A short time ago I ran across a comment about ebook publishing somewhere in CrimeSpace and did some investigating. What I found was some way to get some of my old western stories that had been published a while ago back out into public view. As I'm not overly proud of the westerns ... they were my apprenticeship for writing fiction ... I also have been publishing as ebooks a couple others, crime stories. Coming soon will be at least two non-fiction and even a SF novel. 

But I wonder ... how popular are ebooks? Apparently in the US people are buying eReaders which makes me think those same folks will get into reading ebooks. I don't see that happening much down here in Australia. I could be wrong, and hope I am. Anybody have information on that?

By the way ... http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/BillSheehy to see what I have up there already. 

And thanks to the CrimeSpace member who wrote about Smashwords. I forgot who it was or where he/she can be found, but then I'm getting old and forgetful.

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Bill, have you tried other agents? I understand your position, but from what I see some (not claiming all) are more open to epublishers than others. Another thing is that most epubs now provide print books for their authors too. Depending on how successful and big the epub is, many now get books into stores. Agents look at stuff like that.

The best agents are ones who are up on changes and are not closed minded. You want a realistic agent who is not so stuck in how "things have always been" to embrace the future. I think a lot of those agents and their clients might be left behind. The bottom line is that the industry is changing and ebooks are becoming a big part of that.

I don't buy the argument some ebook haters wanna sprout like "ebooks aren't a threat to print". If not, then why are traditional publishers struggling to work out an effective ebook model for their companies now? Why is everyone so concerned with Amazon's ebook sales, why are electronic companies coming out with a new reader every month, and why do we have more and more epubs sprouting up, and why do more and more authors go the epub route if it's "so unpopular"? I think it's just that some folks don't wanna embrace change and admit that maybe the industry as we know it won't be the same again.

I read more articles this week about epubs becoming more and more popular. Traditional pubs wouldn't worry about pleasing ebook readers if it was so unpopular. I think people should at least try to read an ebook first before judging you know?

People gotta see the writing in front of their faces, LOL!

Good luck to you!

Stacy: You're right on the money about the coming of e-publishing. With more and more of the millennial generation into things like Spindle, it is inevitable. It takes the suits in any industry a long time to see the writing on the wall, but they will have no choice but to come around. I've been writing for several decades, and have to confess that I viewed e-publishing with some trepidation - until I got involved.

As a means of reaching a larger audience; worldwide; print hasn't got a chance compared to what you can do over the Internet.

We writers have to play a part in bringing about the change. Up with e-publishing!

Hi Charles,

I used to be like you too. I was against ebooks and I thought they wouldn't last, etc. I realize I'd misjudged something I didn't even understand. It wasn't until I got an ereader that I embraced and appreciated ebooksI love them. I gotta be honest, I don't even read print books anymore. In fact, if I can't find an ebook version of a book, I'm liable to not even bother with it unless it's something I just have to read. I just love reading off my reader and I love ebooks because it gives me a chance to read from talented authors whose books aren't available in print. To me that's the point I think people don't mention. There are a lot of good authors who are only published in ebook form. They deserve the chance to be read and I don't think people should be prejudiced and not try an author simply because the book is in a certain form.

Best Wishes!

Stacey et al - My blog this week at Acme Authors is an actual DEBATE on this subject; would love to get your comments at www.acmeauthorslink.blogspot.com where the fiery arguments fly. We debated eight issues surrounding the new reality. You can google Acme Authors to find it as well.

Rob Walker
Thanks for the invitation, Robert! I'll look in!

Best Wishes!

Great debate, and you made some good points. Unfortunately, in the traditional publishing world, epublishing and POD are still working hard to gain a foothold. I have finally decided to make my own decisions, and the suits be damned. I have submissions to traditional publishers, have done POD, and have an e-novel. I've published in magazines and newspapers, been included in anthologies, and have lots of stuff on the Internet. In short, if it gets my words before even one reader, I will use it. I'm off on a trip right now, but will comment at authorslink when I get back at the end of the week.

Charlie Ray
Thanks Charles; I thought it was a good debate but honestly, I had the upper hand as I knew more. Knowledge frees one up to be pretty damn arrogant at times. All the same, I think there is a great deal of confusing self pubbing, vanity style, with other avenues, esp POD. POD publishiers have been batling this fight for decades.

Hey all who are interested in ebook publ., you should definitely have a look-see at Wolfmont Press' Tony Burton, CEO's take on ebooks (he supports them, even has opened an ebook store for his titles and the titles of others invited to share shelf space like two of my titles) -- Tony's take is a caution for patience and understanding and is chock full of useful information -- find it at http://wolfmont.com/wordpress/?p=143

RoboWriter Rob
Just read the essay you mentioned... interesting. Thank you.
Makes one think ... HTML, as was pointed out, is only about 19 or 20 years old! And we all take it for having always been around. Gosh, I've got hangnails that old. Wonder what we'll be taking for normal 20 years from now? or even next year ... maybe we ebook publishers are on the cusp and don't know it.
Again, thanks, Rob.
Hi Charles,

My last two books are with a huge pub but I'm not prejudiced against e-publishing and find it interesting. In fact, a lot of other traditionally pubbed authors I know are thinking of going the e-route next time around. How you publish and where is about your personal goals. Sometimes, your deal has to match the kind of book you've written. If you write books in some genres with different elements, that don't fit traditional mainly, then it's a reason why authors go with epubs.

For instance I write mysteries and crime fiction with interracial romance elements in my stories. There aren't many big pubs who publish Interracial Romance but tons of epubs do. It interests and attracts me because I feel like if I do tinker with epublishing this time around, I feel like they would promote my books ten times better than a big house because I'd go with an epub that knows how to market IR books. Interracial Romance is HOT in epublishing and there's a huge market for it so that's why I've been reading up on epub.

Whatever happens the next deal around, this time I am going to make sure I am happy. That's most important to me. Aspiring writers all the time write me asking how it is to be published traditionally. Don't get me wrong, I want to always publish traditionally and epublishing is considered traditional if the company pays advances, promotes and you get the benefits you would as a big pub. I could never see myself self-publishing. It's just not for me but I would go with a good medium-sized pub, small press or epub next time around if the deal is positive for my agent and me.

Bottom line, is you gotta go with what makes you happy and what will benefit you most. Some think that getting with one of the big NY pubs is the only goal. BS. I had the experience and I would go with a smaller press or medium any day. It's not the size of the pub that matters, your work is what matters. Just because it's a big pub doesn't mean it's gonna be peaches and cream. Everything has pros and cons.

Best Wishes!

Another thing I'd add is that I like how epubs seem to work.

1) I've heard they work real closely with authors, allowing you to voice input, etc. You can be more active in the process than you can be with a traditional house.

2) Most seem to have out of the box marketing techniques and the very good epubs know where their customers are and how to get that information out. They also seem to be more active with promoting authors individually. This is something you don't get most times with a bigger house. You don't get a lot of one-on-one in a big house.

3) I like how there's no limit for word count. Most epubs are very lenient and if you write longer works, you have a better chance with them.

4) Epubs are less conservative with genres. If you write books that either cross genres or doesn't fit in a particular genre, you have a better shot with an epublisher. Most traditional pubs have their genres on lock and often don't sway from what they usually publish.

One of the biggest advantages to epubs is the speed of them. With a traditional pubbed book, you can wait up to 2 years for the book to be published. Most epubs can release a book within four months, sometimes less.

One thing important for me is distribution. That's a must for me so if I went the epub route, it would be with one that offers print books and also gets them in stores.

Best Wishes!



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