Posts Tagged ‘E-Publishing’
This post is for authors and unpublished aspiring writers who are trying to submit their manuscripts to a digital publisher. You can read part 1 and part 2 of how to choose a digital publisher and then, here are a few extra tips:
1) Check the publisher website to see how they are pricing their books in comparison to other digital publishers. Everyone has a different system and publishers do not reveal their pricing strategy, but if you make a comparison according to word count, you will get an idea of which publishers are pricing their books the lowest. You don’t want too low… (not 0.99$ for a 60,000 word novel) because then you will be better off self-publishing (due to a higher royalty rate)… but you don’t want too high also. Highly priced books by new authors don’t sell.
2) See the kind of promotion the publisher is doing on their website. Do they have an active blog? Twitter account?
3) Click on one book and see if their recommendation page pops up. Ideally, they should direct the customer who buys one book towards other similar authors to increase sales. This is similar to Amazon’s “people who bought this also bought” bar.
4) Notice their book covers. Do you like them? Are they attractive? Do they represent the book well?
5) Lastly, buy at least one book in your genre and read it to check the editing.
Byline: Sabine A. Reed is the author of The Black Orb, a fantasy novella published by Uncial Press (a digital publisher). It’s high fantasy and the protagonist is a cunning and beautiful thief who will do anything to make a buck. You can read the first chapter for free.
In my last post, I discussed some tips that would help a writer decide which digital publisher to choose for manuscript submission. Today, I want to discuss some other points that a writer should consider before signing with a digital publisher.
1) A digital publisher will take digital publishing rights only, and not print. That is, unless, they promise to take your book out in print also. If they are only taking the option to take the book out in print depending on sales, it should be clear as to how many months you can wait before you submit the print version elsewhere.
2) They should specify for how long they are taking the rights. Not for your lifetime, certainly. Five years, or two years since the date of publication is preferable and then you can all re-negotiate the contract.
3) They should send you few free digital copies of the book. They will also create many formats of the book for sale.
4) They should send you ARCs so you can get reviews.
5) The publisher should design the book cover at no cost to you and get ISBN also.
6) The publisher gets first right to look at any sequel to your work that they have, but not to any other work.
It is a writer’s duty to ensure that they are happy with the book contract before signing it. It’s always best to read the contract from start to finish and once again. If you don’t have a lawyer, get a friend to read it for you to get his/her feedback. Do you homework before selling your manuscript so you don’t have any regrets later on.
List of Digital Publishers
Work of a self-published author as compared to an author with a publishing house
The things your digital publisher would do for you
If you are one of those writers like me who don’t want to delve in the deep sea of self-publishing, here are a few tips to help you choose the right digital publisher. First of all, here is a List of Digital Publishers for you to begin with. Before submitting your projects, do some basic research on the publisher:
1) How long have they been around? My publisher Uncial Press recently celebrated their fifth anniversary, and that’s quite a number of years in the fickle world of digital publishing.
2) How many titles do they publish in a month? Ideally, they should have a schedule for publishing because that shows they are organized. Whether they publish one title a month or twenty, it should be a reliable and steady number. Publishers who take out twenty books in one year and only two in the next have something not quite right going on.
3) What kind of marketing do they offer to their writers? Click on some of their titles, note down the author’s name and see the kind of web presence each author has. Digital publishers should at the very least insist on their authors having some kind of a website. Also, they should list the names of authors with a short bio, and a link to the author’s website, on their own site.
4) What is their reputation? You can easily find this out by googling the publisher and reading up about them.
5) How much time and effort is the publisher investing in their own brand name? If you are a new writer, your publisher is the one who is going to pull the initial sales and for this, they need to have a loyal customer base and a multi-pronged policy of gaining new followers. At the very least, they should have a twitter account, facebook and preferably a publisher blog also.
6) Where do they upload their titles? Ideally, you would want your publisher to put the book up on Amazon, Barnes and Noble Nook, as well online retailers such as fictionwise, diesel, etc. Check the ratings of their Amazon titles to see how well their authors are doing? Usually authors with more than one published book do better than authors with only one book up.
7) Check to see how many of their authors have published more than one book with them. This is a true test of the publisher because authors will only submit more than one book to them if they are happy with the sales of the first title and the general behavior of the publisher.
8) You can even write to some of their authors and ask them if they would recommend the publisher. This is a dicey question. Some authors may not honestly speak against their publisher even if they are not happy with their title’s performance—but there is no harm in trying.
On Friday, I am going to do another post on Choosing a Digital Publisher so don’t forget to drop in again. Also, an interview of Aria, my protagonist from The Black Orb, a fantasy novella, is up at Paradox- The Angels are Here (a blogs of author Patti Roberts, author of Paradox) and it’s truly an interesting question-answer session because Aria is a lively fiery character who came alive for me as I penned her. You can read the first chapter of The Black Orb for free here.
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