Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Going the E-Publisher Route~Is It For You?

So, You have just typed "The End" on your manuscript. What do you do next?

If you are a person who needs to be in complete control of the process, you might want to consider self-publishing.

Personally speaking, I would rather hand that responsibility over to someone else. Or more specifically, a e-book publisher. Is that your decision? Good, read on~

First, you should do your homework. Find a handful of publishers that deal in the genre your story is in. Google them. Investigate all links. Are there bad reports such as late payments? Avoid like the plague. End of last year I received my rights back for two stories for this reason. This is the downside for dealing with E-Pubs. When I first submitted to this pub, there were glowing reports on-line. Their editing seemed solid. Communication was professional. How things can change on a dime. Investigating is important, but keep up to date on your pub. Believe me, you will know will things start to go south. Listen to your gut. Read my post on WHERE'S THERE IS SMOKE from last Sept.

Buy an ebook or two from the E-pub that has caught your attention. Is the writing and editing solid? The covers sleek and professional? Visit their website. Is it user and writer friendly? Getting a good gut reaction? Good! Submit!

Once you sign the contract, what happens next? Every E-publisher does things differently. Some give you cover art right away, some wait until a week before release date. Some give you a definite release date or month right away. Some do not. If you are expecting a quick turn-around for your e-book, those days are gone. Most e-pubs are quite a bit busier than they were say—two years ago. Hell, even one year ago.

Here's an example. I signed a contract in September 2012. Got the cover art in November. Here it is January and no edits and no release date. Am I freaking out? No. Frankly, I am not really bothered about it. I have no idea what goes on behind the scenes, how decisions are made on what book gets edits first or by whom. I no longer wring my hands over these matters. Maybe because I am coming up on my two year anniversary of my first e-book contract and I have experienced a lot in that time with 4 different E-pubs. Bottom line: Do not panic. If you have concerns, don't voice them on-line or in groups. Send an email to your publisher politely asking the status of your book.

Your book is published! YAY!  Now comes the promo. Again, all e-pubs are different on the level of promotion they do on your behalf. My experience? Prepare yourself to take on the lions share of this. It takes a while to find the right fit for you in this arena. What works for one author promo-wise, may not work for you.

Choosing the right pub to fit your book is very important. Example: My Christmas story at that other pub where I got the rights back? Sales were very meh. The exact same story was re-released at another pub this Christmas and did far better. So choosing the right pub is important. Sometimes, its a crap-shoot.

No e-publisher is perfect. It is run by humans, so expect errors and lapses in common sense at times. Keep your cool. A lesson I have learned. I'm human, too.

Remember when you hand over your manuscript, you are also handing over your trust. Stay involved. If you find an e-pub that treats you with respect and PAYS on time, nurture the relationship. I also recommend you not put your eggs in one basket. Spread out with multi-pubs. Also, while nurturing the relationship, also keep in the back of your mind your e-pub is not your family. It's a business. Do not get too cozy or complacent. Emotions have no place in the pub biz.


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