The Las Vegas Writers Group Message Board › SOME QUESTIONS & COMMENTS ABOUT E-BOOKS & E-PUBLISHING
|A former member||
REGARDING DISCUSSION AT THE AUGUST MEETING;
As for the question about advantages of having an E-agent at the August meeting, I certainly couldn't disagree about having someone that likes your work representing you, but I would like to have an idea about how they are considered by the E-publishers. Submitting a TV or movie script is rarely possible without going through an agent. They do have the chance to negotiate on the size of the sale price and other considerations. Book publishers used to at least consider material sent "over the transom" for their slush file but I have no idea about the situation now. An agent could negotiate the size of an advance. But the various websites for E-book publishers generally seem to offer submission policies, opportunities and formats. Usually there doesn't seem to be a provision for an advance, so there would be little to negotiate. The percentage terms are spelled out clearly.
According to the recommended "Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur" book definition, the E-agent would probably know who was looking for what genre material. This would hold true for agents for any media but the question would seem to be if searching for this information directly might be just as easy as searching for the agent and having one less level of acceptance to conquer (the interest of the agent.) (The glossary for "A, P, E" can be previewed on the book listing on Amazon.) How much power would an agent have in this field? Would his efforts substantially improve chances of acceptance?
Mentioned as advantages for selling through an E-publisher was that they would supply cover art and some help marketing. Not mentioned was the work of formatting the text for the different delivery systems. I have been under the impression that formatting from the publisher ordained text requirements was a service supplied by the publisher. (It would seem that repeating formatting for a variety of manuscripts would make it much easier for them to do the work compared to the one project at a time attempted by the author.) I would be interested in information on this, if I might be incorrect. Is there a charge for this directly or subtracted from sale proceeds? Would appreciate knowing from someone who has gone this route if there might be other standard fees involved from a reputable publisher. Only cost I have seen mentioned is that the author will pay the copyright fee.
Have been able to find some directories of E-publishers on Yahoo but have not been convinced that they are necessarily complete and up to date. If anyone has a recommendation for the best or most complete directory, it would be welcomed. (Also, are there any practices or scams to watch for in this area?)
Of the options available between self-publishing and submitting to an E-publisher, having an E-publisher would seem to me the best route for someone without a readership base or having created a "brand." The argument might be more for cutting expenses than for percentage of price received. This assumes that formatting is supplied by the publisher. Aside from costs, there could be a great saving of time, perhaps better used to start the next book.
Assuming you choose this method, what sort of response might you expect for acceptance of a reasonably competent manuscript (compared to low odds of a major or even small press sending you a contract?) Are the odds strongly against you from an E-publisher or are they really hungry for material?
In regard to the comments about picking the best price point for your book, it is possible that the greater number of sales at a lower price might total more return than with a higher sale price. Also, the higher number of copies in the hands of the reading public might be very advantageous in promoting yourself for sales of the next book at a higher price or starting word-of-mouth or comment to other readers. Some E-publishers indicate that the author is not committed to offering them future works so that building a fan base might quickly translate into more opportunity for profitable self-publishing in the future.
Hope that my interpretation of the current situation is accurate, but if you can present another viewpoint or argument, would be most interested. Any knowledge that you have about the field would be helpful. I'm here to learn.
I'm going to put up a few questions about copyright procedures, but that will be in a different discussion. Please look for it if interested.
If there might be a few people interested in this subject, especially if they have knowledge of it, maybe we could set up a coffee meeting sometime. Address me through the meetup forwarding service or at firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks-
|Eric & L.||
Reputable e-Pubbers value the advice and recommendations of reputable agents as much as in the hallowed halls of traditional publishing. Right now, I would say there are simply far fewer of each in the e-pubbing world, so both e-pubbers and e-agents are harder for authors to find and vet.
Like I mentioned in my presentation, the good news is that authors have more power than ever to negotiate the terms of their deals with both traditional and e-pubbers. That includes cover design issues, editing, formatting for distribution, marketing and everything else in between. I think your idea about having a panel discussion to dig deeper into what all the various contract terms mean to today's author is a good one because it is incumbent on authors to learn about and understand the various new options available.
The digitization of the publishing world is a moveable feast and one of the things I tried to make clear is that deals vary widely from vendor to vendor, as much as they do from publisher to publisher.
The part of my "Managing Your Expectations ..." presentation that I didn't have time to get to was, ironically, about time management. I can tell from your statements and questions above that you've already discovered that the amount of time it takes to research agents, publishers, new publishing terminology and go-it-alone methodologies is significant. (It also never ends, so it's important to add 'Research Time' into our on-going Author Business Plans.)
What makes groups like the LVWG so valuable is that it's a place where we can all learn from each other! Cheers,