Monday, January 20

A few tips to self-proclaimed e-publishing houses...

I went on a rant on my personal facebook page and was urged to put that status up as a blog post, so here goes...

(BTW this isn't aimed at anyone in particular, just a list that I've compiled over the past couple of years of research)

okay... so I've been researching e-publishers, just to see what's out there.

Pro tip 1: if you are planning to be a PROFESSIONAL PUBLISHER, you might wanna have someone with a working knowledge of spelling and grammar to work on your webpage. Seriously. If I'm a writer looking for representation, you'd better have a site that looks better than my first drafts.

Pro tip 2: if you're interested in my stuff, you might want to wait until you've read my book before you offer a contract. Otherwise, I'm going to think that you're desperate to have another book to sell, not another QUALITY book to sell. I want to know that my book is up alongside others of equal or better quality.

Pro tip 3: I understand that you don't want to read really long books, but putting a word count cap on an e-book is really dumb. If it's a good book, you won't mind the word count. If it's not, you won't read the whole thing anyhow. Either way, there's no difference in 'publishing' the book whether it's 3,000 words or 300,000. You don't know what good books you're passing up simply by not offering to read anything over 150K. (George RR Martin? Tolkien? Melanie Rawn? Those are ALL high word count. They didn't exactly crash and burn...)

Pro tip 4: Tell me how you are different from every other e-publisher out there. I am perfectly capable of self-publishing my book. If you want a cut of that, you need to offer something I can't do myself. And not something I have to pay for up front... I'm broke. I'm a writer. If you have faith in my book, set up blog tours, etc. before my book comes out. You know you'll get your pay when the book releases. Don't ask for it from me ahead of time. I don't have it.

And finally, pro tip 5:
Seriously! If you're talking to your mom on FB, fine... don't use proper grammar. But if you're supporting a page, site, etc where you hope to attract writers, you have GOT to do a simple spell-check and grammar check. If you don't, the writers that are worth supporting will be passing you by, snorting derisively as they zoom past your home page without clicking on anything else. Like a good receptionist, your home page is the most important page if you want to drum up more business. Use it. Make it attractive, memorable, and intriguing enough for a good writer to keep clicking to find out more.

Bonus tip:
If I'm already self-pubbed, offering me less than 70% of my returns is just dumb, unless you're working for it. If I'm still doing all the marketing and finding my own swag and paying for it, WHY do I need you? Why send my book through you if I'm doing all the work??

Okay. Stepping down off soapbox now.
What I've discovered so far: I'm really just fine self-publishing. Thanks for asking.