Sunday, February 7, 2010

I Heart Being Epubbed

I've been reading and watching the slow downslide of NY publishing like Nero watched Rome burn.  Or maybe that's a bad comparison.  But every time I grit my teeth and strike out to find an agent to represent my dark urban fantasy romance novels (there's 2 now), I come to a screeching halt and wonder... why?

What is there about being NY pubbed that I'm not getting with my epublisher?

Okay, so I don't get an advance on my books.  Look at how advances have diminished drastically for the NY authors.  They also get an abysmal percentage in royalties, compared to 35% for the average epubbed author for ebooks, and 7% for print.  And let's not forget NY authors have to pay their agents off the top first.

NY authors get little if no input on their covers.  Epubbed authors are allowed to fill out cover requests AND (or at least in my case) I get to "tweak" the cover once I receive it from the artist.

So what do NY authors get that I don't get now?  They're at Amazon, and so am I.  Fictionwise/OmniLit/ARe - check.  Inevitably it comes down to mass market distribution in brick and mortar stores, and that's about it, as far as I can tell.  Yes, but that mm distribution means a LOT when it comes to sales, I know.

So I guess the final question is it still worth "the dream" of being NY pubbed, considering the slow decline being felt by the Big Six in NY?

I would love to hear others' opinions.


Anne said...

With the way people buy books on line, and the gaining popularity of ereaders, I'd say being in a book store is not nearly as important as it once was. Especially for a new/unknown author whose work will be lost amongst all the others on the shelves. It seems to me an author has much more opportunity to be published and get known, with e-publishing and internet marketing.

Anonymous said...

You have some good points. I believe ebooks are the wave of the future. People I never thought would purchase an ebook now own Kindles. They no longer wish to read a hard copy. Me, I love books. I like holding the real thing in my hand, turning real pages. But I have no objection to ebooks. In fact, it saves a lot of trouble trying to find an agent. Someday agents and NY publishers are going to be obsolete.

Linda Mooney said...

I forgot to mention I also have print books, but I make the majority of my sales with ebooks.

Still, I also have the belief that hardbacks will inevitably go the way of 8 track tapes and vinyl. Very very few authors will make their way into HB.

Honoria Ravena said...

See there are things I love about being with e-pubs, but the distribution that print pubs have is a big deal. While e-books are on the rise, most people still buy good old paperbacks, and if I have a choice I buy them too. I like the feel of a book, and the smell. I like to turn the pages, and lay in my bed without this giant laptop slowly setting me on fire.

You also have to consider all the e-book piracy that's gone on lately. I pretty much think that is here to stay. No matter what the government thinks, they can't do much about it.

However, while New York publication is my goal, I don't think I'll ever give up e-pubs, and a lot of other authors wouldn't either. With e-pubs you get a wider variety of genres. I've rarely seen GBLT on shelves, or menage, or hard core BDSM. Hell, even kinkier sex scenes are rarely seen in print pub (to my knowledge).

Wow, I got off on a really big rant here. I think I'm gonna be done now...

Linda Mooney said...

You made an excellent point, Honoria. The majority of readers are paperback readers. You can get prints everywhere - the grocery story, the drug store. Shoot, even at the U Tote 'Em after you get gas! I once told my hubby that when I can find my books at the airport bookstore, then I'll consider myself "successful". Ebooks have come a LONG way, but they still have a long way to go to become the "format of choice".

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Linda,
Thoughtful and provocative post. I am one of those people who like to hold a print book in my hand, but that said, I always try to buy the books of fellow authors from the e-publishers/small indie presses. If we don't support ourselves, who else will? Not the big name NY authors or publishers that's for sure.
I don't have an e-book reader yet, but I do buy and download some of my favourite e-book authors, but I have to confess, it is a nuisance having to read them off my computer screen.


Angel Martinez said...

I've heard the bell tolling for the Big Houses for many years now. While I don't think print books are going away, I do think those lumbering dinosaurs will have to adapt or die to the new marketplace.

Ebooks are not the wave of the future, they are the here and now, and while their will always be folks who say 'oh, no, I need paper to hold in my hands' the emarket will only expand.

Sort of a natural selection process...

jrlindermuth said...

Two additional points to consider.
First, that advance has to be earned back. It's not a gift.
Second, the distribution aspect is nice. But placement in the chain stores is contingent on sales. If the books don't pull their weight they'll be returned and that lessens the author's chance for renewed contract.

Teri Thackston said...

I think there will be a place for both print and ebook for a long time yet...gotta wait for us baby boomers to move along.

But I love so much about being an ebook author. Regular checks, input on covers, writing my own cover copy...and the friends I've met online that I might not otherwise have met. Still, I do miss the opportunity for that impulse buy from being visible on a shelf at Walmart.

Linda Mooney said...

JR, you made an excellent point re: returns.