Friday, July 20, 2012

On e-Book Publishing approached me through an internet email and offered me some free pamphlets explaining publishing my manuscript as an e-book using their services. This is interesting to me and I've read through several testimonials online touting the joys of self-publishing over the Internet by making your book into an e-book. The first boon to self publishing is that you can immediately build your client base, your audience, by sending out your manuscripts directly to the public. There is no longer any need to hope that some agent/editor team can combine their capabilities and approach a publishing house in the brick and mortar world willing to take the chance and produce your book. Now, this entire mechanism can be steered cleared of and your book can be brought directly to the public. But you will have to do some work.

Such as marketing. But unfortunately, book publishers don't really market your stories well if you are a new writer. They would much rather save their monies to market their more established writers. There is a disconnect when it comes to new writers and old publishers. They leave marketing entirely up to you now. And so, since they are not much help in the brick and mortar world, you'll have to learn to market yourself anyway. also helps you market your book. From my overview of the paperwork that I have gone over, I have learned that also has another website called, who can create a professional website for you and your new publication for marketing purposes. Blogging and web pages are the first line of defense that a writer has to get his work out to the public. It's not an end all to be all, but it does start the ball rolling, and does a real professional job when it comes to making a quality website.

All this aside, I download's brochure E-book Publishing The How-to Guide for Writers. My plan is to just take it slow and go over what this new publishing model has to offer writers. Almost immediately the brochure brings out that e-book sales are exploding over the past few years, because of the rapid adoption of e-book readers. Kindles, I-pads, Nooks, Android Tablets have all made it possible to download, store and read ones books quickly and painlessly in the privacy of your own home. Their convenience makes them easy to carry anywhere and their capacity allows you to store scores of books and magazines, keeping them at your fingertips.

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 3 to 4 weeks to see your e-book on, 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 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 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.


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