Posts Tagged ‘e-books’
My first post of this year…I wish to talk about the positive things I look forward to; goals, ambitions and plans. For a writer, the most important goal is to write each day and to write well.
I plan to:
Write in another genre, apart from fantasy, this year.
Write one fantasy book that will be available for a free download on all sites.
Keep on writing this blog twice a week to help other fellow writers.
Finish the current manuscript and get it submitted (and hopefully accepted within the year).
Run an e-book giveaway for The Black Orb twice within the next twelve months.
Learn and apply more marketing and promotion tools which I can use once more and more of my books are available for sale.
I believe goals should be focused on improving once crafts and abilities. Hence, you will notice, I don’t worry about sales. As more and more of my e-books appear on virtual shelves, sales will automatically increase.
So fellow writers, focus on your craft and your output. Rest will take care of itself. Do you have any goals for 2012? Share with me by leaving a comment.
Earlier in one of my post, I mentioned that e-books are more of a commodity than print books. You don’t have to store your e-books in a physical space in the house, you don’t have to wait for long to buy them (so they are more of an impulse purchase) and there is no maintenance of cleaning them or discarding old books.
For these very reasons, readers have less emotional attachment to their e-books. E-books are more of a commodity than print books ever were. Gone are the days when consumers kept the same books for years, even generations. Given today’s scenario, readers know that a book they purchase from one e-bookstore can be read on a particular device or its related apps. Tomorrow if they switch devices, they are ready to discard those e-books, and either buy different versions of the same book or new books altogether.
In this situation, readers are also willing to pay lower prices and buy books from unknown authors. An e-book is much like a good cup of coffee. Some readers will buy generic brands and enjoy lower prices and others are willing to pay higher prices for a better brand. Just as a consumer will throw away a disposable cup once a coffee is finished, readers are also willing to discard their old e-books once they shift a device or purchase a newer model. Sure, some companies do offer cloud coverage where your e-books can be re-loaded but most readers will not download the same books, or if they have purchased directly from the publisher or the author, they might not bother to download the same books again. If I have a downloaded library of a hundred books or more, I am more than likely to forgo half of them if I change my e-reader.
In the next decade, the paperback will become the new hardcover and those readers who want to collect print books will buy the paperback version to keep in their house, and e-books will become the norm.
So what does have an author have to do to get ahead in this scene?
Funnily enough, same as ever: Write more, write good stories and build a brand. Over time readers may forget the title of your books but they should not forget your name. Whether it’s e-books or print books, a writer’s job is essentially the same—and that is to entertain readers with beautiful stories and characters.
So to all you industrious writers out there, a Happy New Year and best of luck for the future!
New Year is just around the corner. Everyone’s thinking of new year resolutions. Generally, I don’t make any resolutions. If there is any change to be made, I would rather do it whenever the time is right – and not wait for the start of another year.
For an author, the times are both exciting and hard. Self-Published J.A. Konrath claims to have sold 7000 e-books in 36 hours. Wow! For a moment I was thinking what it would be like if those were my sales figures. I intend to have those sales numbers – but it will take more than the one high fantasy e-book The Black Orb I have out right now.
So I plan to write quickly now. Honestly, I am confused about my future mode of publishing even now. If the book turns out to be bigger than 80,000 words, I’ll submit it to agents and publishers. If it’s smaller, I will submit to digital publishers because they are more flexible about word count and genre. For me, the priority is to have more and more books out. The more I have, the potential to make more money is mine.
I don’t see myself self-publishing – not because it is not a great option but because I don’t have the time to be a one-man industry. By choosing a digital publisher, I don’t have to design the cover or hire someone to do it, I don’t have to hire an editor and worry about converting books to different formats and uploading them. There is a certain comfort with a publisher – and Uncial Press has treated me very well. I am happy with them.
So my plan is simple. Write every day. Write fast and pay attention to the story. Let’s see how 2012 turns out.
To all those who are reading my blog, a very happy NEW YEAR and may all your dreams come true in the coming year.
Literary Agents: Friends or Foes?
Building a successful Author Brand?
Anyone who has been writing for a number of years knows how hard it is sell a story. Sure, publishing has been made easy by the phenomenon of self-publishing, but selling a story is as difficult as ever. Earlier, writers would hone their craft for a number of years and finally become good enough to sell a few short stories or novellas to magazines. After a few more hard years of loving labor, they would sell a manuscript to a print publishing house. Most writers who have been working for decades now went through this same path. Nora Roberts wrote for three years before she sold her first manuscript. Dean Koontz, Stephen King, and every other famous writer paid their due.
In today’s world, selling the first story has taken on a new meaning. Leaving aside self-publishing, today’s writer has to do pretty much the same thing. Of course if you are self-publishing, you can do it for the first ever story you write, whether it’s a short, a novella or an epic novel. If you are thinking of self-publishing, do read this old post I did on Self-Publishing may be too easy.
If you are one of those writers holding out for an elusive print contract with one of the big publishers, here are a few things you can do before you get to that point:
1) If you have written a story that doesn’t fit in a particular genre or has a smaller word count, you can submit it to one of the many digital publishers. In e-books, readers don’t seem to care so much about work count, and hence digital publishers accept all genres of books with varying word counts, provided they are well-written. I published my fantasy novella The Black Orb with Uncial Press. Here is a list of Digital Publishers for you to start pursuing.
2) Make a website, start a blog or write articles. Make a twitter account. This will form the foundation of your web presence which is absolutely essential for a digital publishing career.
3) Join a critique group. Get your stories critiqued before submission.
4) Write, write more. Soon you will graduate to bigger stories that will fit the needs of a publishing house.
5) Understand the business of publishing. Subscribe to blogs of writers, literary agents and publishers. Gain information.
The journey to publishing isn’t going to be easy for anyone. And if it’s too easy, it’s probably not worth undertaking. Enjoy the process. Love the craft of writing – because if you don’t love it, why do it?
If you write fantasy, you can check the free first chapter of my novella The Black Orb at the publisher’s website. It’s a good read, and a labor of love.
Self-publishing may be a fast and accessible option for so many new writers, but I thought it would be a good idea to compile a list of digital publishers who are doing a fantastic job selling e-books through various online retailers, including Amazon, as well from their websites. Some of the publishers on the list also take out print books, but in the world of digital publishing, their books have been seen on best-selling lists of online retailers, such as fictionwise.
Since my first e-novella The Black Orb was published by Uncial Press, I’m going to start the list with them, and move on to others. This is not a complete list but is meant to provide an author looking to submit his/her manuscript to digital publishers with a starting point. You can read one of my earlier posts What your online Publisher will do for you to get an idea of the services they provide for their authors.
Uncial Press: Digital only publisher. They have a good reputation, especially in terms of giving a fair contract to their authors, and the editor Judith is a dream to work with.
E-reads: Accepts only previously published commercial fiction but the rights should be with the author.
Imajin Books – Mostly e-books. They accept young adult adventure/suspense/paranormal, mystery/suspense, vampire, paranormal and horror. Word count from 50,000 t0 150,000.
Lyrical Press – Looking for erotica and romance
Resplendence Publishing – They accept romance of various word counts.
Loose Id – Erotic romance and all its sub-genres are accepted.
Amber Quill Press – Erotic romance and GLBT but by invitation only.
Changeling Press – Erotic fiction and romance with heat.
eXtacy Ebooks – They have different lines for romance with heat and YA and Children books.
Highland Press – No erotica. Interested in Christian, Inspirational and family stories.
Whiskey Creek Press – e-books and paperbacks. They are open for submissions in all genres.
Mundania Press – For the past one year, they have been closed for submission.
Samhain Publishing – Romance and Horror Lines.
Excessica Publishing – Closed for submission in 2011
TTA Press – No submission guidelines on the website but they have a contact form for submissions.
Renaissance Ebooks – Accepts erotica in all genres such as fantasy, science fiction, etc. e-books only.
Red Rose Publishing – They accept interracial, multi-cultured, holiday themed, gothic and horror.
Carina Press – Harlequin’s digital imprint. Accepts almost all genres except literary fiction, young adult, inspirational stories and women’s fiction and family sagas.
Cobblestone Press – sensual and erotic romance novels and short stories.
The Wild Rose press – only romance.
Ebooksonthe.net – All genres, except for small children and non-fiction
Torquere Press – Focuses on GLBT romance exclusively.
Synergbooks – Accept all genres, except erotica.
Calderwoods Books – closed for submission when checked in December 2011 but may reopen. They do accept previously published books.
Some publishers of e-books are missing from this list because I came across a few complaints against them by authors, but by no means have I completely checked these publishers. If you are planning to submit to them, I recommend you do a complete research before submission.
Also, do check out my author interview at Rai29BookReadNReview Blog. If you are an author, looking for reviews for your published book, guest posts or author interview, it’s good blog to explore.
UPDATE: A fellow Good Reads author has recommended Books To Go Now, her publisher of e-books. They are accepting short stories, but seem to be confused about the word count (they have given two different word counts which they are accepting). Might be a good bet for short stories and novellas.
Work of a self-published as compared to an author with an online publisher
The five advantages a self-published author has over a publishing house author
The things your e-Publisher would do for you
Amazon has already shown that e-books sales are up and hardcover sales are going down. Is it possible that in the near future hardcover sales will dwindle ever further until hardcover books are only a memory in the minds of readers?
It is a distinct probability. Let’s look at the hardcover book market. Who buys hardcover books? I’ve never bought one. They are hard to carry because they weigh more. For the same reason, it’s difficult to hold one up while reading it. It’s even harder to carry in a purse. Hardcover books take more space on the shelf. They are also more expensive than paperbacks.
To the credit of hardcover books, they are more durable and don’t get easily damaged. Book connoisseurs like to collect the first edition hardcover books, and for famous authors these hardcover first editions have a great re-sale value.
In my personal and humble opinion, hardcover books are a marketing gimmick. These books are released first so that readers buy the expensive books first. And this marketing technique works well for an already established and famous author whose every book is eagerly awaited by the reading public. Once the initial furor is over, the paperback editions are released. They are cheaper to produce and have a lower price tag.
In today’s world where readers want to get their hands on a copy of an author’s book, the best way is to get an e-book. All you have to do is browse, select and order. Voila! The book is in your e-reader, ready to be read at your convenience. Once e-book prices are down, hardcover books will lose their market niche – and become extinct.
And the trees will also sigh with relief. After all, e-books don’t kill them, but hardcover books do.
If you liked this post, here is a writing guest post I did at To Read or Not to Read Story Writing – Why less is More?
E-book pricing and format
The Future of Books
E-book revolution is certainly picking up space. Every day, I am interacting with more and more readers who are converting to e-readers. Sure, people our generation are resisting the move, but for readers in their teens or early twenties, e-books are a simple fact of life.
It’s easier to carry an e-reader everywhere. It gives you a vast option of books to choose from. It’s easier to find your place in the book (because the reader will automatically start from where you last stopped reading) and e-books are generally cheaper.
As far as I can tell, there are only two obstacles that are preventing this movement from gaining momentum.
E-books need to be priced below 3 dollars
There has to be a universal format for all e-readers.
Let’s discuss the first obstacle. Big publishers are deluding themselves by pricing e-books at 9-11 dollar range. Who’s going to buy an e-book at that price and why? Instead of changing with the time, and reducing their dependence on profits from print books, they are trying to stop e-books from cutting into the share of print books by keeping prices of both formats more or less the same.
It’s ridiculous of course. Due to their short-sightedness, the established authors are suffering and new authors who are publishing with small e-publishers or self-publishing their books at a cheaper price are laughing all the way to the bank. Ultimately, the big publishers will have to reduce the prices or they will stop getting new authors. And admit or not, they need the new blood.
As far as format is concerned, it’s going to be a bigger obstacle, but time will certainly resolve this situation. It’s unfair for readers to buy the same book in two different formats for two different readers. Readers should be able to sync the two devices and read the same book on both readers. Sooner or later, pressure from the readers will force the companies to come up with one format that works on all different readers.
E-books are the future. The writing is on the wall. Let’s see how long the revolution takes to overtake the entire world.