Thursday, May 7, 2009

On The Nature of E-Pubs and E-Books

I am always asked the question of whether or not e-pubs are the wave of the future. Like most other things in the publishing world, this is something in the future and we have absolutely no way of predicting which way it will go. I do have to say, e-books are something that we have to consider today.
I have seen a lot of major publishers really utilizing the e-book format in ways that I love. These companies have certainly not given up on the traditional print format, and in many cases, have not reduced the size of the print runs for the books due to the e-book format. Instead, they have found a way to make the books work together to increase sales.
Tor books ran for a period of time a month of free online books. This was a great way to bring readers to the site and get them hooked on other authors from Tor. I loved this promotion. We all know that many book buyers love to get "free" stuff and if they are the type to go to the websites, then they are certainly going to be the type to buy more books.
Harlequin has also run the online reads. I love this format because it allows someone, who may not be familiar with a series, the chance to explore the line and see if it is something they are interested in. Harlequin also took it a step further by insring the characters and/or storyline to the online reads connected with another book by the same author. That book was posted right next to the read. They also gave the readers a chance to "blog" with the author while the post was up.
As for going entirely "e-book", I think that time is still a while away. Even though we are in a world with a lot of technology and computers, we are not to the point it is available to everyone. Along the same lines, although the technology is improving greatly, there are still big things that need to be done to make this transition easier. Software needs to be streamlined and certainly the readers need to be something that are a bit cheaper. I still think the $350+ range is still out there for a lot of people.
The E-Publishers are a different story. I see a lot of them really taking strides to produce better and better writing. I have to say, when they first started coming out, there were a lot of them just producing really poor quality writing. It was cheap to produce and needless to say, that was reflected in the quality of the writing. Now we are seeing changes.
I am sitting back and waiting to see where things go from here. We cannot ignore this new wave in publishing, but at the same time, I think it is still too early to see where it will really go.


  1. e-pubs? the downfall of the industry. Twenty years ago it was a sign of one's intellect to be spotted on the bus reading the lastest masterpeice. Today all you see are the young ones pushing buttons and peering down at a glowing screen. Too bad, I say but alas all things change.

  2. Apparently not all things...

    Come on, Anon, you need to cheer up. Change can be exhilarating.

  3. LOL Murphy!
    I like E publishers but I agree that the technology isn't there yet. It's dang expensive too!

  4. And what effect will this have on advances? For instance, a writer here sold a nonfiction book in 2007 for $200,000. It will be available in 2010. (Brave Girl Eating)That is a long time to wait for a print run, but not as long as many. But when any writer can print an Ebook for $99, in 24 hours, according to the ad, it would seem more and more publishers will go almost directly on line with new books. Why wait two years? Why go through the expensive hassle of a physical book, only to end up on a Kindle? It seems to me that this must happen, and the very low pay for most writers will also go way down with it. I suspect only the top bestseller authors will still be making a traditional advance.
    As for pitching, look on Nathan Bransford's site for his interesting take. He hates 'em too, and recommends that authors talk about anything but the proposed book. Too funny. I see that some conferences are now offering seminars to teach people "How to pitch. " Again, too funny to me. What does any of this have to do the g--d---ed writing! The Black Raven cannot resist a good croak over this one. Writing or show biz? They don't call it the human comedy for nothing. But, as usual, best of luck to everyone,. If it works for you, go forth and pitch. Anything is still better than sitting home and doing nothing about your writing.