Sunday, March 27, 2011

Why E-Books?

A Lady's Choice was my first self-pubbed ebook, and I'm lowering the price in April to celebrate my birthday. This cover isn't what is online at this writing (things have to be approved first), but soon will be. It's softer and appropriate for the state of Washington, where I grew up.

The background is from beach sand on one of my canvases, and the blooms are really Barlett Pear from my front yard. I graphically tinted the background, and will probably do that with other category.

With the onset of epublishing now, an industry turnover, we're all rethinking publishing now. We're thinking how we are going to buy our books. How does this new thing work?

J.A. Konrath and Barry Eisler have a lengthy conversation on this, both coming from different places in publishing, but deciding on the same road.

Publishers were not buying Konrath, and he decided to try self-pub. By the end of the year, he expects millionaire ratings on his self-pubbed sci-fis. Since he started, he now has a top agent and a movie query. But he's worked hard at this since 2005 (I think that was the date).

Eisler has his stripes in traditional or "legacy" publishing. (Legacy is a new word for this, I understand. I guess there's a reason :)) A mystery writer, he's leaping into self publishing with a short story that netted 20k, sold at 2.99/pop.

Different paths for these two hit writers. Same end. One thing they both stress is Cover Quality, and rates run from 300-600$ according to some. If you have time to ingest this whole dialogue, do. Tremendous information there for writers considering this, and readers who want to know why writers are turning to this format, and what's happening to the paper books they love?

It comes down to dollars. These two writers can make more by going out on their own, than having the publishers and others take their cut.

On the other hand there's Amanda Hocking with Switched (Trylle Trilogy, Book 1)
She couldn't get published traditionally-legacy, either, got disgusted and dove into self-publishing. She made 2 mil, made history as a 26-year old who had self-published for 10 months and now she's got a major deal with St. Martins, a traditional, very established "house".

And now there's more news from one of Romance's Biggies, Connie Brockway... Totally expected. We're already seeing romance writers considering options, like Julianne MacLean who is a favorite historical romance writer. She self-pubbed her dream book, something publishers did not buy, and it's flying on the downloads. (She probably doesn't know that I have a MacLean Trilogy. :))

I was just in my favorite bookstore, waiting for another Addison-Allen new one, and it was hardback, priced at $25. I don't know who can afford hardback prices any more, but good luck to them. I have never liked hard back. I like the feel of trade and paperback. I'll either get her trade, or download her e-book. (Probably wait for trade, if I can.)

Trade, paperback and downloaded books are all way cheaper than hardback. In these times, on-the-cheap is a priority. But understand that contracts mean business, and that is, if the contract states hardback, that's what the author gets. I'm certain there is manueverability between publishers and authors. Or I hope so.

And the best selling lists are changing. How we do business is changing. (I just added Arusha's picture in here, because I'm remembering her today. A silver Yorkie, she passed at 14.)

That's the scoop today. It's like a race now: authors with reverted backlists, such as myself are working furiously to get them up into e-pub. Not that easy, btw.

Despite the ease of e-readers, there is also a big financial whammy for authors and readers that has to be considered....


Janet Kay Gallagher said...

Love the pear blossom book cover.
Also the roses one further down the page.
You have done a great job. I had to check on B&N to see if they had a free NOOK APP. for info I needed.
I now have a free Nook for PC,Kindle for PC, and Kobo for PC.
I noted that you have your books on all of them. You have done a fantastic leap ahead for your books. But I especially wanted to thank you for sharing your learning curve with us.
I didn't know about the brighter cover needed for e-format, either.
IDEA: You may already be doing this: Carry your e-reader with you to booksignings,group lunches, etc. That way you can show your customers and friends how easy it is to get the Free Apps. and purchase your books. B&N also had Free apps for i-pod and iphone, Android, i-pad . I haven't gone back to check out, Amazon and Borders for other free apps.
Some people think e-books is beyond them if they can't purchase an e-reader. This way it is not out of their reach. But they need to be told these free apps are available.
Beth Carter had a book signing at Borders last year. She had a video going in the background that showed her product and info about the people involved.
I HOPE YOU CAN ATTEND THE CHERRY BLOSSOM FETIVAL Book Sales and Signing in Marshfield, MO April 29,30 2011. Think I sent e-mail on it. It is on the loop.

Cait said...

Hi, Janet. It's just that the e-cover has to have impact. I'm learning more each time. I hope you clicked the Read More, which had more info.

Some of my books up on quite a few sites are there because Avon and Silhouette are selling them. My own indy-published ones mix in just about everywhere. It looks like HarperCollins/Avon has withdrawn my Kindles and placed them on their site.

I'd love to visit the festival, but I have never hand-sold. Publishers and booksellers have always arranged that.

But now, with many others like Connie Brockway, etc., I'm very busy learning a different route, and have new stuff to work with, too. It is interesting how the tides have turned.

There's a lot of good material in those posts I've listed.

You're doing a good job promoting, Janet.