Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Interviewing Epublishers

I'm researching a couple of articles for Writing World on the ebook and POD publishing industries from the publishers' point of view. I'm concentrating on the ebook article right now, since that one will be first, and have interviewed editors from half a dozen epublishers great and small.

The one thing that's really struck me is how accessible these people are. Even editors-in-chief of some of the biggest names in epublishing, such as romantica publisher Ellora's Cave (link is not work safe) and f/sf publisher Twilight Times, have taken time out to answer a long series of questions in detail. And they responded to my emails faster than some of the editors I've actually worked with.

This sort of friendliness is something you can only find in the small press, whatever format it may be. I wish there was more of it in the midlist and large publishing houses, where writers always seem to be the last priority.

Has this sold me on ebooks? Well, not exactly. Having seen sales figures for a number of titles in various genres (supplied by generous authors) I have to say that it's not a good investment for me at this time. While the royalties range from 30-50%, way higher than the standard 6-8% for print houses, the sales figures just aren't there. Plus there's no advance. That may change soon, however. Also, the big seller in ebooks is erotic romance, what Ellora's Cave markets as romantica, especially of the paranormal variety. Most brick and mortar stores won't carry these titles, so their predominantly female readers turn to ebooks. Since I don't write about my heroines getting jiggy with werewolves, I'm out of luck.

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Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog, where he focuses on Civil War and Wild West history.

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