It happened to me for the first time about three years ago.
One of the authors whose manuscript I edited sent me an ebullient email message that her book had been published. I congratulated her and asked for an autographed copy.
“Sorry,” she wrote back, “but it’s only available for Kindle and Nook. I published it electronically, not in print.”
She had not even made her novel available in POD (print on demand). I was stunned. I enjoy my collection of signed books I’ve edited as much as athletes enjoy their trophy displays.
As it turns out, this author was a trendsetter. During the years since she broke new ground, along with other exclusively e-published authors, Borders closed its doors. While Barnes and Noble struggles to boost its bottom line, independent bookstores are closing, and libraries are opening without housing a single book.
Electronic publishing is here to stay. Authors are learning to market their works via social media websites and enjoying much more favorable royalty percentages than print publishing could ever offer. At last, the creator is at the top of the publishing food chain instead of at the bottom. How refreshing.
Many of the writers with whom I collaborate on polishing their work are learning, as am I, how to navigate the new world of electronic publishing—from finding editors, agents, and e-publishers to employing cover designers and formatting experts to upload their finished manuscripts onto e-publishing websites. Marketing venues such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, GoodReads, Smashwords, LinkedIn and Amazon are rapidly replacing the “middle men” in traditional marketing and publishing, all of whom take their piece of the profit pie.
Cyberspace is a fascinating and friendly place for writers, and readers are eager to appreciate and pay for their talents.
When your book manuscript is edited and ready to introduce to readers, consider rolling it out as an e-book. It’s an exciting process that gives a whole new definition to the announcement: “Roll the presses!”