Easy as A, B, C . . . from BB
Hi, Char—as a published author of multiple books, I know you have decided to go to e-publishing. What prompted this change?
Since my books had already been published in print, e-publishing was my only option. When I get a totally new book ready to publish, then I’ll have to decide whether to look for a print publisher (since my e-publisher doesn’t do print) or just stick with e-publishing. Frankly I’ll probably choose the latter because it’s so much easier.
What kinds of information and/or contacts did you need to accomplish this, and how did you find them?
It’s easy to find e-publishers. I did some research and published articles on several small publishing houses on my blog. Some were print-only publishers, others were self-publishers or e-publishers.
Self-publishers do your formatting for you and submit your book to Smash-words or Amazon for a fee.
E-publishers do the formatting and send the book to Smashwords, who is like a distributor and send the books on to Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Sony, and other e-book sellers. (They do not pay advances but do pay royalties, usually 35-40% of the price of the book.) E-publishers also provide the cover and do a certain amount of promotion.
I had already decided I didn’t like the idea of having to do the formatting myself. I’d heard enough about how difficult and time consuming it was. Then one of my closest friends and her husband decided to start their own e-publishing business, so there was no more question for me as to where to send my books.
Tirgearr Publishing is a great company, almost a year old now and doing great. They provide lots of moral support, encouragement and advice for promoting your books.
What was the easiest part of making this kind of transition?
The easiest part was having a friend start her own company and knowing I could trust her to be honest and fair—always.
What was the most difficult part?
The difficult part was finding out that I didn’t have my published books on disks. I had some of them on 3″ floppies in Word Perfect, which is no longer accepted by publishers. After borrowing a laptop from a friend, I downloaded a trial program of WordPerfect and began the process of converting my books into Word.
Then I discovered that I didn’t even have floppies for two of the books. These I had to send to a scanning company who scanned them for me and sent them back on CDs. Those two books were the most work because the scanners didn’t always transcribe the letters accurately, plus they often ignored paragraphing and chapter headings.
Of course, I had to learn a lot about the business of e-publishing too, and how to promote e-books.
What has been most rewarding about this transition?
I guess I’d say that the most rewarding aspect of this new venture is knowing I have books available again. I feel like a real writer once more.
What would you advise someone who has never published in the traditional way before setting out to e-publish?
Do a lot of thinking about what you want. If you decide you want to see your book in print, research traditional publishers and agents. Many publishers still refuse manuscripts that don’t come through an agent. But there are many more doors open to writers these days than there were ten years ago.
Small publishing houses are numerous and are now accepted and respected in the market. Any stigma still attached to going through a small house as opposed to a large, traditional house in New York is too small to worry about.
Should you choose to go the e-book route, then you have to decide if you have the knowledge, skills and time to do your own formatting and marketing. More research is needed here.
If e-publishing is your decision, then you still have to research publishing houses and decide where you want to send your book. These days, if I had never been published before, I would seriously consider e-publishing, something I wouldn’t have done in the past.
Will you continue to e-pub, even with your new novels?
I don’t know for sure what I will do when I have a new book to publish, but I suspect I will go the e-book route. You can’t get rich e-publishing, but very few make much money with traditional print publication either. E-publishing is much easier and there are hundreds of options promotion-wise. The Internet is loaded with sites that offer promotional opportunities.
What new project are you working on now?
Lately I’ve been so busy promoting my two e-books which are available that I haven’t done much writing, but when I do find time, I work on the first novel I ever wrote, Time Weaver.
Would you please give us the names of your books? Which, if any, are still available in hard copies?
All of my backlist are out of print and unavailable except from used book stores. E-bay and Amazon often have used and sometimes even new copies of my books. Currently, Amazon has all of my books that were published under my own name: Taming Jenna, Tender Touch, Forever Mine, and To Have and To Hold. The pricing is all over the place. A new copy of Tender Touch is $1.55, used ones are a penny and shipping. Forever Mine, on the other hand, is $9.99 new, and Taming Jenna is $19.51. Go figure. Most are only a penny for used copies, but Taming Jenna and Forever Mine are $3.00 used. Tender Touch and Forever Mine are available in e-format from Amazon, Smashwords and other e-book sellers. To Have and To Hold will be available the end of January 2013. My fifth book, The Scent of Roses, published under the pseudonym, Rachel Summers, will be e-published next under my real name, probably around April or May 2013, following a few months later by Taming Jenna.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I do have two other books that are complete but need more polishing which I hope to get published in the near future: Divine Gamble, a western historical romance, and A Kiss and A Dare, which is a contemporary fantasy set in Wales. This last book I will have e-published. I haven’t decided for sure about Divine Gamble. I would add that whether you publish traditionally in print or electronically, the key is and always will be promotion.
Thanks, Char. I know this informative interview will be of interest to people who want to explore publication possibilities, or who want to try the e-Pub route.
The Bensch Wensch
See you day-after-tomorrow for Sunday’s Snippets