[Repost] E-Published Authors: Are you a real author?

~ By Angela Kay Austin

When I tell people I’m a published author, they ask “Where can I buy your book?”  Proudly, I say “Amazon, All Romance eBooks, my publishers’ websites.”  They respond “Can I buy it in a bookstore?”  Before my short story, My Son, was released in print, my answer to their last question would be no.  Because all of my stories were available only in eBook format.

This, instantly, changed the tone of our whole conversation.  At that moment, their body language and questions cued me that they see authors who are electronically published differently from authors who are published through New York houses.

Avon has Avon Impulse, Harlequin has Carina Press, and of course there is Ellora’s Cave, Samhain Publishing, my own publishers: Red Rose Publishing and Vanilla Heart Publishing, and so many others.

According to TechCrunch, Amazon Kindle sales have eclipsed both hardcover and paperback sales.  The NY Times recently reported that 180 Kindle books were sold to every 100 hardcover copies.  The author continues to quote Mike Shatzkin, founder and chief executive of the Idea Logical Company, who predicts that fewer than 25 percent of all books sold will be in print in less than 10 years.

Due to devices like Kindle, Nook, Sony eReader, iPad, and more The Los Angeles Times writes that in 2011, total eBook sales are expected to reach $1 billion!

But, still, today people do draw an invisible line of distinction between authors published through the different venues.  And I have to admit before I was published by an epublisher, I probably drew the same line.  Asked the same questions.  Do epublishers have good editors, cover art, who will buy it, how will they know it’s available?  I quickly found out that the answer to all of these questions and more was, yes.

Epubbed authors have led me to cyber conferences, which have taught me to pitch, and as a result, I’ve had two short stories, and two novellas published by epublishers.

Through groups like RWA’s Electronic and Small Press Authors’ Network, authors are able to network and educate others about epublished books.  Hopefully, through authors networking and pressing forward, it will open up more opportunities for readers to be exposed to rich new stories told through voices that may not have otherwise been able to tell them because they were too “different” or just didn’t “fit.”

The next time an author tells you they’re epublished, tell them you’ve got your electronic reader and you’re ready to buy!

Do you still draw the line between epublished, small press, and New York published authors?

After twenty years of practicing marketing: writing copy, designing layouts, developing advertising campaigns, Angela realized each piece of the plans she put together eventually told a story. And, since she was a tween reading her mother’s Reader’s Digest, and every teen magazine she could find she’d dreamt of telling stories.

Her first book, Love’s Chance stayed on Red Rose Publishing’s Best Seller list for 10 weeks.  Her second release, My Son, is available from Red Rose Publishing.  And was a best seller at All Romance Ebooks.  New releases:  Sweet Victory and Scarlet’s Tears are available from Vanilla Heart Publishing.

Angela has written for the Ezine Rithm ‘n Blues.


9 thoughts on “[Repost] E-Published Authors: Are you a real author?”

  1. Hiya Chelle, sorry for the extremely tardy response, but I wanted to respond because I thought your point interesting. Multiple channels of distribution do offer the author and publishing house not only more opportunities to reach the reader, but more chances to increase overall income. Like you, I use my netbook, Kindle, and I’ve downloaded multiple readers to my desktop.

  2. Hi Angela, good post. When I first started with VHP we were only doing print books. Our vry wise anaging editor, Kimberlee Williams, saw the writing on the wall and began to epub AND print pub. I saw my sales figures jump as my stories became available in both markets. While Isome people still say they like the feel of the paper in their hands, ebooks offer economy, portability and instaant access. It’s a great deal for readers. I use my netbook as a reader, I have the Kindle PC, Nook PC & Adobe pdf readers. It’s terrific.

  3. Meredith, when my short story was released in print, I know I flipped out. To be able to walk through a bookstore and see my books on the shelves would be a dream come true!

    But, like you, I believe epublishers are a real opportunity for authors to consider when investigating where to submit. Like everything, they should definitely do their research, and make sure the publisher is sound: contracts, royalties, history with authors, etc. And go from there.

    Good luck with you submissions to agents!

  4. Debra Key Newhouse

    Angela – I’m so glad you wrote this post! I’m an unpub, and you’ve answered so many questions, plus given me some direction. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences.

    What a great post!

  5. Hi Angela,

    I, too, am an e-published author and I was very happy with the work my publisher, Wings ePress, did on my debut novel, Just Friends With Benefits. The editing was great and the cover art (in my opinion) was pretty – I get my compliments on my book cover all of the time. I believe I (and other authors published through e-publishing companies) are just as much “authors” as those published through other publishers and my book has been just as well reviewed as many “traditionally” published books.

    That being said, I must admit to wishing I could answer “yes” to the question “Can I buy your book at Barnes & Noble?” And, will go further to say that with my next book, I will probably submit to agents in the hope of possibly publishing with the Big Six. But mostly because I would love to someday see my book at an airport book-store and not because I think it makes me any more “genuine” of an author. Just like the music industry, the publishing industry is changing and e-books really are the wave of the future. Not to mention that New York editors are not as open to my genre these days as editors at smaller publishing houses. I’d rather swim in a less “glamorous” pound than drown in unpublished manuscripts because I was too close-minded to expand my horizons.

    Nice post!

  6. I know exactly what you mean – I don’t entirely feel published because I’m with digital publishers and not the traditional print publishers. But then I saw this show on the History channel about the history of the movie business and what happened when television came along. And so I see digital publishing like being a TV star, and traditional publishing being a “movie” star. Each has a different image and success status, but some are more successful in one than the other. And that’s okay.

  7. Angela, this is excellent. The truth is, I was one of those print-only people up until this past holiday season. My hubby gave me a Kindle for a gift, and I was hooked in about five minutes. Not only can I carry an entire library with me when I travel–including my own five books and seven shorts–I can do things like change the font size so my middle-aged eyes can actually see the text without squinting! I am PROUD to be epublished, as well as published in print. People will come around, eventually. They are going to have to, as publishers like our own Vanilla Heart turn more to epublishing and away from print.

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