Introduction to Electronic Books
edited: Wednesday, June 28, 2006
By Nancy S. Madison
Rated "G" by the Author.
Posted: Wednesday, June 28, 2006
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Brief introduction to e-books for those who have no knowledge on the subject
Remarks to Friends of Arlington Public Library,Arlington, TX. November 12,2004
"For those of you who know little or nothing about e-books, I'd like to make a few comments.
Many new authors hit a brick wall when they approach the traditional (print) publishing houses. Many such publishers won't accept a submission from a new, unknown author. Their attitude is, 'Come back when you have an agent to represent you.' Conversely, many agents say, 'Come back when you've published a few books.' Consequently, the new author often does not know where to turn.
E-publishing provides an alternative. And here's how you get e-published:
(1)First you need to zero in on an e-publisher that prints your genre. Like their print counterparts, there are e-publishers for a wide range of genres.
(2)Go to that e-publisher's website and get the Guidelines.
(3)Prepare a Query letter. This is usually sent via e-mail so it can be short but you need to include pertinent information like the length of your book (word count),genre, a paragraph or two telling about the plot, the time period and setting.
(4)The publisher will respond and let you know if they'd like to see a Proposal (usually the first three chapters and synopsis.)
(5)If the publisher likes your work, you send the entire manuscript.
(6)In a few weeks you will receive an e-mail accepting or rejecting your manuscript. Many manuscripts are rejected at this point.
(7)If accepted, the publisher will edit and format your book for online then send you a download to proofread.
(8)There will also be a discussion on the cover of your book. Most e-publishers don't mind working with the author here.
(9)A contract will be sent to you. Now is the time to raise questions or request changes before you sign. This might include what to charge for a download of your book once it's for sale online.
(10)Soon your book will be added to the e-publisher's online catalog.
There are advantages and disadvantages to using an e-publisher:
(1)Time involved- With e-publishers the wait is much shorter, usually a few weeks compared to as much as a year for print publishers.
(2)The contracts are author-friendly and usually easy to understand.
(3)The author doesn't need an agent.
(4)E-publishers only want the e-rights so the author can sell the other rights elsewhere.
(5)Book covers: The author usually has control over the cover for his/her book.
(6)Availability: The author's books will be online, ready to sell 24/7 and they're available worldwide.
(1)Monetary- There isn't a lot of money in e-books at the present but the potential is there. The market simply needs to grow.
(2)Promotion- The author has to promote his book to sell many copies.
A Positive Sign: 'Though e-books are at the present a small segment of the publishing industry, they represent the fastest growing segment of that industry. As of Q1, 2004, e-book units sold were up 46% over Q1, 2003 and e-book revenues were up 28%.' Open e-book Forum E-book Statistics and Report. (OeBF is an international trade and standards organization for the electronic publishing industry.)
Summary: E-Books will never completely replace the traditional paperback but I am but one of many who believe there's a place for both."
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