Why is Electronic Publishing the Next Generation
of Writers' Dream Come True?
By Sherry Vaughn
Many of us have already experienced that dreadful feeling of the stomach hitting your shoes, the heart stuck in the throat and the feeling of impending terminal nausea. This delightful combination of sensations is what hits you when you finally receive a letter from a publisher youve submitted your manuscript to. Then after youve opened it to find your baby (the one that cost you several months of pain and sleeplessness) has been rejected.
They tell us theres always a good reason for this, although they rarely tell us exactly what it is at the time. What Ive found is this (sound the trumpets!):
Todays new writer is crossing genres, risking new paths into fiction and generally writing more complex and realistic stories. The big guys dont like this! Theyre used to sales based on the old standards! Did it ever occur to them that this holding onto the old, tired one-dimensional stories might be the reason sales of hardcover books drop every year? No way! Tried is true right?
Nope! Theres a new kid on the block and hes opening doors to writers who offer the new breed of story; the electronic publisher has arrived!
I asked a pioneer and staunch supporter of e-publishing to comment on this new medium. Her name is Karen Weisner and she definitely knows what shes talking about!
Q: Karen, why do you think e-publishing is a dream come true for new writers?
Karen: No limits!!! Consider these realities, then thrill to the possibilities:
-No limits in story content.
Anything goes in e-publishing as long as it's well-written. The stripper/preacher story everyone told me I'd never sell. . . It's coming out June 1999 from Hard Shell Word Factory (titled FALLING STAR.) 'Nough said!
-No shelf-space limitations.
Traditional publishers have gotten themselves into a bit of a pickle. They've pushed best-selling authors to the point that bookstores stock practically only these "Top 10's" new titles and reissues. This has led to "shrinking" shelf space for midlist and brand new authors. Which means midlist and new authors don't get much opportunity to become bestsellers. Which means publishers don't make as much money off these authors. Which means they're buying less from
new and midlist authors. Does any of this apply to electronic publishing. Not even remotely!
Which means--you guessed it--no limits!
-No limit to how many books you could sell.
Electronic publishers don't go to all the trouble of getting a book ready to sell only to pull it off the shelf a month after release. If it's selling (and sometimes even if it's not), it'll be available. That means if your first or second book didn't make a big splash but your third one does, your fans can easily get your backlist. More money and more exposure for everyone involved!
-No limit to where else you can sell.
E-books will never replace paper books--God forbid! Why not allow both mediums work hand and hand for your career? I've never considered myself 'not really published' or 'getting my foot
in the door' with e-publishing. E-publishers and traditional publishers are both viable avenues for any author. E-publishers, however, are a lot more willing to let (in fact encourage) their authors to submit elsewhere too. E-published credits *are* legitimate and can definitely make an
impression. If your reviews are stellar and you're getting contracts left and right, any publishers with sense will want to snap up anything you send them. The cyber world--and the real world--are your oysters.
Below are a list of "legitimate" electronic publishers and other sites of
Hard Shell Word Factory: <http://www.hardshell.com>
DiskUs Publishing: <http://www.diskuspublishing.com>
New Concepts Publishing: <http://www.newconceptspublishing.com>
Dreams Unlimited: <http://www.dreams-unlimited.com>
Donaham Books: <http://www.domhanbooks.com>
Fiction Works: <http://www.fictionworks.com>
Petals of Life: <http://www.petalsoflife.com>
The Book Train: <http://www.booktrain.com>
Neighborhood Press: <http://members.aol.com/nppubs/>
Mountainview Publishing Company: <http://www.whidbey.com/mountainview/>
For more: <http://www.coredcs.com/~mermaid/epub.html>
Association of Electronic Publishers (AEP):
(A group founded by Electronic Publishers, dedicated to setting standards
for "royalty paying, non-subsidy electronic publishers.")
Electronically Published Internet Connection (EPIC):
(A "professional organization of published authors, established to provide a
strong voice for electronic publishing. . . EPIC exists to help
professional writers learn more about the best publishing opportunities on
the Internet, and to provide networking opportunities for exchange of
information about promotion and market growth.")
(Yes, this is my personal web site. Satisfy your mind if you doubt the
quality of e-books. Read one or two before you make a decision. Better
yet, read a variety. (Imagine if all romance novels were judged by THE
BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY!) I think you'll be as enthralled with this brave
new world as I am.)
About Karen Wiesner
Karen Wiesner always knew she wanted to be a writer. She wrote her first book --a romance-- when she was ten years old. By high school, she'd had numerous poems published and had her own "fan club" for her seven unpublished novels and short stories. In 1993, her husband agreed she should quit her job and pursue her writing in earnest. She joined Romance Writers of America (RWA) and became involved in her local branch of the Wisconsin Romance Writers of America (WisRWA.) She's also an active member of EPIC (Electronically Published Internet Connection.)
In the almost twenty years she's been writing, she's learned that "there's no other career with quite the same potential for rejection and the sense of personal failure ... as well as the potential for acceptance and the sense of personal achievement. Believe it or not, it's worth the years of toil and heartache once you realize your dream."
Karen lives in Wisconsin with the most amazing little boy in the world and a husband who supports her in every way imaginable.
Read another of her fantastic articles about electronic publishing at: http://www.eclectics.com/articles/ebooks2.htm