Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My Take on the Publishing Game

Most of my fellow Stiletto Gang members are published by New York publishers. I started that way--eons ago--and then the editor who signed me left the company. The one who took her place wasn't interested in my next book. After many rejections, it was accepted by an independent publisher who really looked great--and the owner and his son ended up in jail after gambling away everything they made in Las Vegas.

I kept on writing. A mystery was signed on by a publisher I found in Writer's Digest big market book. He did a great job of editing and formatting the book, but it turned out he was an e-publisher, one of the first. This was in the days long before any sort of reading device. It was far too hard to even order the book (I tried) and there weren't all the ways we have today for promoting. A few years later, when the Rocket eReader came on the scene, I tried several e-pulishers. One turned out to be less than desirable for a number of reasons. Since that time, I resold that same mystery (became a series) to two different publishers, one went out of business, and now Oak Tree Press has published the whole series (Rocky Bluff P.D. crime series) and several other of my books as trade paperbacks and e-books.

My Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series also followed a bumpy path. The second, third, fourth and fifth book in the series was published as mass market by a small publisher in a nearby big city. Previously she'd published beautiful coffee table books about flying. We became friends and did promotion together. She knew nothing about e-pubbing so I still had those rights which I sold to a prominent e-publisher of that period and she brought out the first in the series as a prequel in e-book and trade paperback.

To make a long story short, the publisher who became a friend died unexpectedly. The e-book publisher put all the books out as e-books. Eventually that publisher quit the business. I met the owner/publisher of Mundania Press who is now publishing that series and bought out the other e-book publisher, so Mundania now has all those books.

Though I know that authors make more money going the Kindle route themselves, I'm quite happy to have someone else put my books on Kindle and all the other e-book sites and take care of all the other publishing chores.

Now there are all sorts of  ways to read e-books and though I'm no longer with a New York publisher, these days I don't think it matters. In fact most of them don't quite understand the e-publishing world yet.

Back when I was first e-published hardly anyone knew what that meant. I joined Epic which was and is the main organization for e-published authors and I learned and am still learning a lot from them.

Agents are changing their roles as they have realized that having an agent isn't quite as important as it used to be. I heard an agent speak who is with a large agency in San Francisco. Though she's still active as an agent, she's also hung out her shingle to help authors promote their e-books. I've read about other agents who are now working with authors to turn their manuscripts into e-books for all the different e-Readers.

The bottom line is publishing has been turned upside down and as authors, we need to pay attention to what is happening.

Marilyn, who knew all this was going to happen but it took much longer than she expected.


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