Yes this sounds like I’m about to launch into one of my froth at the mouth rants usually saved up to annoy friends and family on Facebook, but it’s not.
I will admit that the attitude towards eBook Authors is a pet peeve of mine as it’s usually as derogatory and demeaning as those ‘well-meaning souls’ who ask a House Wife/ Hubby why they can’t go out and get a real job. As I am also a self-committed Haus Frau, perhaps there is a biased to both these opinions… but I’m not here to turn them into chips on my shoulders or, as said, rant… merely try and point out that eBook Authors are real authors too. We won’t go into House Wife’s as all I can say to those dear souls is the next time you’re accused of just sitting around on your bum all day and not actually doing any work – do it. Trust me, the results are fun. 😉
So, yes, eBook Authors… are you sick of people not taking you seriously as an eBook isn’t a real book and any man and his dog can get published? Well, I know I am! No, I don’t need my little soap box to stand on for this, honest. I just wanted to start by saying it does still take a lot to be published, no matter how you do it, and it doesn’t just end with writing a story.
Okay, so yes there are a lot of eBooks out there flooding the market, but they’re not all of the same quality… or lack thereof. To start with, there are the big names in publishing houses cottoning on to the new technology of eBooks and converting works of their contracted – big names I may add – Authors to eBooks. Quite a few of my favourite Authors have been converted to eBooks after being worldwide sensations in paper form.
Then there are Authors who have made a name for themselves in paper book that are now out of publication contract and so have the rights to their work again. What do they do? Self-publish to cut out the middle man and keep all the royalties themselves. Some of these Authors have massive fan followings that have happily moved over to reading their work as eBooks and good on them. But I think that is where the fear and negativity is setting in throughout the publishing world… as if an Author doesn’t need a publisher or a literary agent and*gasp* keeps all the sales money for themselves… Oh the horror! And up springs the nasty remarks about self-publishing and eBooks are for those who aren’t ‘real’ Authors. If publishers can’t make money out of the situation… it can’t be good and honest work. Right? Please note, this is a theory.
Oh, don’t get me wrong, there is some absolute drivel out there thanks to how easy it is to self-publish and I won’t deny it. Yes, but have you seen some of the drivel you get in paper books too? I’m not just looking at the Vanity Press stuff either… Though they did get a long, hard look to start with. 😉
Self-publishing does indeed have the down side that every man and his dog – and from some evidence the dog was the editor (that’s how bad it is) – can now be an Author. And because of the profusion of work now out there – good, bad and downright ug-lee – we all get tarred with the same brush. ‘Oh you’re an Author!’ says a stranger and their eyes light up… Only to go dull and uninterested when you go on to say your work is in eBook format. Please, have you even bothered to read an eBook by anyone before you make this judgement? Or is it okay to just make it on something you don’t know or haven’t tried because that’s what ‘real book’ types do? Seriously, weren’t you taught as kids to at least try something before making a judgement? Oops, starting to rant, will do my best to pull up before I nose dive.
Okay, so I will freely admit here and now that I’m not saying my work is award winningly brilliant and that the stigma of it being an eBook is why it’s not a world famous title… no, my books are good but I am an emerging Writer who has a lot of exposure and experience still to gather. I may get acclaim one day… I may just continue on as I am making enough for my chocolatier hits. But the fact that the writing societies that I now belong to still look down their noses at eBook Authors, I’m embarrassed… and not for myself, but for them.
So what if I’m an eBook Author? For my second book I was offered the opportunity to be published in paper… and I chose a publishing contract with my current eBook publisher over this other deal. Why? Well, I like my current publisher and have faith in their ability to help me achieve my dream of Brownie money from my royalties. 🙂
In this day and age how is a publisher of eBooks any different than that of a paper book publisher? Well, for one thing the royalties given to the Author are higher for an eBook. For another, the publisher’s running costs are lower and therefore their eBooks are more affordable to the general public. It still costs to get something published, even an eBook. For me there is the artist for the cover design, the proof reader and editor to go over my work and hopefully remove the majority of the stuff ups and typos through to the advertising and ‘asset shaking’ once it’s published. And I admit I’ve not paid a cent… as it’s all covered in my publishing contract. Just because I am a published eBook Author, this does not mean my publisher a modern day vanity press or a self-publishing sight that accepts anything that comes with a cheque attached. My publisher is a real publisher who certainly doesn’t accept any old thing but does happen to focus on eBooks. And, surprise! My books are real books too. They still get registered with an ISBN and deemed a ‘published work’ by the literary world (whether they look down their nose or not). The only difference with my work is it just isn’t printed out on paper. And in the paperless society we’re trying to become, isn’t that a good thing?
Let’s all remember that just because someone has written a book that can only be found in eformat doesn’t mean it’s not a real book, it’s not a good story and that they are not a good Writer… Or even deserve their own ‘I’m an Author’ badge – homemade or otherwise. The world’s attitude needs to change as we eBook Authors are here to stay and looking down your nose at us just makes you look kind of funny. 😉
Until next time,
February 14, 2014 at 8:24 pm
Love this post, Janis! Well said 🙂
February 14, 2014 at 8:42 pm
Thanks Leonie, hopefully it wasn’t too ranty. 🙂
February 14, 2014 at 8:52 pm
I liked it, and it’s something that needs saying.
February 15, 2014 at 11:45 am
If it’s any consolation, not that long ago writers of Science Fiction and Fantasy weren’t considered real authors either. There will always be those who believe you have to have a printed book to be considered a REAL author, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it isn’t too long before having a paperback in some genres is considered to be the same as vanity publishing, and the REAL money comes from the ebook market. I give it ten years.
February 15, 2014 at 12:42 pm
Wow, I’m on a winning streak at being a sci-fi/ fantasty writer of eBooks then. 😉
February 15, 2014 at 2:16 pm
Excellent. We’re all set for the next ten years then 🙂 although I have enough ideas for at least twenty!
February 15, 2014 at 2:41 pm
Looks like I am going to be in the kitchen for the next 20 years Janis while Leonie writes ebooks. 🙂
February 15, 2014 at 2:59 pm
Yup, I’m looking at about the same… Even if I did a book a year I have an alphabet crime series ahead of me… I’m going to go with 30 years. LOL!