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Thinking of E-Book Publishing. But Hit A Wall.

  1. Johnjfernando profile image59
    Johnjfernandoposted 5 years ago

    I want to do e-book publishing but was advised by other experienced authors that it also has a real disadvantage to it because you might have a hard time going back to traditional publishing. Agents who discover that you have done E-book work before mostly tend to reject your query letter which is what I heard but still don't know why. Can anyone explain this to me with more depth?

  2. psycheskinner profile image79
    psycheskinnerposted 5 years ago

    Do you mean epublishing with a publisher, or self-publishing?  IMHO you can always use a "burner" pen name.

    1. Johnjfernando profile image59
      Johnjfernandoposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      e publishing like lulu or Kindle(self-publishing).

  3. Jean Bakula profile image93
    Jean Bakulaposted 5 years ago

    I just self-published, and have rec'd. all my promo materials. I think the publisher did a great job, though I did have to pay for them actually making up the book and for some marketing help. They placed it on Amazon and other book sites. The stigma seems to be off self publishing, but I don't know how well it will sell. I am also thinking of going with Amazon next time, I have alot of Astrology hubs here that do well, and can easily write lots more. Urbane Chaos wrote a great hub about his experience with e-book on Amazon.

  4. jcmayer777 profile image78
    jcmayer777posted 5 years ago

    I've written a few and they've received great reviews, but relatively few sales.  We self published ours and the biggest issue we find is marketing them properly. 

    I'm not sure about the stigma attached to ebook authors with traditional publishers, but I suspect there are some that look down on electronic publishing.

    1. Jean Bakula profile image93
      Jean Bakulaposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Well, I'll be finding out. I just rec'd. a soft copy and hard copy of my book today. I have promo stuff as I said, but the publisher owes me 35 free books, and to have a book signing or set up any kind of event, I need those to kick it off. So I think it will be soon. But I feel scared too, and wonder if I can sell enough to recoup what I spent. I still have the rights to the book, so if a different publisher comes along and it's better for me, I can move. I think the e-book format may do best, it's still also the cheapest form. I'll post when I have more data, because everyone on here wants to write, and has other projects besides the stuff they post on HP.

  5. classicalgeek profile image88
    classicalgeekposted 5 years ago

    You can always create your own publishing company. When I get to finishing up my first book I am going to set one up. I have already done the research on forming your own publishing company (and published the results here on HP). I think traditional publishing houses are going to start having to adapt; I notice that they don't even have continuity editors any longer (I guess they were too expensive) and even the best-earning authors end up with embarrassing mistakes in their published work. And authors publishing with traditional houses are losing the value those companies used to provide in terms of marketing.

    1. Bill Yovino profile image90
      Bill Yovinoposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      I read an article (not sure where) about Ikea's ubiquitous "Billy" bookcases no longer being sized to hold physical books. A sign of the times. I think books are going the way of vinyl records - some albums are still produced but the majority are in digital format.

      Amazon's CreateSpace makes it easy to self-publish and sell your book internationally on Amazon.com. You can use your own ISBN ($) or they will assign them to you for free. You can find free software on the Internet that will convert your book to an E-Book.

      Some publishers are stubbornly holding on to outdated paradigms and will experience the same downward spiral as has been seen in the music industry. Those who put a stigma on E-book publishing will find themselves struggling to survive.

  6. psycheskinner profile image79
    psycheskinnerposted 5 years ago

    Funny because I see major publisher embracing epublishing, albeit a bit belatedly.  And I see that the vast majority of ebooks purchased are produced by these major publishers.

    EPublishing is great, self-publishing is great,but the big money is still mainly with the Big 6 publishing companies.

  7. ThomasE profile image82
    ThomasEposted 5 years ago

    I've self published some short stories on kindle under the name "Ray Jaxome." That isn't my real name. It's a pen name.

    How exactly would the Agent even know you are self publishing, if you just use a pen name?

    1. Jean Bakula profile image93
      Jean Bakulaposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      I've read all the comments above, and I think psycheskinner is right, the publishing companies are finally embracing e-books, they don't really have a choice. I am not sure what my next steps will be, it depends on how things go with this book..The publisher was good, Xlibris, and they did a good job. I edited the book myself, I'm sick to death of it now! But writers tell me it's the nature of things. But now I need to have a book signing, and they will want to get me to buy expensive marketing packages I can't afford.

      1. ThomasE profile image82
        ThomasEposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        Er...is the reason you responded to me because you wanted my advice?

        Because, if you want my personal opinion, I would not go with XLibris. I have only gone with free services, which are kindle direct publishing, and smashwords.

        I would not go for a paid service to publish an ebook. It is not necessary.

        If you want to go for a print on demand supplier, I would recommend going to create space. If you do the work yourself, it costs $50 to do that. If you google dean wesley smith there is a site that explains how to do all this yourself. ( Would link, but I'm not sure of the rules).

        I think XLibris is not a good choice. I do not think you will necessarily recoup the money spent on these promotion packages. And, with the best will in the world, I would recommend going to traditional publishers before going to XLibris. But, of course, these are only my opinions.

        While they are not a scam, because you get what you pay for, in my opinion, they also are not good value for money.

        1. Jean Bakula profile image93
          Jean Bakulaposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          I had already sent the book out to publishers over a year ago, and had nothing to show for it. I didn't think my computer skills were good enough to do what I had to do, and didn't have any marketing experience. So far Xlibris has been attentive, and done whatever they were supposed to do in a timely manner. In this last year, I have learned more. But I was already involved with Xlibris and signed the contract by the time I was feeling more secure. Next time I would do things differently, probably through Create Space. Xlibris is no longer associated with Author House, who had one of the worst reps. My topic was the Tarot, and traditional pubilshers weren't biting. Once you have written a whole book and have it sitting around unpubilshed, it gets to you. It's a niche topic, and most publishers dislike it if you just send them a copy and add it to the slush file. Llewellyn is most well known New Age publisher, but IMHO has really gone downhhill in the past few years. They are mostly publishing weird tarot decks that have  nothing to do with the Tarot. I have my books now, and know they will probably try to sell me more packages for marketing. The book is on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other online bookstores, in e-book form, and available thru the Xlibris site. So I can't complain about anything they did. My cover design was "too intricate" but they got an artist to draw what I wanted. They worked to do anything I asked, and kept upgrading the package without charging more. I know others who have used them, Astrologers and such, and they offer two for one deals where you can publish two books for $999.00. It depends on how much time you have. It took me hours to proof 3 sets of galleys. I have alot of Astrology knowledge, and will probably use a different name and try through CreateSpace next time.

        2. Jean Bakula profile image93
          Jean Bakulaposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Sorry Thomas E,
          Since I'm in the midst of self publishing, I thought perhaps I had something of interest to add to the thread. I keep forgetting that it confuses people if you go up into the thread and don't just comment on the end of everyone's posts. I wasn't asking for your advice,  I already made my decision based on my own needs and time constraints.

          1. ThomasE profile image82
            ThomasEposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            Fair enough. I don't recommend XLibris, but there are certainly people who like to use their services.

        3. Bill Yovino profile image90
          Bill Yovinoposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          I self-published on CreateSpace (paperback) and Kindle Direct (Ebook) and there were no fees. Not sure where the $50 you referred to comes from.

          1. ThomasE profile image82
            ThomasEposted 5 years ago in reply to this

            If you go with createspace, most people are much better off going the whole hog, with their pro plan. This increases your royalty percentage quite considerably, and allows your book to go on to extended distribution - which allows it to be bought by libraries, and ordered in bookshops all over America.

            It is worth paying the extra money... $40 for the first year.

            Plus, many people prefer to buy their own ISBN, since this allows to you sell your books to independent bookstores without the self publishing stigma. Although, of course, you will need a lot of books before you can do that.

    2. Johnjfernando profile image59
      Johnjfernandoposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Thanks ThomasE. I never really thought of using a different pen name ebooks but I did once think of it for hard print. I then went back on using my actual name because I was more caught up with seeing my own name on a book as to rather generating money which is something most writers would want as well, similarly. Very clever and witty!

  8. psycheskinner profile image79
    psycheskinnerposted 5 years ago

    Xlibris is not the best value for money these days.

  9. Johnjfernando profile image59
    Johnjfernandoposted 5 years ago

    You guys are awesome! Its something I really don't know how to thank you for but if I do I will let you all know. This is the main reason why I come to the forums to ask these important questions too because I can get a lot of reliable feedback and its terrific getting the answers from some of the best and talented hubbers here.

    P.S. I will go ahead and publish my first novel through ebook publishing as I mentioned on my article title, 'John Tobio and the Blitzkrieg Empire. Thanks Again!

  10. AdeleCosgroveBray profile image89
    AdeleCosgroveBrayposted 5 years ago

    One of the main disadvantages of self-publishing is that you need to do a huge amount of promotion in order to get decent sales.  However, traditionally published authors have to do this now too, so the perceived advantage of having a big company behind you is often not supported by the reality of the situation.

    With traditional publishing, if your sales fall short of expectations getting a second and third book accepted can be tough going - and books aren't given much shelf-life anyway so they soon fall into obscurity.  Those prominent shop window or in-store displays are paid for as expensive extras.

    With ebook self-publishing, your book is online forever so if it sells poorly at first, with sustained promotion you can change that.  The theory is that the more quality ebooks you have on sale, the more customers you're likely to attract. 

    The publishing industry is changing rapidly.  I think opinions which may have been correct two or three years ago, such as self-publishing being a weak option, are no longer true.  The old belief that was a good writer simply had to persist and an agent/publisher would sign them eventually.  But I know many very good writers, who are also commercially appealing writers, and they've spent years sending off enquiries and got nowhere.  Those same people have self-published and are now earning money.

    I've been traditionally published, and just recently I self-published two ebooks.  I'm interested to see how they sell.

    1. Jean Bakula profile image93
      Jean Bakulaposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      When I finished my book about 3 yrs ago, I kept mailing it to pubiishers, but got nowhere. Even as late as the beginning of this year, self-publishing was dimly viewed. The explosion of e-books changed that. But I was already too into my situation to change. Now I see they expect me to do all the promotion, and buy the books so I can sell them. I expected to promote, and have plans. But they also priced the book, and I thought it was too expensive. Now I just have to play the hand I started. In the future, I would go the e-book way, although this is available in e-book, so I have several avenues to advertise this.

    2. Johnjfernando profile image59
      Johnjfernandoposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      @AdeleCosgroveBray. Interesting facts. I think the general consensus is that ficiton and non-fiction are generally being revolutionized again through the power of ebooks and its only the beginning so I seriously am leaning towards the idea of ebook publishing.

  11. zanaworld profile image38
    zanaworldposted 5 years ago

    I have done a hub on self publishing websites.  Just have a look @ it.

    <snipped-no promotional links>

    1. Johnjfernando profile image59
      Johnjfernandoposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Thanks zanaworld!

  12. psycheskinner profile image79
    psycheskinnerposted 5 years ago

    I think digital is just a format. A separate issue from self, small, large publishing.

 
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