1. Wader Go
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    Wader Go Member

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    Your thoughts on ePublishing

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Wader Go, Jan 24, 2007.

    As I am currently embroiled in the epic struggle to find an agent (made exceptionally hard by the limited number of agents in Australia) I have begun to consider my options for getting my book published. One possibility that I have always been wary of is the eBook format.

    From all the research I’ve done, there’s nothing really wrong with being published as an eBook, and it’s theoretically far easier to do, with a larger profit-per-book coming to the author (approximately 4 times as much money per sale, based on the sites I’ve looked at)

    Perhaps the biggest problem I have is the idea of piracy of my work, as an electronic format is incredibly easy to replicate. Still, the ePublishing business is thriving, so surely piracy can’t be a huge issue.

    Above all, if I had an eBook published, and it was successful, would that impress publishers enough to want to look at my future works, or would they disregard it purely because of the format?

    Your thoughts on the matter?
     
  2. powertodream
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    powertodream Member

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    The biggest problem I see with it is that you have to be your own editor/agent/publicist. Not that many people can afford the time it takes to promote their book, and consequently, not many copies of it are sold. There's no editor to go over it with a fine-toothed comb to find your logical inconsistencies as well as plain old grammar screw-ups.

    There have been people that have done it very well and have gone on to success and have been picked up by traditional publishers, but they tend to be people who have lots of money and time to travel around and promote their book
     
  3. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Wader Go,

    There are many publishers out there that specialize in ebooks. Some are far better than others. It depends on your writing goals.

    With many of the big houses and agents, publishing an ebook doesn't really make a difference with them...unless it really sold well.

    With ebooks, your target reader is a bit different. A number of smaller presses (and the larger ones too) offer print formats as well as ebook.

    I cannot speak for the situation in Australia, so I do not know about publishers there. Epublishers, the distance from the UK, United States, or where ever is of less consequence. Being an author in Australia should not stop you from seeking publishers outside of the country.

    Just an opinion.

    Terry
     
  4. Wader Go
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    Wader Go Member

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    Thanks.

    Publishing outside of Australia is another option I've been considering.

    Hopefully my book will be picked up by one of the few agents I've been able to contact, but if not, it's good to have my priorities sorted out in advance.
     
  5. Onoria Westhrop
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    Onoria Westhrop Contributing Member

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    I was recently flamed for saying that publishing your book on-line in blog format or similar was an unwise move, but I stand by my guns on this. Once your work is in the public domain, its value is all but zero. Ultimately, it's a question of personal goals; is an e-book what you set out to write?
    I've read one e-book in my entire life, compared to at least 3000 'treeware' books. That book was a dodgy download of the last Harry Potter, and I bought copies in three languages later, so I don't feel like I did JKR any harm by having a read on my palm top.

    I don't want to be published; I want to write a NewYork Times bestseller. I think you should do some networking on the site and see if you can't persuade someone to send off your query from their address to agents in their country for you. This would give you a chance to get an agent in lots of different countries. It's tough because not everyone on the site is all that bothered about helping anyone else out - I suppose writers tend to be ego-maniacs by nature. Anyone who thinks that 200,000 words of their thoughts are exactly what the general public wants to hear, has to be a bit that way.
    There are American agencies that accept on-line submissions and queries. I'd hate to go the e-publishing route always thinking that I should have held out one more year looking for an agent. And I'm in Japan...
     
  6. Rueso
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    Rueso Member

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    There are no fee lunches, there's always a catch and other popular phrases come to mind here.

    If it's easy to publish, it's probably hard to sell. If you're making 4 times as much money per sale, you're more than likely not selling as many. If all of the already successful authors out there could quadruple their profits by publishing an e-book, I'm sure they would. If you could make it big in e-publishing, you could have probably done the same through a traditional publishing house.

    Ultimately, it's up to you, but I think it's just a means to bypass an editor's rejection pile, which isn't always a good thing. Even after many rejections, I still have good faith in all of the Mr. Ebenezer Editor Scrooge's out there. I've written a lot of crap and they've read even more of it.

    As far as I'm concerned, If I can get by them...
     
  7. Wader Go
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    Wader Go Member

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    Yeah, I've posted this topic on some other sites, and people's opinion on this is pretty much universal.

    I'll leave ePublishing as an absolute last resort.

    *sighs*

    Long road ahead.
     
  8. WhispWillow
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    WhispWillow Contributing Member

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    Have you tried the writers and artists yearbook 2007?
     
  9. Axis
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    Axis Member

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    I think ePublishing has a bad rep, because so many poeple consider it the same as vanity press. I suppose in some cases it is.

    My problem with it is marketing. Reading is still a physical exercise for most people. I certainly like to buy my books by going down to A&R and picking it up, literally. I like to read by holding the book, and turning the pages. As long as I continue to enjoy doing that, I can't see myself engaging in ebooks.

    Now I don't think I'm alone in that respect, and I think even a respected company like Random House, for example, would have trouble marketing an ebook into the best seller lists.
     
  10. onyxprop
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    onyxprop Member

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    Just curious to know if submitting full stories to writer's forums is as risky as using an ebook on a website? Would work have to be copyright first before posting? I'm not pointing my finger here, but i was told that most people surf these kinds of boards looking for ideas and stories to steal for their own. A lot of the posted material isn't copyrighted. i'm not sure if that goes for 'serious' novel extracts and poetry too?
    it costs me 50$ canadian to copyright a story for 50 years, but i have lots of stories with no publishers in sight and copyrighting every single idea would break me if the story i fixed wasn't in the public's interest. All i want is for someone to read my stuff and comment on it, and that is what these forums are for, but there's that risk... know what i mean?
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    Just curious to know if submitting full stories to writer's forums is as risky as using an ebook on a website?

    ...sure... but why would anyone with half a brain steal writing that isn't theirs, since they can't sell a book ms or a story, without being able to do whatever rewriting the editor asks for?... and who's gonna risk being caught?... besides which, to be brutally honest, how much work that's posted on sites like this is even marketable?...

    Would work have to be copyright first before posting?

    ...all you write is automatically copyrighted as soon as you finish it and put your name on it... all that's done afterwards is to 'register' the existing copyright either with loc or wga... and most seasoned writers don't usually bother with loc reg'n... all it adds is the ability to recover court costs IF a case goes to court and you win...

    I'm not pointing my finger here, but i was told that most people surf these kinds of boards looking for ideas and stories to steal for their own.

    ...if it were true, that would be silly to the max, for the reasons i gave above... and even if some did, i wouldn't give a plug nickel for their chances of selling any stolen stuff...

    A lot of the posted material isn't copyrighted. i'm not sure if that goes for 'serious' novel extracts and poetry too?

    ...see info on that above and here: www.copyright.gov and www.wga.org

    it costs me 50$ canadian to copyright a story for 50 years, but i have lots of stories with no publishers in sight and copyrighting every single idea would break me

    ...that's why seasoned writers don't bother...

    if the story i fixed wasn't in the public's interest.

    ...no idea what you meant there...

    All i want is for someone to read my stuff and comment on it, and that is what these forums are for, but there's that risk... know what i mean?

    ...no, not really... because i don't see that there's any real risk... the risk you do run is losing your ability to sell first rights, if you post an entire story/article online... and most publishers will only buy first rights...

    love and hugs, maia
     
  12. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Onyxprop,

    Mammamaia pretty much covered everything right on target from my perspective.

    Just a few additional notes:
    I'm not sure what you mean. Having your novel published as an e-book? I don't know what is risky about that, other than the already discussed advantages and disadvantages of e-publishing earlier in this string.

    Ideas are a dime a dozen (or even cheaper). Putting those ideas in a marketable novel form, now that's the trick. I've never heard even a hint that successful authors visit writing forums, trolling for story ideas.

    Join an online crit group that has a protected forum accessible only to members of that crit group. There are a number of groups out there, or start your own. If you post on such a protected site, instead of in an open forum, then you do not use up first electronic rights when you post it.

    Here's an article I wrote that may point you in the right direction with respect to crit groups, if that's what you're interested in: Five Considerations before Joining a Crit Group.

    Terry
     
  13. NHRonin
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    NHRonin New Member

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    Hello, I'm new here but I'd like to offer my perspective on what an e-book is and isn't based on my experience of having had one published.

    There are many e-book publishers who treat novels just like a traditional publisher. My novel was combed over by an editor who found spelling and grammar errors in addition to inconsistencies and other issues. We took a good six weeks to go back and forth through the novel making corrections.

    At that point, it was assigned to a proof reader who had additional notes. By this time, it had been reviewed by myself, the editor, the proof reader and the publisher.

    Also during that time, the publisher commissioned a cover based on my concept wthi an accomplished artist.

    To this point, the process was pretty close to what a traditional publisher would go through. Once we were all in agreement as to the cover and the novel's contents, it went into layout where the publisher broke it up into chapters as she saw fit.

    From there, it was converted from a Word document into a non-printable and none changeable PDF file and released by the publisher.

    Unfortunately, as has been pointed out earlier, there was very little publicity and it hasn't sold all that many copies. It has been reviewed by a couple of magazines and got excellent ratings by readers at fictionwise.com.

    That said, it's the only route outside of self-publishing I could have taken. I considered self-publishing but looking back, I am glad I didn't because of the level of editing, proof-reading and layout that I got from the e-book publisher.

    On the flip side, most people want nothing to do with e-books and the agreement with the publisher was to release it as a trade paperback; which they have yet to live up to seven months after it was supposed to happen. Luckily, I went through a pseudo-management company in NYC who are threatening legal action if they don't follow through.

    As for worrying about your work being stolen, I'd only be concerned if you published it chapter by chapter in a blog. The way I did it, my novel is registered with the Library of Congress and it has an e-book ISBN.

    If you have any other questions, feel free to ask. Good luck!
     
  14. onyxprop
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    onyxprop Member

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    NHRonin, that's why I decided NOT to publish my books myself. For one, I can't edit. I'm bad at grammar. I am a self-taught writer. Yes, amatuer. Imagine? Lol. I'll take my chances with a publisher house with all the fancy tools. :D

    Only ever copyrighted one story and now it looks like the title will be changing. Ahhh I've learnt my lesson.:(

    Hey, ya never know? It was just a little warning to others and it was just somehing that bothered me that's all.;)

    Thanks.
     
  15. NHRonin
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    NHRonin New Member

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    Not sure about Canadian rules, but it's really the content you're protecting during copyright, not the title. I believe I once read that you can't copyright a title.
     
  16. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you're right... titles, like ideas, can't be copyrighted... which is why so many books and movies share the same title...
     
  17. NHRonin
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    NHRonin New Member

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    Did I mention my next book is called "Star Wars?" :D
     
  18. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    now, there, you could be in deep doo-doo [;-)], since 'star wars' has probably been trade mark registered... not the same as copyrighted, but still leaves you at risk of being sued if you use it...
     
  19. NHRonin
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    NHRonin New Member

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    I was actually being facetious...but ironically today I saw a book that used the title "Star Wars" in the title and had to do with the paparazzi.
     
  20. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i knew you were, but thought i'd mention that, in case anyone took you seriously...

    re the peeper's book, i guess the term hasn't been trademarked, then...
     
  21. onyxprop
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    onyxprop Member

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    breathes a big sigh of relief and changes the stupid old title to something better.:rolleyes:

    Trademarking, however, is too damn expensive!
     
  22. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    not only expensive, but you also have to have peripheral marketing business/potential for your name/title/whatever, to obtain a trademark... the key is 'trade'... meaning that you're selling items with that mark, not just writing a story/book/screenplay about it...

    here's where you can get all the official skinny:

    www.uspto.gov
     
  23. El_Scubadiver
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    El_Scubadiver New Member

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    Hey Wader Go,

    I've just posted a new thread called 'Self-publishing as a serious alternative.' Check out my thoughts there.

    As someone mentioned earlier - I think it comes down to how much time you can devote to marketing the book after it's self-published (It's currently swallowing up my life!) Otherwise it will remain vanity publishing because you won't have sold any!

    Good luck to you regardless.

    Martin
     
  24. Daniel
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    Daniel I'm sure you've heard the rumors. Founder Staff Contributor

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    ^ True. However, I think that if you're going to "epublish" you might as well self-publish instead of/as well as.
     

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