So you're frustrated by the endless complications of trying to break into publishing. Or you've decided all that stuff with agents and big New York companies is a big waste of time. Or you want to start now, and you don't mind starting small and working your way up.
Should you consider e-publishing? The unfortunate answer is the same as everything else in publishing: it depends.
You won't be able to hold your book in your hands (unless your e-publisher, like many of the good ones these days, also offers a print option). You won't see tens of thousands of sales. You won't be interviewed on Oprah.
Despite these disadvantages, there are a lot of pluses to e-publishing. You will have readers. You will have the satisfaction and the feeling of having done something great that comes with being published (yes, really - ebooks count as being published!). You will make a little money. You could even make decent money, if you exercise diligence and research the publishers you're submitting to, and take being e-published seriously.
E-publishing is a lot of fun, and surprisingly satisfying. I'm going to expound on this subject more in the coming weeks - I'll offer tips on choosing and submitting to publishers, promoting your e-books, building an audience, and making the most of the e-publishing experience.
For today, I'll leave you with an interview about e-publishing I was able to get with the blogosphere's beloved Miss Snark before she retired. The Snark, she is wise and knowing. And succinct. :-)
Miss Snark on E-Books
1. In your opinion, are there any legitimate e-book publishers? If so, what makes them legitimate?
MS: Sure. There are some very reputable one. What makes them legit is the same thing that makes any other publisher legit: they pay the author; they don't expect the author to be the sole engine for sales; books are available to libraries and to the general public through regular sources.
2. If an author with strong e-book sales through a legitimate e-publisher queries you, does this lend any weight to the query?
MS: "Strong ebook sales" is an oxymoron. What constitutes big congrats in the field of ebooks is negligible in print sales. What would work is what happened with Ron McClarty's audio-first book. If something is an ebook and it gets a lot of buzz, I'd probably take a look. The trouble is however that what makes an ebook "good" isn't necc. what makes a print book "good".
3. Have any of the authors you have represented been successful with an e-book, or an e-book version of a traditionally published book?
4. Do you believe e-books have a place in the future of the publishing industry (as part of the industry as a whole, rather than a replacement for print books)?
5. May I attribute your responses to you in my materials?
MS: Sure. But you have to say it very snarkily when you do.
MS: You're welcome.