Diving into E-Publishing

Song of the Day: Fly From the Inside by Shinedown

There is a great deal of excitement buzzing around lately about e-publishing. Authors across genres are casting a favorable eye toward this now viable form of publishing. More and more authors who have been making good money with traditional publishers are jumping ship in favor of more control and ultimately more income.

Add to that, many respectable authors are advocating digital books, hollering at you to pay attention to the shifting tides of the industry. Chief among them is Joe Konrath. If you haven’t already, check out his take on e-publishing. He puts it all in perspective in a series of eye-opening blogs.  Other authors at the bullhorn are Dean Wesley Smith, Barry Eisler, and even Bob Mayer.

There is no doubt e-books are the wave of the future. With Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Createspace, and Smashwords, it’s easier than ever to break into publishing.

The fever from reading blogs, writing communities, and pioneering friends is infectious. Many of us are weighing the idea of wading in the e-pub pool. I say – Great!

But, are you ready?

Don’t swim within 30 minutes of eating. In other words, just because you’ve finished a book doesn’t mean you are ready to smack that baby on Amazon. Hold up. Take a hard look at your work. Have you polished your masterpiece to the best of your abilities? Have you had a million eyes plus two look at your story? Not just friends and family, but people you trust will give their critical and constructive feedback.

Wear the appropriate swimming attire. Make sure you are marketable. By that I mean know who your audience is. Will you appeal to that market? How will you stand out among other authors in your market? You must also either hire someone to design an eye-catching book cover or learn to create your own. Either way, the key is to capture the attention of the reader as well as mimic the essence of the story. Build a web presence. In this digital arena, it is a must to have a website and/or a blog. Readers need to be able to find you, learn more about you, and connect with you. That’s one way to build a fan base. You can’t expect people to find you in an ocean of other storytellers without some kind of name recognition.

Put on your floaties. You’ll need staying power. Digital publishing moves faster than traditional publishing. Readers want instant gratification. If they like your book, they are going to want more. Will you be able to give it to them? Be prepared to offer readers more such as a blurb or excerpt from an upcoming release, even if you are still in the writing stage. Think outside the box!

Slather on the sunscreen. Because once you are out there, you will be subjected to the harsh reality not everyone will like your book.

And don’t pee in the water. Always be gracious when interacting with reviewers, readers, industry professional, and other authors. This is common sense.

Dip your toes in first. Do your research. Make sure e-publishing is right for you. It’s not just about making a book available for online purchase. You can’t expect the currents to guide you. You still need to man the oars, check wind directions, scrape off barnacles, and navigate. You are responsible for promoting yourself and your career. Participate in blogs, submit to review sites, scratch a few backs, and NETWORK.

Wait for the right wave. If you are unsure you are ready to cannonball into e-publishing then be patient. Remember, there will always be readers. But often, we only have one chance to impress.

Me? I’ve got my snorkel and fins and will be joining the tides of e-publishing soon. Stay tuned. I’ll be blogging all about my journey.

22 Responses to Diving into E-Publishing

  1. You wouldn’t think you would have to state to a group of adults that you shouldn’t pee in the water BUT that is one rule I see broken more often than not.

    Excellent post!


  2. jbrayweber says:

    It’s so true, Jennifer. I just did a blog post on this very subject, and so I didn’t elaborate. It seems common sense is at a premium these days for some folks.
    Thanks for dropping by!


  3. Kristen says:

    I may be scared of the water, but I wouldn’t mind a little mouth-to-mouth with Mr. Baywatch!


  4. jbrayweber says:

    Ha! Funny you would say that without seeing his face. Hmmmm….. Maybe that was the point? 😀
    I always look forward to your comments, Kristen.


  5. Suzan H. says:

    Hooray! Pirates stories with super-hot pirates! Three cheers for Jenn!


  6. jbrayweber says:

    Aw, shucks, Suzan. I’m not out there swimming yet. But soon. It’s nice to know you’ve got my back. Thanks!


  7. Excellent advice. Love your swimming analagies.


  8. jbrayweber says:

    Thanks so much, Sharon. Coming from you means a great deal to me.


  9. Tess says:

    And never go swimming alone! Welcome to the e-pub world, Jenn!


  10. jbrayweber says:

    RIGHT YOU ARE, Tess! I should have thought of that! Always have your swimming buddies! Will you be mine? LOL!


  11. This is a really good article! Such a big decision any which way you go, but most definitely mind your p’s and q’s if you are taking the reins by the hand! There’s also an excellent article by Christine Witthohn on Pitch University on this topic from an agent’s point of view. I admire her tremendously and love how she refers to herself as a team mate rather than the chief pilot!


  12. jbrayweber says:

    It is very important to make sure you are producing your best possible work. Thanks for sharing the link, Stacey. It’s a great interest for us all.


  13. Melissa says:

    Great points here! Can’t wait to see you out there, girl! 🙂


  14. jbrayweber says:

    Thanks so much, Missy. I’ll see you on the flip side!


  15. Kristen says:

    Hi jbray!

    I love to throw down on the one-liner Wednesdays, but I had to come back and thank you for this post and the blog links.

    My only regret is that your picture was a little too tame for Jeff the salty dog to comment this week. 😛


  16. jbrayweber says:

    Thanks, Kristen. Much appreciated!
    And there’s still time yet for Jeff. Maybe he’ll pop in.


  17. I dunno about Jeff; maybe there’s something exciting going on in Possum Trot. But here’s my response.

    Thank you so much, Jenn! I’ve been thinking about this same subject.

    I especially appreciate the links. They should help us research this field.

    Good luck with your e-publishing! And please keep us updated.


  18. jbrayweber says:

    Hi Mary Anne~
    I’ve been flip-flopping for some time now. But I’m ready. I know I’ve much to learn yet, and I will be sharing it all with you.
    Thanks for your encouragement!


  19. Candi says:

    Jenn and all the others who are brave – and comitted- enough to take on this venture.

    I am one of those people who’s very much aware of my inability to balance all this.


  20. jbrayweber says:

    Thanks, Candi. Your support means so much! 🙂


  21. June Faver says:

    Great analogy, Jenn.
    I forwarded it to everyone I know.


  22. jbrayweber says:

    I’m honored, June. Thanks so much! 🙂


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