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Old 05-02-2009, 12:18 PM   #1
phenomshel
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Self-Published authors, question?

Beth Groundwater, one of my author "friends" at Goodreads, has mentioned that her agent is shopping the e-rights to her books. Now, from reading posts from some of our own authors, and knowing first hand that Dana Stabenow released her own books in Kindle format on her own without publisher or agent intervention, it seems to me that Beth could save herself some time in getting her books out to her ebook reading fans if she did it herself. What is needed to do this? And do the other ebookstores (Fictionwise, BoB, Diesel) accept works like this, or do they require that they come from a publisher or an agent?
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Old 05-02-2009, 12:19 PM   #2
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hi shel,
you might get more answers if this thread is in the writers' forum, would you like me to move it for you ?
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Old 05-02-2009, 12:35 PM   #3
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Please do, Zelda, I had no idea where to put it. Thanks!
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Old 05-02-2009, 12:37 PM   #4
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done. hope you get the info you need.
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Old 05-02-2009, 11:36 PM   #5
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Thank you Zelda. Disappointingly enough, Beth doesn't seem interested in going the self-publish route for her ebook publishing. She thinks it's "penny wise and pound foolish" to do so. However, I'd still like to know the answers to the questions I asked, in hopes I'll need those answers for another author someday.
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Old 05-03-2009, 09:20 AM   #6
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Thank you Zelda. Disappointingly enough, Beth doesn't seem interested in going the self-publish route for her ebook publishing. She thinks it's "penny wise and pound foolish" to do so. However, I'd still like to know the answers to the questions I asked, in hopes I'll need those answers for another author someday.
hm, i haven't heard that expression before but i think i can guess what it means... did she explain why she felt that way ? and is she referring to self-publishing only, or ebooks in general ? (hopefully not the latter !)
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Old 05-03-2009, 02:44 PM   #7
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Yes, "penny-wise and pound foolish" means exactly what you think it means, Zelda. That was a direct quote from Beth, by the way. She explained that some publishers prefer to buy the paperback, foreign, and electronic rights all in one package, and if one of those is missing, it will break the deal. She is very concerned with getting her books published in paperback, as right now both are only in hardcover, and she's wanting to get the price point down so more people will buy them (and in the process she will get better known).
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Old 05-03-2009, 02:45 PM   #8
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okay, that's perfectly reasonable, i can understand that. thanks for the explanation. i'm just glad it's not because she hates ebooks...
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Old 05-03-2009, 02:55 PM   #9
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Me too! She did say she'd love to see her books available "in ebook formats, all of them" after I pointed out that "Kindle" is not synonymous with "ebook reader". But that she is more concerned with paperback rights than anything else right now. I can't really blame her, but it is disappointing, a bit.
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Old 05-04-2009, 05:53 AM   #10
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Me too! She did say she'd love to see her books available "in ebook formats, all of them" after I pointed out that "Kindle" is not synonymous with "ebook reader". But that she is more concerned with paperback rights than anything else right now. I can't really blame her, but it is disappointing, a bit.
i'm glad she seems so open to ebooks, that's a great start. maybe you could convince her that ebooks should be a priority along with paperback.
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Old 05-08-2009, 10:48 AM   #11
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I started to respond to this yesterday when I found this thread, but I realized I didn't have anything coherent to say. I haven't tried to approach the stores like Fictionwise, so i don't know their policy regarding accepting work directly from writers, but I understand some of the smaller companies do accept writers' work directly.

The biggest issue an independent writer has with the bigger sellers is promotion. This especially includes Amazon, and it's something I found during the year I had my books in the Kindle store: If you don't have a lot of money for advertisement, or if you are not a major publisher with written contracts with Amazon, you are unlikely to be noticed among all the bestsellers and big name books out there. Amazon's tags and recommendation engines can help, but even they are skewed towards the big money players. That's why indie publications in the Kindle store (or any big e-book store) can be all but invisible to casual visitors, or anyone who isn't specifically looking for you or your work.

You'll likely get more e-book exposure at smaller bookstores, but they get fewer customers... that's why they're small. (It's one of those "vicious circle" things I've heard about.)

But Beth already has a publisher (which is more than I can say). The biggest value publishers provide today is exposure. Without them, you're much less likely to rise above the crowd and be noticed. Print, e-book, it really doesn't matter if no one ever sees them. If you already have a publisher, e-books probably won't make that much more of a splash for you... you might as well go with your publisher's plans (or no plans) for e-books, or feel free to suggest things (like free giveaway e-books), but accept the publisher's decision on them.

If you are brave enough to stand up to the publisher (and risk getting dropped), be aware that you'll end up doing a lot more legwork, and in the long run, the publisher probably would have done better for you. But if it means having more control over your product, it might be worth it to you to go that way.
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Old 05-08-2009, 11:30 AM   #12
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Fictionwise will sell your works if you can offer a minimum of 10 reprints that are either novels published by established print publishers.

The 10 submissions can be short stories, but must be previously published on paper.

"The Fictionwise author contract is exclusive--this means that electronic copies of your works must not be available for sale anywhere else on the internet for the duration of the contract."
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Old 05-08-2009, 03:19 PM   #13
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Thanks, Steve and Elfwreck.
Although I must say I'm confused about the exclusivity clause you quote at Fictionwise, because I've done some comparison shopping between authors at Fictionwise and BoB. Same books, same author, available both places. What did I miss here?
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Old 05-08-2009, 03:21 PM   #14
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Same books, same author, available both places. What did I miss here?
If they have publishers, the publishers could easily have deals with multiple e-book outlets that supersede Fictionwise's interests.
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Old 05-09-2009, 01:40 AM   #15
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Ah, ok, that makes sense. Thanks, Steve.
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