>Ok people, listen up. I’m on a rant today, and it’s a repeat of other posts, but that’s only because some people just don’t get it.
ePublishing is a legitimate publishing venue.
Did you hear that world? ePublishing is a legitimate venue for authors. Furthermore, those of us who are published by an ePublisher and/or small press we’re just as much published as any NY house. Frankly, I’m sick of hearing snarky and snide comments about the fact that ePub authors aren’t really published, particularly when it’s implied that simply because the ePub isn’t RWA recognized they’re somehow a fly-by-night operation. Some people scream about the “shrill” voices, but we’re nowhere near as shrill as those tipping their noses up in the air at ePublishing and writers who write for ePubs.
Yes I want the NY contract just as badly as other people do, but I’m doing something about getting that NY contract. I’m working my way up the ladder as opposed to sitting back and not utilizing all my options. A NY contract is my goal, but in the meantime, I’m published by a reputable ePublisher, who’s been in the business for ten years now, and while my books started out as eBooks, they’re now in print.
So let me understand this mentality certain people have about what “true” publication means…
- Publication means you have to be in print by a NY house.
- Publication means you have to get an advance, in other words, earn money
- Publication means you have a NY house behind you in promoting your book.
If I’ve left something off, I sincerely want to know because those are the only criteria that I ever seem to come up against when I’m hearing that being ePubbed isn’t the same thing as being published. Clearly, these people don’t know the meaning of the word or at the very least how to pick up a dictionary. According to www.dictionary.com publication means…
- the act of publishing a book, periodical, map, piece of music, engraving, or the like.
- the act of bringing before the public; announcement.
- the state or fact of being published.
- something that is published, esp. a periodical
Interesting how the two definitions vary so drastically. Wonder what’s up with that? So, let’s take a look at the literal meaning of the word. The act of publishing a book or state of being published. This statement doesn’t mention money, but for any writer, the expectation is that there will be a reward that goes with publication of a work they generated. That reward generally means royalties (advances are simply royalties paid out early), although in the case of professional journals it’s usually about recognition and credit for one’s work, which eventually leads to higher paying jobs or essentially money.
Money, Money, Money – Think Abba
So, what it really boils down to is money . Nowhere in dictionary.com’s definition do I interpret that I’m not published. That is, unless you use the “they say” definition of publication presented above. Based on that definition one could say, “Oh right, you’re not an author until you have a NY contract.” Guess what; there are a lot of writers who aren’t published by a New York house. In fact, a lot of the people who have this deluded definition of publication are not published at all in any medium. So who’s better off, them or me? Hell, even the people who are self-published are published, they just don’t have any distribution channel in order to really make any money. But it doesn’t take away the fact that their work is for sale to the public, which is the accurate description of published.
PRO / CON
Let’s do a have/have not list to answer that question
- I’m earning royalties on my published books
- I’m building readership consisting of readers who buy my books consistently
- I’m gaining valuable experience in marketing a book, first in eBook form and now print
- I’m gaining an understanding of the editorial process.
- I’m gaining insight to how the print publication vs. eBook publication process works
- I’m gaining experience in how distribution works and how print books are ranked.
- Unpublished writers sleeping on those unsold manuscripts under the bed are not earning royalties
- Unpublished writers without contracts are not building readership as leverage for that future NY contract
- Unpublished writers without any contract won’t gain experience in marketing a book until it’s their first NY book. They’ll find it much more difficult and stressful than someone with experience (read = experienced ePub author)
- Unpublished writers without a contract will be scrambling to understand the editorial process, when they’re going to want to focus on something else, like writing the next book on the contract.
- Unpublished writers without a contract will be on a fast learning curve when they sell, something that can be exceedingly stressful
- Unpublished writers without a contract only have other people’s experience to rely on when it comes to how distribution works and how print books are ranked.
Having examined those points, can we honestly say that I’m worse off than those unpublished writers who sneer at ePublishing? Am I slaving over books that are quite unlikely to see print let alone the Internet because I’m ePubphobic? Am I satisfied or better off with writing my book then sliding it under my bed for another day? I don’t think so, babe! I might not be making money like big name authors, but I’m doing okay. And okay is by my own standards, because I’m the only one who can determine my level of happiness, satisfaction or whatever.
I’ll be carrying this theme over onto the GabWagon on Thursday, so pop over there for another discussion that’s less of a rant, but a logical explanation as why ePub is a valid and worthwhile medium.