn down a big publishing contract, but I'm having fun working the way I currently do.

As for self e-publishing, I'm considering exploring that option with a short story or two, but for me, there's a lot of support I'd give up if I self-published. Working with publishers, I don't pay for editing or cover art. The publisher handles distribution, formating and even sending the book out to the top review sites for the genre. Also, since I'm listed on the publisher's site with other authors who write in the genre, it provides cross-marketing. If someone goes to check out Dee Carney's book, they'll see mine. The publisher also just handles a lot of the business behind the scenes that I don't really want to bother with.

But working with an epublisher is still a business. One thing I think most of us come to realize is that part of that business is that we have to keep writing and releasing books to build a reader base. And it is a competitive business even though we help each other out a lot.
NadiaLee
Posted: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 11:33 AM
Joined: 3/14/2011
Posts: 4


@Gwen

"I ebpubbed early this year with Wild Rose Press (a romantic suspense). And honestly I didn't find the experience rewarding/satisfying. Curious to know, those of you who have epubbed numerous titles, what about the process makes you continually return to it? Is it the publisher? the editor? the freedom to write 'outside the lines'? What makes it preferable to traditional print publishing or to self e-publishing?"

I think your experience depends largely on the publisher and editor.

Why it may be preferable to traditional print pub --

1. faster turnaround (this depends largely on your publisher BTW; some are NOTORIOUSLY slow)
2. more frequent payment schedule (monthly or quarterly, instead of biannually)
3. bit more creative freedom

Why it may be less preferable to traditional print pub --

1. cash flow problems, resulting in them not paying you on time or delaying payments
2. poor print distribution (if it's something you care about)

Why it may be preferable to self-pubbing --

1. they pay for editing & cover
2. you get the cachet (?) of having a publisher (though I think it really depends on who's publishing you; some are known as "author mills").

Why it may be less preferable to self-pubbing --

1. you have zero control over cover and editing (some epubs do not have very good cover artists or editors)
2. you have zero control over e-distribution (some epubs do not push their titles to Kindle, Nook, etc. timely...if at all)
3. you have zero control over pricing (some epubs price their titles too high, thereby turning off potential readers)
Gwenyffer
Posted: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 1:28 PM
Joined: 3/16/2011
Posts: 27


Thanks Marie and Nadia for sharing your thoughts!

I really, did, for the record, ask around and talk to authors about their experiences and I know that I am an oddball in this situation as everyone I spoke to previously and have spoken with since is still very much in favor of their publisher and adore their editor. I recognize that my personal experience is an anomoly.

Nonetheless, it's my experience, it's what builds the bias and caution I now have. So the curious question to those who are happy with their epublisher(s) is why? For Marie, writing M/M, I can see epublishing as an excellent choice - and to not have to do editing and cover art personally is a huge bonus...

I think maybe looking at your responses, a refined question:- what makes one epublisher better than another? Are there intangibles involved? Or is it really a basic pro/con decision using a lot of the points Nadia makes?
MarieDees
Posted: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 2:14 PM
Joined: 3/11/2011
Posts: 157


With epublishing or small press publishing, you have to become a very well informed author. I look at various aspects of a publisher -- from cover art (easy to figure out, look at their site), to where they distribute and who they publish. And even what support they offer to authors in a "behind the scenes" sort of way. Then I work to find the publisher who I feel is the best choice for each book. (And hope they agree.)

With erotica, I also keep track of who seems to be doing well as far as books attracting attention and sales and what that publisher might be looking for next. I just place a new novella with Liquid Silver Books that was a bit too dark for another publisher I have work out with. So, now I have to consider where the next book goes. Both are good publishers, but it does help to have more titles with a publisher, especially if they fit in the same subgenre.

But at this point, the dark, snarky demon novellas will be offered to LSB first. Cobblestone, who I dearly love because they do fantastic cover art, may get first shot at some of the softer fantasy work. Oh, and more non-erotic mystery titles may be coming from Mundania in the future. I have 2 unfinished mysteries that I really do want to finish.

But also, keep in mind that not every experience authors have with traditional publishing is always a good one. This is a business and we have to be educated on what we can expect and also what might be demanded of us.
NadiaLee
Posted: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 6:02 PM
Joined: 3/14/2011
Posts: 4


@Gwen,

Unless you know the author well, she's unlikely to be open about all the issues she's had. A lot of dissatisfied authors do not speak out because it's not worth it or they don't want to have any drama with their publisher, etc.

Also what's important to her may not be important to you, vice versa. So just asking some vague questions like, "Are you happy there?" is not going to give you what you need to make informed decisions about your writing career.

There are a few publishers I will not sub anything to because they do things that make me very uncomfortable. But there are writers who are very happy writing for them.

So again, it really depends on what you want / need from your publisher.
MarieDees
Posted: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 6:17 PM
Joined: 3/11/2011
Posts: 157


Most the authors I know who work with Wild Rose Press do seem to be very happy with them. I really haven't heard anything negative. Since they don't handle M/M, I haven't researched them closely. But I don't want anyone casually reading this to feel there is a problem with the publisher.

Now that said -- if there is a specific issue you feel you have, you might want to bring it up with the publisher and see if they can address it. Sometimes problems are easily solved. If you really feel uncomfortable with an editor or truly hate the cover art, most publishers will try to work things out. If it's a matter of sales and marketing, they may be able to suggest someone in the house who's doing very well who might have some advice.

And sometimes the truth is that being published just isn't the fairy tale we expect it to be. I no longer have free time and constantly feel like I'm behind on something or have forgotten to do something. Was I supposed to write a guest blog? Did I promise to review something? Wait, did I send it the right forms for the cover art? It's just constant worries
Paul Guthrie
Posted: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 6:21 PM
Joined: 4/26/2011
Posts: 3


I'm a new user on the site, so I'm not familiar with many discussion threads yet, but I do have some comments on this one.

I finished my first novel in 2007. "Finished" in the sense that it was the seventh draft and had been thoroughly critiqued by a pretty good writing group. I flogged it to agents for two years with no success. It crosses genre's, for one thing.

I came across Joe Konrath's blog about independent publishing in e-book form, and shortly thereafter discovered Smashwords. I found a cover artist through Goodreads and got a pretty good cover for $100. Smashwords distributes to all the e-book sellers except Amazon, but you can publish directly through the Kindle store. So at this point I have a book available in all known e-book formats, available through all of the standard retail outlets.

The problem with this is the lack of a good marketing channel. How do you get noticed? I have gotten a few very laudatory reviews, and they are posted, but they don't generate much traffic. I still think reviews are probably the right way to go, but they need to be by someone who has a following.

It is also possible to sell directly on Goodreads and buy inexpensive advertising on that site. The jury is still out on that experiment.

This part of the publishing world is still changing on a daily basis, so I have no idea if this will eventually turn out to be a good choice, but it has gotten my book more exposure than it was getting through the agency route.

I look forward to hearing about other authors' experiences

MarieDees
Posted: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 6:48 PM
Joined: 3/11/2011
Posts: 157


Hi Paul,

I think you might find some answers to your questions on the self-publishing site. But what you're experiencing is one reason why I'm working with established small publishers who handle ebooks rather than trying to handle it myself. The publishers, at least the good ones, have contact with genre oriented review sites, magazines, conventions, etc. So that helps.

For romance, I do book giveaways through various sites, work with Coffee Time Romance and other sites, work on blog hops and guest blogs with fellow authors. Every little bit helps.
Gwenyffer
Posted: Monday, May 2, 2011 7:09 PM
Joined: 3/16/2011
Posts: 27


Life got in the way of me continuing this but just wanted to say thanks to everyone for their well-thought responses. Much appreciated!

(also, agreed Wild Rose Press is a wonderful publisher. Perhaps not the best fit for me, but a great group of people nonetheless!)

Sinnie Ellis
Posted: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 11:06 AM
Joined: 4/3/2011
Posts: 67


I self published an e-book that is now reaching print. It does take years and you end up paying for for some services like editing and cover art (I did my own for my first novel.) Publishing the first one on my own has taught me that you can do it and reap some benefits and learn from mistakes.
Through my advertising my first book, I have found the graphic artist for my second novel cover art and he is a professional digital artist doing the work for free. I also found my editor through a friend who is excited about my work and isn't taking me to the cleaners for edit jobs since I have nine novels I want to put out in the next 18 months.
After paying fees for a few things I am still making more money than I would through normal channels, yes I have to do all the advertising myself but it can be fun.
AJ Ash
Posted: Sunday, May 22, 2011 1:02 AM
Joined: 5/1/2011
Posts: 2


I'm both an author and an editor for an epublisher, and this thread has been very informative to both ventures in my life, so thank you all!

As an author, I used to have definite qualms about self-epublishing, for the reasons already given: no professional editing, marketing, or cover art, unless you pay for it. I've seen so many good writers, even successful ones, put things out digitally that could really benefit from editing. But if you can find these things elsewhere, I think self-epubbing on Amazon is perfectly respectable. It's just a new way to get your work out to the public, which is the whole point, right? It's been a long road for me to get to this point, but I'm now considering doing it myself.

As an editor for an epublishing company, I obviously support it, because it offers the best of traditional and digital publishing in one: editing, marketing, cover art from pros, but also quick publishing turnaround, increased author control over the work, larger royalties, etc. As with all new trends, there are a lot of scammers out there, but overall, I think it's a great way to go, as long as you do the same kind of research you should always do when entering into a contract with anybody. But I am slightly biased. :>
Sturgis Holt
Posted: Saturday, May 28, 2011 3:42 AM
Joined: 4/27/2011
Posts: 1


To me, any publishing must include editing and distribution. Without both, it becomes so-called self-publishing. A good editor is a pearl beyond price. No one knows quite what digital distribution includes beyond the social media and personal mailing lists. It does not include book tours. One can hope to "go viral," a very long shot. yet it seems clear that ebooks loom in the immediate future. My editor is fine, my first ebook a couple of weeks from its release date, my contract allows for regular publishing should that become possible. Win or lose, it's been an enjoyable ride. . .
MarieDees
Posted: Saturday, May 28, 2011 1:04 PM
Joined: 3/11/2011
Posts: 157


"No one knows quite what digital distribution includes beyond the social media and personal mailing lists."

I think various aspects of "distribution" are being developed as ebooks develop. But with my publisher, distribution includes making the books available on the major sites like Amazon and listings and sales on genre specific sites like Coffee Time Romance as well as submitting the books for reviews with various review sites (so I don't have to run around finding "blogs" that will review books.) I don't really think of book tours as distribution. They are more marketing. But I've been at major and minor conferences and next weekend will be a guest author at the Gay Days Literary Festival in Orlando. Those go well beyond social media and personal mailing lists.
Chumplet
Posted: Friday, September 2, 2011 12:12 AM
Only seventeen rejections and you went for self-publishing? Gosh, I have over 100 rejections on my last novel despite glowing comments from agents.

My first three novels were with epublishers. Two are still in circulation, and one is selling steadily but not in great numbers.

I think one has to approach epublishing differently than traditional. An author has to really get out there on forums, chats, loops, blogs, Twitter, Facebook and such. It works great for some, but not for others.

Traditional publishers seem to offer a greater safety net of support. Authors still have to put themselves out there, but they probably don't feel like they're hanging in mid-air, waving, "Look at me!"

I've gone the epub route and I'm satisfied with the limited opportunities the publishers offered. However, I'm ready for the next level.
A.R. Price
Posted: Thursday, February 13, 2014 12:37 PM
Joined: 2/12/2014
Posts: 4


I e-published my first book The Apothecary Murders with Create Space and released it on kindle and amazon.com. I was very impressed with the ease of the software. After a year of trying to get a agent to even take a look at it with none even giving me anything but a no i decided to go this rout. I have just uploaded the manuscript for peer review and would be thrilled if anyone wanted to check it out and leave me some feed back. I'm really hope that being on Book Country might help me find an agent or publisher willing to give my work a chance. As of right now I'm almost finished with the rough draft for the sequel to the Apothecary Murders and have a rough outline for the 3rd and final novel in the series.
LizCrowe
Posted: Thursday, March 5, 2015 12:36 PM
Joined: 2/14/2015
Posts: 16


I have been published since 2010, published with first 5, now 3 small publishers including Ellora's Cave (for 1 book, and my experience there lead me to believe I should probably not submit there again so I haven't.) I just self published a series (The Love Brothers) in ebook AND print (via KDP and CreateSpace.  My problem is I am first and foremost a Marketing professional and know for a hard fact that all the "ads via email," And "virtual book tours," and "likes," and "blog posts," in the universe don't mean much unless they are supported by Hard Sales Numbers. Watching mine is an exercise in schizophrenia but also many days depressing. There are so many other authors doing the same thing I'm doing, and can write better "formula" (my "romance" always breaks the "rules" and inevitably pisses 5 people off even as it gains me 3 new fans) and are better at sucking up to bloggers or whatever than I am it is disheartening at times to do more than just "write the dang book."

 

But I'm happy to share the good experiences I've had with a tiny publisher that "hybrid" publishes some of my better selling books if anyone wants to ask

Liz

 


 

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