This week three e-Publisher’s closed their doors after only a few months in operation. It’s a sad fact that this business is terribly cutthroat. The competition is fierce and there are only so many consumer dollars to go around.
The upside of e-Publishing is that it’s a growing business. NY publishers are starting to take their cues from trends they see in e-Publishing. E-Published authors are being snapped up by NY agents and publishing houses and many are continuing to publish stories with their favorite e-Pubs out of loyalty and the need to stretch their wings and produce stories that just won’t fit into NY molds.
Readers are clamoring for these stories – let’s face it, a lot of what is out on the book shelves doesn’t sell too well, yet month after month stories in fading genres are turned out for publication while innovative new authors are told their ground breaking stories will never sell. [I believe at one time bestselling author Sherrilyn Kenyon was one of them!] E-Pubs offer books at better prices to readers who want instant satisfaction – no driving to the mall, no waiting in line at the book store. They offer shorter stories for when you want a quick read to entertain yourself- ever just have an evening when you’re dying for something to read and none of the books in your TBR pile appeal? I have.
The downside of e-Publishing, as too many young companies find out, is it’s darn hard work. You can’t just slap up a website and start advertising for submissions. You can’t just put out any old story, pair it up with some sexy cover art and start cashing in at the bank. I’m not disparaging those entrepreneurs who have given it a try only to find out they just couldn’t make ends meet, but I do think the expectations are much higher than the reality. The money will roll in, right? Look at the big names – Ellora’s Cave is regularly featured on the cover of Romantic Times, their paperbacks are available in bookstores everywhere now, NCP is celebrating their tenth anniversary this year and Triskelion just became the second e-Pub to be recognized by Romance Writers of America [after EC]. They make it look easy, but it’s not.
I hate to see companies disappear after only a few months of hard work in this business. I hate to see authors left in the lurch, having to scramble to find homes for the stories they put their blood, sweat and tears into. It would be nice if these were the last e-Pubs that ever go under and all the others that still exist today go on to become Fortune 500 companies, making themselves and their authors rich and famous – but that won’t happen. More will come and more will go and it’s heartbreaking.