Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Don't Be Afraid

Is it really Wednesday? The Written in the Stars conference is only two days away! *runs amok*

Last night, I printed up my pitch cards and practiced reading them SassieLass. Okay, I have to admit Sass wasn't too impressed. She blinked at me a few times, huffed, and went back to sleep in that dismissive doggy way...head on paws and all that. I take that as a "no, thank you, I'll pass". Oh, well. Maybe I'll have better luck at the pitch table on Saturday. I suppose we'll find out soon enough, right?

If you haven't heard the news yet, you absolutely must check out Avon Impulse. Avon Books is venturing into e-books and POD. I'm super excited about that! I can't stop ogling their shiny new submissions page. :P Before anyone asks...Yes, I will be submitting something to them. Absolutely, without a doubt. I love their paranormal romances! I think Avon Impulse is going to be an exciting new opportunity for writers.

Speaking of opportunities, I want to talk briefly about digital publishing, e-publishing, whatever you prefer to call it. I'm still hearing people talk about it like it's a scary thing. Like e-books are going to bring about the book world apocalypse, that fewer people will get "real" contracts for "real" books, and when the end comes, the remaining authors in the world will suddenly have no choice but to fall on each other like ravenous wolves to get the last three traditional print publishing slots. I sat through a couple rounds of that conversation just yesterday.

I don't think any of that is going to happen, so please, take a deep breath. Whew! On the other hand, I do think more companies are going to follow Avon Impulse into the e-book/POD market. Why?  Because it's sustainable. And it makes a lot more sense financially to produce e-books and order a POD run than printing a truckload of pure paperbacks, paying to warehouse them, then ship them out to various stores where they'll sell only a portion of them. Even worse, the remainders are then stripped of their covers and destroyed.

E-books, of course, are completely electronic. There is nothing to ship or strip. POD (print on demand) trades are not stripped of their covers. That alone saves a tremendous amount of money. As far as print books go, as more companies embrace "green technology" and the cost of doing business continues to rise, I believe you'll see more publishers embracing POD books. I think it's going to the wave of the future, but it's nothing to be afraid of. Again, it boils down to more opportunities for writers.

For a great many people, e-books still seem new. I've come across a lot of people who are mystified, even afraid of this "new e-book thing", and they're often amazed when I tell them that e-books have been around for at least a decade. Ellora's Cave is celebrating it's 10th year in business.  And there are others.

Once I've established in a conversation that e-books aren't really all that new, I usually get questions about e-publishing like it's some mysterious cult few would dare wade into. Rest assured, no one in e-publishing has ever asked me to drink the purple kool-aid. :*) In fact, I think it's a great way for first time authors to become acclimated to the ways of the publishing world.

Earlier this year, I covered the topic of e-publishing while on an author bootcamp panel. I gave away a bare bones worksheet about the basics of e-publishing, which is now available for free on scribd. It's by no means a be-all, end-all guide on the topic, but if you're curious about e-publishing, or even afraid of it,  this little worksheet is a good place to start.

That's all for now. I have dogs scrapping by my feet, and a little boy doing a "look at me!" attention dance to my right. He's about to get the stuffins tickled out of him, but he doesn't realize it yet. ^_^ I'm off to do mommy duty. Happy Wednesday, everyone!


  1. Once again, Cora, great post.
    I'm fully vested in the e-book concept and also prefer to remain a fully independent author. The whole system fits perfect for me-a writer working a full-time job and writing under a pen name. ebooks and independent allow me to sell my books on Amazon and all the big name ebook sellers, reap a higher percentage of the price as royalties, and not be harrassed by those in business wanting me to constantly produce. I am not the most prolific writer bu ttry to make each novel the best I can.

    I think you are right that ebooks will not bring an apocalyptic end to the publishing industry, but certainly, the publishing industry will be forever changed by the ebook phenomenon.

  2. Thanks, Ellison. :*) I think some people get so wrapped up in the *idea* of NY publishing, or being NY published, that they really don't see the forest for the trees.

    I'm not at all saying it's bad to be NY published, or that I don't want to hold my own print book in my hands, because I do.

    BUT the point of the whole shebang is to get your product (book, e-book, novel, whatever) in front of as many interested people (readers) as possible. That is the goal of almost every writer, no matter what they write, how they package it, or how they sell it.

    I'm an equal opportunity book junkie. I like e-books and print. If it's a book I really want to read, I don't care about the format. I go wherever I have to in order to Read.That.Book.

    I'm very interested in the growing POD/e-book market, and I'm constantly looking for new articles on how publishers and bookstores plan to deal with and/or implement these changes. It's like watching a whole new landscape unfold right before our eyes.

  3. ((hugs)) Have fun at conference. Woohoo!


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