Over the past ten or fifteen years e-book publishing has steadily grown as an industry, but the debate continues as to whether it is a legitimate outlet for quality books or just a repository for work not up to standard.
As the e-book reviewer for ForeWord magazine for several years, I would have to say that a lot of what has been published was not up to standard, but more and more e-publishers are taking a stricter stance on what they accept and doing a much better job with editing.
For a new writer, going with an e-publisher might be a good option. There are a number of e-publishers that have been in business for a long time, such as Hard Shell Word Factory, New Concepts Publishing, and new ones such as Uncial Press. In addition, there are there are a slew of new publishers for erotica. A directory of publishers can be found here
So, should you as a new writer consider going the electronic route? Before you decide, there are a number of things to consider:
Are there benefits to an electronic sale before a print sale? That is also highly debated on lists devoted to writers and writing, and it would be good to join one or two of them to see what has worked for authors who have gone that route.
Before signing a contract, you should also determine how the books will be distributed and how the market is controlled. If they are not going to be widely distributed in a variety of formats for different devices, that will seriously impact sales.
Royalties paid for e-books are higher than what is normally paid for print books, some going as high as 40 or 50 percent. That percentage is enticing, but keep in mind that, except for erotica and some well-established romance authors’ books, sales of e-books seldom go over 3 or 4 hundred copies over a three year period.
Will readers embrace electronic books the same way they do print? The jury will be out a long time on that one, too, but one thing is clear. The first generation of children who were comfortable in front of a computer screen is now in adulthood.
The idea of reading a novel on a hand-held electronic reader is not alien to them, and certainly not to their children. And some older folks even like the convenience of downloading 10 to 20 books on a e-book reader and taking it on a long vacation.
Maryann Miller is an author and freelance editor. Her latest books are One Small Victory and Play it Again, Sam. Visit her Web site for information about her books and her editing services. If you have a good book, she can help you make it better. When she is not working, Maryann loves to play "farmer" on her little ranch in the beautiful Piney Woods of East Texas.