Discussion in 'Electronic Publishing' started by Haliburton, Jun 15, 2013.
Can anyone tell me what is the first step in getting my books available as E-books?
First get a publisher to publish the novel in print. Then an e-book becomes another avenue for sales.
Amazon has free e-book publishing service, check that out. There are several smaller competitors out there to be found with a Google search. They take a small royalty from sales.
I've been watching BookTV this afternoon, another panel of publishers. One member of the panel said self publishing led to a lot of crap out there (they way I see it there's a lot of crap put out by publishers as well). But another panelist, the CEO of Macmillan, disagreed. He praised the self publishing world, saying there were many successful examples.
Summarizing his comments (no guarantee I got it right), self publishing allows skilled writers a more democratic means to get books out there. This has advantages giving everyone equal opportunity. The drawback is the resulting flood of bad works in the mix. Of course he feels that his expert staff are better at filtering out the trash, but that didn't mean equal opportunity didn't have a different set of positives.
I'm not convinced those 'experts' always result in the best work getting published. How many of us have read a book by a "bestselling author", for example, that was awful? And I've seen some excellent stuff locally that still hasn't been picked up by a major publisher. I thought the CEO gave an honest thoughtful answer to the question.
Haliburton, you do have to decide first if you're going to go for a trade publisher or self-publish. Some of the indie-publishers focus on ebooks, versus print, so you don't want to overlook them among the trade publishers. If you're planning on self-publishing, the first thing to do is make sure that your book is ready for publishing - thorough editing, revising, quality book cover, etc. Then it's just a matter of formatting it so it can be uploaded and distributed for sale - Smashwords, Kindle, and Createspace are some of the more widely used places for this, and they have very detailed instructions.
GingerCoffee - while we can all point to trade published books that we don't like or don't feel are "up to snuff", I guarantee that the percentage of trade published "garbage" is much much much less than the percentage of self-published "garbage" - mainly because so many self-publishers finish their book one day and literally have it up for sale the next. Of course, this is talking about books that are badly edited and not whether or not we just don't care for them.
I don't disagree about proportions and I hope it didn't sound that way. But I've browsed more than a few used book stores, and can't resist those book bargain tents that pop up all over to sell publisher surpluses. There are thousands of horrid books to be found, all in print and mostly long before self publishing was as common as it is now. Then you read JK Rowling was turned down by 7 publishers or however many it was, and like I said, there are some good local writers in my area, and lots of people online like in this forum are pretty talented from what I read of their stuff. Lots of these folks have submitted stuff to publishers only to be rejected time and time again.
That was my point, not that publishers are never skilled at their trade. It's just that the publisher gatekeepers are sometimes in the way of a good book.
If you've decided you want to self publish, you can use Smashwords to get your book out in a number of venues. Right now that's what I use for my children's book. Frankly, I made more sales when I tried out the Kindle Select program via Amazon, but I decided I didn't necessarily want to be tied to one platform. Whether you use Smashwords or KDP (Amazon), you'll find step-by-step instructions on how to get your ebook published and make it available to readers.
Always bear in mind, when talking of any writer and how many times they were rejected, that they very likely made revisions during that period - revisions which may have gotten them picked up immediately had they been made before submitting the first time.
True - but they have to look at the likelihood of commercial success. The top selling authors can only 'support' so many newcomers before the business goes under, so publishers do have to make tough choices. And a lot of good books won't be commercial successes - they only appeal to a small audience, for example. And those are the ideal books for self-publishing.
The first rejection was because the publisher thought the book too long for a kid's book.
And according to HuffPo it was 12 rejections. A quick look through the 26 examples of reasons for rejections of famous works tells us there is some luck of the draw in the process, not simply a bad first version.
I think you have a good point, there are some small audience books that self publishing definitely opens the gate to. That's a whole different benefit of self publishing, same as with low cost e-publishing.
There are success stories from self published books as well as commercial failures from big publishers. I think it's great to submit your work to a publisher. And there are a lot of writers who just can't see the lack of quality in their own stuff. But I'm big on power to the little guy and I love the fact we can now get through the gate without the passkey.
I had a very frustrating time helping someone get their book published through Amazon. I heartily recommend doing a comparison between KDP and other small e-publishers. It depends a lot on what kind of book you are trying to put out there. The one I edited and formatted was a nonfiction piece, and I think that was what made the formatting issues harder. Feel free to message me for more thoughts on that. Good luck!
You are so hilariously funny. JK Rowland couldn't get a publisher and I have lots of stories about others. You must have been trying to be sarcastic which I wasn't asking for.
Which of the several posters in this thread is the "you" that you're responding to?
(Also, J. K. Rowling, if that's who you mean, obviously did get a publisher. The fat books on my shelf are not self-published. Yes, she had to put some work into getting her first book accepted. That's not so shocking.)
I've gotten lucky and had a small publisher do my first novel and I sold the rights to a collection of 10K word short stories last year. As a test I placed a 30K word novella on Amazon after I had paid for it to be edited and a simple, modern cover done. Sadly I sold more material on ebook as a self publisher than I did as print. While I urge everyone to first go through traditional and try their damndest to do so, you can always put it up on Amazon. Plenty of amazing books and many even in the WC were rejected dozens of times and said to be horribly written or otherwise "trash." The issue is these days publishers don't care about the words within the book. It's about how much money they'll make. It's kinda why a good fantasy novel has better chances of a big six looking at it than a well written YA novel about a teenager discovering their sexual identity while dealing with an external crisis. It's the facts of the business world we live in.
FWIW, I sell 800-3,000 books on Amazon a month at a sell price of 3.99, giving me about 3.10 per sale and there is some loss for delivery costs, but not much. I'm currently in the middle of outlining 2 novels and a non-fiction book. All of which will be submitted to a TP house before I decide to self-publish. Self publishing and traditional publishing aren't much different. You either make it or you don't. It isn't a get rich scheme and it certainly isn't easy.
When I was in HS I dreamed of publishing a book. It's been a while since I was in HS, and being where I'm at feels good. I'd be lying if I said I didn't want the third book to start selling like hotcakes and have a trad. publisher approach me to negotiate with a contract. 3.99 is a lot for a small book, and once I get going on Amazon should trad. sources disappoint, I think a 1.99 sell point would be appropriate.
One might want to bear in mind that it's the words within the book that kinda determine how much money they - and thus the author - will make. So yeah, they do care. And one really can't compare two different books, even by the same author, or take their experience with one publisher and broad-brush the entire industry. People have to make decisions based on their needs, desires, and what they have to offer. One size does not fit all.
Interesting, may I have a link to your book, please? (just out of curiosity, maybe I'll buy it if I like and I just wanna see what your writing looks like compared to mine). You're not allowed to post links on the forum, so could you PM me?
So, did you have to do a lot of advertisement for your book? I imagine that's a good thing for publishers, your work WILL sell some copies at least. Whilst self-publishers need to put in a lot more effort.
I see so many self-published books, maybe good, maybe not, with no ratings. Why? Because nobody knows about it.
This is often true. In my own case, I've had to do some creative work to get ratings. For me this has meant getting my book into the hands of people who like to read and review books. Since my book is available both in Kindle and CreateSpace formats, I was able to use the CreateSpace paperback version for targeted Goodreads giveaways. This has resulted in a lot of Goodreads reviews, a subset of which spill over to Amazon reviews, since a certain percentage of Goodreads reviewers also like to cross-post their reviews to Amazon.
Reviews alone do not translate directly into sales, nor do editorial reviews...I have a "Highly Recommended" from Midwest Book Review, five stars from a few others, and a very nice Kirkus Review. But I do believe that strong reviews (both editorial and reader-driven) are increasingly important in carving out the difference between the wheat and the chaff.
But even with strong reviews, you still have to market. Now that I've got the first batch of reviews under my belt, I'm starting the marketing phase.
Hi there. I am on the brink of doing so right now.
OP. You don't say if you already have books written, or published in paper, or anything about them.
Separate names with a comma.