The first quarter of 2008 there were little more than one million units of e-book sales. By the first Quarter of 2012, the estimated sales of e-books is expected to have a meteoric rise of 450 million units. To make the argument clear, e-books are quickly closing the gap between themselves and their hard-covered competition.
Further, authors are empowered by choosing to make their manuscript into an e-book. First, the author is in control. The author has complete creative control over their publication, as well as retaining all of their electronic rights. They can also dictate when and where their books are available for sale, something unheard of in the brick and mortar publishing world.
The next benefit is that there is a shorter time-line to publication. A brick an mortar publisher can take 12 to 15 months to get your book through the works and into the bookstores and marketplaces. It takes BookBaby.com 3 to 4 weeks to see your e-book on Amazon.com, The Amazon Kindle, The Applestore, The iPad, Barnes and Noble Nook, Reader and several other huge e-book distributors.
Special interests groups can now reach their niches with their specialized content whose audience would have been so small that the larger publishers would not see a significant return on their investment to publish it. With an e-book, even the tiniest niche can be reached as the scale of economy is greatly reduced and can still be very profitable for the author.
And last but not least, the financials. The old payment schedules are upside down in the e-book world. Instead of accepting a miniscule royalty with the brick and mortar publishers, e-book authors are seeing up to 70% of their sales receipts through some online retailers. And even when e-book authors drop their prices to the rock bottom costs of $2.99...$1.99...and even $0.99 they are still receiving much higher revenue totals because of increased unit sales.
But the BookBaby.com brochure goes further. In it it says: “So you've finished your book...congrats! What a huge accomplishment! You might think that each and every world is absolute perfection. But is it?
When authors work through traditional system, editing is one of the most important elements that publishers or agents being to the process. Just because you've chosen to go another route doesn't mean that the requirements for editing are no less strict. In fact it's even more vital for you to have a set- or sets - of other eyes on your prose because your writing reputation is on the line. No subject matter or genre is exempt from this requirement."
I realized immediately that I had to get my manuscript poured over by an accomplished editor and to have her give me back a professionally edited work of art that proudly displays my writing prowess. But how does one find an editor. The Brochure continues to float names of organizations across your eyes, such as the Writer's Digest Site or Media Bistro. Also user groups within the world of publishing, such as LinkEds and Writing. Publishing and Editing Professionals; Writing and Editing Professionals; and Freelance Editing Network.
The one source that caught my eye was the Editorial Freelancers Association Which has a search-able directory of its members online. I took this choice. The website is very professional. They break up their editors into small groups after your search of genre and group. I boiled my search down to four editors and quickly sent them emails expressing the need for the editing of my manuscript. After a period of time negotiating and going on a brief vacation for myself, I narrowed my choices down to JP. JP found herself presently overwhelmed with projects with deadlines and she was uncertain that she could take on my job. I assured her that I was not in a hurry and she could edit my work at her own pace. Why did I say this? I do want to get my book to BookBaby.com by the end of the year so I do have a bit of a deadline, but out of the four editors that I spoke with, only three asked for a few sample pages for editing.
And of these three, only two responded with their edited versions of my book. As one editor was pleased with my command of the English language, her changes were minor, tweaks here and there and comments about the characters and the storyline. On the other-hand, JP's editing tore right into my book, moving about sentences, altering my voice, changing the entire way things worked. My manuscript hemorrhaged red corrections which was a little disheartening at first, but then, later, I realized that I wanted the book to be the best that it could be and not just something that I threw up on a bookshelf. I wanted JP's fine tuned comb in the mix, and I wanted her bad. She had me wait several days after my vacation to let me know if she could take me on as a client and we agreed on a $40.00 an hour charge. Pretty steep, but I think it's worth it. When speaking to the other editors on my short list, their prices fared just the same. There was no price gouging here.
I sent her off my manuscript and a $400.00 check for her first ten hours.
Now I'm waiting to wade by feet in e-publishing. This is the most exciting thing to do in my life. As a fellow writer, I'll use this blog to keep you all posted. Will this be a smart move or a profitless one? What were the pitfalls, what were the successes? So far, I can tell you that it's only $400.00 out of my
porcelain piggy bank. We'll see what else transpires.