Ebook Revolution

E-book Opportunites For Newbies, Old-bies & Anyone Who Wants To Take A Crack At It. Part 2/2

Well I received an ear full yesterday. Funnily enough not about commissions or free production, but about TIME. Time, time, time, time, time. Several of you were scoffing into your coffee mugs, “Costs me nothing? Nothing my arse! All that time I put in, all the food I’ve eaten, all the toilet paper I have used! That’s not nothing! That’s a whole lot of extra work for (Insert profanity here).”

As a fantasy author (Mainly) I hate visiting the halls of reality, but in this case it needs to be done. How much time have you spent approaching publishers, agents and sending out submissions? Is this, not a whole lot of extra work for nothing? Please, show me this magic carpet of denial. Producing an e-book does take work but you would be revising, editing, rewriting and marketing as a first time author of a traditional publishing contract ANYWAY. But the contracted author would only get paid $1000 for it. That is not a lot of money. In terms of little profit, you get $2000 for selling 5000 copies of your print book. So though it is argued that making an e-book costs time (if not physical money), it would cost time no matter what route you took for little monetary return.

Truth be told, the author has already spent hundreds of hours of work developing their novel before they have checked to see if it has a market. Initially, you write it for you, and then you write it to help others, then you think to make money off it. That’s the creative process (Though writers would find that if they did this process in reverse it would be more profitable in the long run. Thinking what the market wants/needs FIRST and then giving it to them will see you more successful than most commercial authors). The author, once they are finished, is invested in the project and do not want to see it take an extended holiday on their computers hard drive. The author has already made a mammoth effort in writing the book, what is a week or two to do the production properly? If you aren’t willing to do this work, then you are not a writer and you do not want it badly enough. If you don’t put the effort in, why should anyone else put the effort in to read it?

You do not have to have it professionally edited. A manuscript can come a long way by having other writers’ workshop the piece or people good at grammar having a read through and edit. Just do not be the only one to read your novel before you publish it! You are too close to the piece; get honest people to give you honest feedback. Family and friends rarely count; they have to live with you after they give the feedback. They don’t want you staring daggers into their chest because they told you your main character was a sleaze. If you want your book to have a more polished feel, local writing centres offer editing for very low cost. Online communities like fanstory.com are also essential to an author if they wish to grow but don’t have the money to do so. If an author refuses to take the feedback offered and their sales suffer then that is their business, there are always people who are too precious about their work and in the long run, publishers will not work with those people anyway.

Is everyone good? No more tiny voices conducting a UFC match in our brains? Wonderful! Let’s move on.

E-books are convenient folks and everyone loves convenience, particularly America. Exercise? Overrated. Browsing without a search engine? A time waster. The appeal of purchasing and reading a book immediately rather than journeying to a busy shopping centre or having to wait weeks for an order, is becoming more apparent to online consumers every day, as shown by the number of searches for e-books on Google (Almost 2.5 million searches each month).

Are you not getting published because you don’t fit the normal formats?? An e-book is not restricted to a novel; it can be used to sell short stories, novellas, poetry, newspapers and magazines (Literary or otherwise). I have no doubt a new trend in the future will be ‘entertainment bites’, sections of prose, jokes or whatever takes your fancy to help reduce the friction burns caused by you commuting your dragging behind to work every day.

But by far the most beneficial point of publishing your work as an e-book is that these books never go out of print, AND they can be sold to people in every country in the world with an internet connection. The singular 3 month window of opportunity simply just doesn’t exist online. Online, money can still be earned long after that established bookstore deadline. A book can sell 24 hours a day for years to ten, a hundred or thousands of readers a year without being pulped. With such ‘low numbers’ (Worth thousands if you market it right) a publisher would not even consider accepting such a book for their list.

Aren’t you glad you found this blog?

TOMORROW: The opportunities for established and published authors, agents, marketers and publishers.

2 Responses

  1. Gosh, yes, I am glad I found this blog. Such exhortations, such inspiration! You have created a marvellous channel for the frustrations of the unpublished author. On the matter of costs, I did a costing exercise on my debut novel recently. Adding up lost employment opportunities to allow time for writing, and all the other bits and pieces, it amounts to thousands of pounds. If you have spent months, more likely years, producing your work, can you really begrudge the few weeks it will take to get it Kindle-ready?

  2. EmCraven says:

    Exactly right Fiona,

    And spending all that time (which as always equates to money) it is silly at the last step not to take the time to make it perfect. Authors need to support their book like a child, particularly if you want to reach the most people.


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