To e-book or not to e-book?

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lovelylj
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To e-book or not to e-book?

Post by lovelylj » December 8th, 2009, 12:29 pm

I've been going to book fairs and conventions and lately the same question seems to arise at every one.

Should self-published authors post their work on Kindle? (or any other e-book format)

Whenever another author is asked this question they say yes. (And by authors I mean author's who are signed with St. Martin's Press and Harper Collins) They say that it's a good idea because if you have great sales it would be a good selling point to the publishers that you are reaching out to. That it's a way of proving that your work is good by itself but it would be greater with a publisher's help.

Whenever I ask a editor there's this look on their face as if they're smelling rotten cheese and they say it's a horrible idea. And that publishers don't want anything that's already been out there. So if I post my science fiction novel or any of my short stories on Kindle does that mean that I've turned off half of the publishing market?

What is the right answer? Is there a right answer? Does it depend on the genre or the author? Is it a good idea only if it works?

help.


Right now I have a scifi novel that's self published (which sounds like the kiss of death) but I'm still trying to get a publisher and still trying to get a literary agent. I have two more books in this series the second one is finished and the third is being worked on now.

thanks,
Lauren
Lauren A. Johnson
http://www.laurenjohnson.me

rose
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Re: To e-book or not to e-book?

Post by rose » December 8th, 2009, 4:13 pm

Lovely, I think new sci-fi authors looking to build a reputation would do well to bring their series out in self-published ebook form first. You are ideally situated to reap the harvest for the large overlap of early technology adapters and sci-fi junkies.

In scanning the e-book distributions sites, I noticed many users now xchanging links to new ebooks and putting up review pages of the ones they have read. A significant portion of the links often lead to sci-fi novels.

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marilyn peake
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Re: To e-book or not to e-book?

Post by marilyn peake » December 8th, 2009, 4:18 pm

My own small press books are available in both paperback and eBook, including eBook for the Kindle and Nook. I'm delighted to have my books in eBook format. In seconds, people can download my eBooks, so I have a much better chance of making an immediate eBook sale than an immediate paperback sale. Years ago, it wasn't as advantageous to publish in eBook format because not until recently did many people read eBooks or even know what they were. So many people read eBooks today, that I can't imagine not being published in eBook format.
Marilyn Peake

Novels: THE FISHERMAN’S SON TRILOGY and GODS IN THE MACHINE. Numerous short stories. Contributor to BOOK: THE SEQUEL. Editor of several additional books. Awards include Silver Award, 2007 ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards.

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Re: To e-book or not to e-book?

Post by casnow » December 9th, 2009, 12:19 am

I'm not sure if it is the "kiss of death" or not, but... if you do it and it sales and you get picked up great. If you do it, don't tell your agent, pull it from Amazon/B&N/Smashwords as soon as you get an offer for representation, pull it from everywhere, wipe it off the face of the earth, then I would bet that most editors wouldn't ever have heard about it (i mean, you're likely to only have sold about 50-100 copies anyway, right?)

Just a thought, and probably a dirty one.

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Re: To e-book or not to e-book?

Post by JFBookman » December 9th, 2009, 1:30 pm

There's actually some evidence that having an ebook version can help sales of the print version, although all this is quite new since ebooks are only now gaining wide acceptance. A great resource on this is JA Konrath's blog, where he details his sales figures from both versions. Very informative. You can find his blog at http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/.
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Re: To e-book or not to e-book?

Post by rose » December 9th, 2009, 2:02 pm

I have to ask, JF, which came first, the Bookman or the career? <g>
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Re: To e-book or not to e-book?

Post by JFBookman » December 9th, 2009, 2:59 pm

rose wrote:I have to ask, JF, which came first, the Bookman or the career? <g>
LoL Rose, good question. The career came first, waaaaay before there was anything called a "user name." When I got my first broadband account maybe 8-9 years ago, I picked the name, had it ever since.
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lovelylj
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Re: To e-book or not to e-book?

Post by lovelylj » December 11th, 2009, 3:42 pm

I'm going to go ahead and post the e-book. Hopefully they'll be more publishers that don't mind than do. I was going to go and do it anyway but when I went to that panel of editors two or three of them seemed really harsh on the idea. While the other two didn't seem to mind.

If anything happens I'll come back to let you know.

Right now I have the second part of a scifi novel, I'm going to post to smashbooks today and the mystery novel I'll keep from posting to e-book until next month.
Lauren A. Johnson
http://www.laurenjohnson.me

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JFBookman
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Re: To e-book or not to e-book?

Post by JFBookman » December 11th, 2009, 3:59 pm

lovelylj wrote:I'm going to go ahead and post the e-book.
Why don't you post a link here, I know I'd love to look at it.
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Re: To e-book or not to e-book?

Post by rose » December 11th, 2009, 6:09 pm

Please, do, Lovely. Or do as Marilyn does, and turn it into your AV!
rose
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Re: To e-book or not to e-book?

Post by rose » December 11th, 2009, 6:55 pm

And, by the way, Mr. Bookman, did you know about this system? It came from one of Nathan's Friday links, and sounds like something you would enjoy using.

rose

B&T’s Blio system is raising the bar ... combining simple authoring tools with a delivery platform that enables enhanced editions. It won’t take long before many books, and, one would assume, all books that have large audiences will be available in something far more interesting than just a digital rendering of what appeared in print. It will create enormous new opportunities for many of the players, particularly authors, publishers, and the retailers without the scale to push their own devices. And it will put a lot of pressure on all the existing players to take their game up to the next level.

http://www.idealog.com/blog/baker-taylo ... oks-really
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lovelylj
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Re: To e-book or not to e-book?

Post by lovelylj » December 12th, 2009, 4:22 pm

I was reluctant because I didn't want to seem like I was just here to promote my dad's book and not help anyone else. But maybe others can learn from our mistakes.

Escape 2 Earth is the first novel and Return 2 Earth is the new one
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/7164

If you dare (the whole story, lol)
The situation with us is that my dad finished Escape 2 Earth in 2006, and theres a whole lot more information on the internet now then there was then when it comes to publishing (what to do and what not to do). We had it self-published/vanity press. So when we started to go to these conventions and meeting with editors and stuff like that to try to get the book published by traditional publishing we get this "Are you insane? Why did you vanity press?!" response. No one ever asked that, but I'm pretty sure they were close to asking that.

We're still trying because we get good feedback on the story. We were debating on if we should hold the second book until we get a publisher or if we should e-book it. But we finally e-booked it and that's the link above. He's working on the third book Earth 2 now and he has a mystery novel finished that we're sending out now. We've sent submissions to three publishers so far and during next week we're going to find more publishers and query more literary agents.

And as for me, I sent in some short stories to three magazines, I got one rejection, but one of the other two will think it's awesome (positive energy!). But I'll still send out to more magazines and e-zines. And keep a list of the ones that will be open to submissions later on.

http://lawrencejohnsonsr.com/r2eb.jpg
Lauren A. Johnson
http://www.laurenjohnson.me

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JFBookman
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Re: To e-book or not to e-book?

Post by JFBookman » December 13th, 2009, 9:45 pm

rose wrote:And, by the way, Mr. Bookman, did you know about this system? It came from one of Nathan's Friday links, and sounds like something you would enjoy using.
No, Rose, hadn't heard about that. I'm reading through the blog now, thanks for the thought!
Book design and production for publishers and self-publishers
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shadow
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Re: To e-book or not to e-book?

Post by shadow » December 14th, 2009, 4:27 pm

meh! I want to get vanity published and then e-book as well. If vanity publishing won't work I guess e-book is fine.. I didn't really read the question but I am in a hurry so that;s a good excuse, but then you would probably ask why in the world are you answering it? lols
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lovelylj
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Re: To e-book or not to e-book?

Post by lovelylj » January 27th, 2010, 9:09 am

A little more than a month ago I posted as to whether or not if it's a good idea to go e-book first...
I'm back and it doesn't seem like anyone cares:

a) because I keep reading articles about publishing companies not taking on as many new authors as they normally would because of their budgets
b) publishing companies aren't promoting the authors that they have because of their budgets

I haven't begun to approach lit agents or publishers with my series - It's a science fiction novella of short stories- The Visions of Koto-Ryin, even though I've had a few sales, it doesn't seem like anyone knows that the short stories are there (two of the five are out now). At first I thought it was a recession thing, but all of my short stories are .99 and then I read this article:
http://blog.smashwords.com/2009/12/smas ... hares.html.

How did she gain so much attention? Was it word of mouth? Or did she have good marketing, while she won't get rich off of those figures, lol, it's a whole lot better than what I'm doing now.

Any e-book promotion ideas?

Right now I'm on smashwords and amazon kindle. Smashwords is supposed to feed you into other e-book stores, but they're constalty fixing their system so most times your work doesn't go through.
Lauren A. Johnson
http://www.laurenjohnson.me

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