Face Off Friday: E-publishing


As aspiring authors, our goal is to get published (Yes, I'm playing the role of captain obvious today). That used to be a straightforward plan. Write great book, land an agent, get a publishing contract, see book on shelf. Done. Right?
Well now there are more options than that. The rapidly rising industry of ebooks is beginning to change the face of publishing. Now, instead of just having hold-in-your-hand printed books, there are e-books and self-publishing and print on demand technology. Things are changing fast and we better pay attention.
But my question is, if you don't have luck with the traditional route, should you consider the ebook publishers? (I'm not going to talk about self-publishing. Weronika discussed that recently if you are curious about that direction.)
Ebooks are gaining popularity, especially in the areas of romance, erotica, and fantasy/sci-fi. Kindles and SonyEbooks are selling quickly and new companies are jumping in the ring with their own technology. Even Borders and Barnes and Noble are moving into the market.
So, is this a good route to get your words out there? I know most of us would prefer the traditional route, so I'm not going to pit that against ebooks. Instead, I'm going to look at the pros and cons of going with an e-publisher if you haven't had luck with an agent or traditional publisher. Is it better to be e-published or is it better to tuck your manuscript away and move on to the next project?
E-Publishing vs. Waiting out "the dream"

For love of technology:

 --An Ebook can be your springboard--This gets your name out there and gains readers. The early titles of Sherrilyn Kenyon, Angela Knight, and Sylvia Day were released as ebooks before they had books in traditional format. (source)

--The turnaround to get published is quicker


--Royalty percentages are usually higher with ebook publishers

--Environmentally friendly--same great book, less waste

--More control--it's been said that epublishers are often very author friendly

--Your book is published and not gathering dust in a drawer

--Genres such as romance have big gains in ebook readership

--Readers get a reasonable price on your book

--Once someone owns a e-reader (speaking from experience), it's easier to make an impulse buy. You hear about the book, sixty seconds later, it's on your reader. I did this yesterday in fact. If I had had to purchase this recommendation from my friend from a bookstore, I probably would have never gotten around to buying it.


--Because the upfront costs are lower, the e-publishers can take more risks, so they may give you a shot when an agent or traditional publisher couldn't because of market conditions/similar stories in their hopper/editor preferences/etc.

In defense of practicing patience:

--Your book will not be on a shelf at the local bookstore. Your grandmother will never believe you are published.
--Ebooks have a stigma attached to them that they are not as high quality as traditionally published books. (I have recently started reading ebooks and have not found this to be true, btw.)
--If you eventually get traditionally published with a different manuscript, you can dust off that first novel, revise, and try to get it published now that you're established.
--The number of people who own e-reading devices is still pretty low. The upfront cost for a reader is significant.
--You may not feel satisfied because it is a modified version of your dream.
--Distribution can be limited with ebook publishers.

So what's your opinion? If you tried to go the traditional route and it didn't work out, what would you do? Would you try to submit to an e-publisher or would you bury your manuscript and move on? I'd love to hear from those who have been e-published as well. What was your experience?

**Today's Theme Song**
"You Can't Always Get What You Want"-- Rolling Stones

(player in sidebar, take a listen)