Monday, March 17, 2008

Epublishing verses Traditional

I've blogged about this before but lately it's come up in some of the groups I belong and it's become a discussion between authors which is the best way to go. It doesn't necessarily come down to the best way to go, but what's right for the individual author. And, how long they're willing to wait to see their book published.

Why electronic publishers? Any author who has submitted to both epublishers and the traditional publishing houses knows the answer to that. But let's look at the pros and cons. And let me remind you that this is just one author's opinion...mine.

Traditional Publishing Houses: You submit a query and synopsis and wait up to four months for a reply. And then it finally comes, and guess what, they want to see your manuscript! You think you're halfway there. So you go over your manuscript a couple more times until it's polished and as good as it can be. You print out the two or three hundred pages, follow their guidelines by binding it together with rubber bands. Slip it into a Manila envelope and head to the post office. After that all you have to do is wait...and wait...and wait some more until a year or more later you finally get their reply in the mail. Not knowing that if you get a letter it almost always means your book was rejected. Most publishing houses will call you if they want your book. Oh, and did I mention that during that long wait you can't submit your book to any others publishers? So plan on using that year to start writing book number two.

Epublishers: You submit a query and synopsis and a month or two later you get a response in your e-mail saying they're interested and would like to see the whole manuscript. You polish it off and send it to them through e-mail. Then a couple months later, sometimes a little longer, you get a reply saying they love your book and would like to offer you a contract. You sit back and release a long sigh. You've made it. Depending on the publisher your book can be out in as little as two months or up to a year. And the best part? No printing or paper is involved, no Manila envelopes and no waiting in post office lines.

No matter which way you go, you do need to plan on promoting your books, so be forewarned. It's a lot of work, time consuming and costly depending on how much you have for the budget. If you think you're going to sit back and reap the rewards without a lot of work, this career isn't for you. In fact, it's a hobby for most authors.

But that's another subject:)


margaret blake said...

The longest I have had to wait for an acceptance, or rejection with a mainstream publisher is 18 months, the shortest is three days!

The shortest with an e publisher one month, the longest twelve months.

I do not think you can generalise about either. It just depends on the volume of manuscripts they have to read and whether you are in the slush pile, unknown and agent-less, or not.It can all be down to luck! I think about all the rejections JK Rowland had before she found some lucky person who recognised that she was onto a winner.


Kathleen said...

Debbie, You are right. No matter how you publish there is no sitting back resting on your laurels. Which brings me to a question. What are your most effective ways of promoting?

Debbie Wallace said...

Are you kidding? JK Rowland was rejected? Wow! I wonder if that publisher is still alive...

You're right about generalising, this was just my experience. Still, as a rule I think it does take longer with traditional publishers. They do have a slush pile! LOL

I think it also depends if they know you or you've been published before.

Debbie Wallace said...

Oh, gosh, Kathy. I've tried so many and there's really no way to know which one works. Especially when you're sending promo stuff out to various groups. I can only hope.

When I run a contest it draws a few more to my websites and I can see the results. Have to admit it isn't a large number unless it's a large prize giveaway.

Sorry I wasn't much help.

margaret blake said...

Sorry Debbie, but slush pile is the unpleasant name for unsolicited manuscripts!

Not a very nice euphemism to be sure.


Debbie Wallace said...

You're kidding! I thought it was a pile of manuscripts they still needed to wade through. Learn something new every day:)