Publishing your own writing in the form of an e-book is a great way to retain more creative control, rights, and money. Here we outline some of the nuts and bolts of what e-publishing can offer and how to go about it.
Our own adventures in publishing were what eventually pointed us toward e-publishing. In the past we had tried the traditional route, querying agents and weathering rejections. After about forty rejections, we landed a high-powered New York agent (the one who handles John Grogan of Marley and Me fame!), and we thought that at last we had it made! But the traditional publishing scene is a confused and perhaps terrified beast right now, and after too long a time courting the publishing industry, our manuscript was returned to us, unpublished. It seems that it’s more difficult than ever to get your book published these days.
So we began to ask another question: How do you publish an ebook? We soon learned that e-book publishing isn’t very difficult, and has numerous advantages.
You Retain Creative Control
When you land an agent, he or she will probably do a thorough edit, and when you land a publisher, your book will again go through an editing process. Some authors feel that the final product bears little resemblance to their initial manuscript. Although agents and editors tend to have a fair idea of what will make a book more saleable, saleability isn’t always the same thing as quality or ‘heart’. When you publish your e-book on Amazon, you retain full creative control, even after publishing. If you or a reader finds a mistake you missed even after 10 edits, you can correct the mistake (we all find these mistakes in traditionally published books, but they can’t fix it until the next printing). It’s details like this that allow you to present your readers with the story you originally intended for them to experience.
You Retain All Rights
In traditional publishing, you sign your rights away. In effect, the book is no longer truly yours. Hopefully you’ll get good compensation for the rights you sell, but you lose a lot of freedoms. If you decide you want to self-publish a slightly altered version of your book after you sign on with a traditional publisher, you can’t do it. You’re bound by a contract. With e-book publishing, you hold all the cards, and can change your strategy according to market changes, life events, or creative whim.
You Keep More Money
If you price your e-book at $2.99 or higher with Amazon, you keep 70% of every book sold. (If under $2.99, you keep 35%). This is a much nicer cut than you’ll see from a traditional publisher, where you’ll get about 15% if you go hardcover (and much less if you’re softcover).
Of course, there are disadvantages as well, the largest of which is that it’s not easy to get your book sold. This takes some marketing savvy. Yet, Rebecca and I did an experiment when we first went in to e-book publishing. We wrote a short book ( How to Survive the End of the World if All You’ve Got Left is Your Kindle) just for experiment’s sake, made it funny and educational, asked a few friends to leave reviews (a total of three), and waited to see what would happen. What happened is this — the book is earning a small but consistent amount of money every month.
A few of weeks ago we tried another experiment, publishing a fantasy trilogy that follows a young woman’s coming of age as she’s torn from her noble life and learns to find her way among pirates, swords, and betrayals.
Entitled The Lillian Trilogy, it’s off to a great start, tripling the monthly earnings we were getting from our first experiment. And that’s after being offered on Amazon for only a short while.
How To Get Your E-Book Published
Ready to give it a try yourself? We found an incredible guide that walks you through the process, and we’d like to share it with you. We’ve used it to great results. Just go to this website and click on the photo of the birds to get started — CJ’s Easy As Pie Kindle Tutorials. We’ve used it again and again. It’s clear, concise, and guides you through the process step-by-step, giving much better instructions than we found on Amazon or on any forums.
We invite you to read the Lillian Trilogy, and if you like it, we greatly appreciate reviews! =)
The Threat of a Wedding, the First Book of the Lillian Trilogy
Condemned to Paradise, the Second Book of the Lillian Trilogy
Finding Home, the Third Book of the Lillian Trilogy
If you’d like to see our other titles, we invite you to visit their Amazon pages:
To Slay the Dead, the short tale of a mercenary hired to kill someone who is already dead.
Alien Report Card, a book by a real live alien (we helped him publish it =)
The Savvy Citizen’s Guide™ To Surviving the End of the World if All You Have Left is Your Kindle, Nook, iPad, Sony Reader, or Other Way Cool Reading Device.