Print vs. Epub

I’ve read and partaken in many discussions regarding this topic. Online writers are constantly in debates about the pros and cons to print publishing versus e-publishing. There’s a lot of heat about e-published writers not being realwriters. This, in my opinion, is a completely unfair assumption. In fact, when I think back on a few of the print books I’ve read versus a few breathtaking e-books, I’d venture to say that is a very biased and unfounded opinion.

A lot of it has to do with legitimacy. Having a book in print, something to hold in your hands, somehow makes you a ‘real’ author. On the other hand, many unprofessional epubs have made the entire movement look bad by putting out some very bad, unedited work. But does that mean that all ebooks are that way? Of course not! It’s just those few rotten apples that ruin the bunch. But epublishing has come a long way, and from the looks of several well established and promising up and coming companies (ie. Samhain, Ellora’s Cave, Cobblestone Press, and my pub Freya’s Bower), epublishing has a bright future.

So where does that leave me, as a new up and coming author looking to make this a career? I’m really not sure, honestly. My first book, a novella, is something I would never have pitched to a print publisher, mainly because it would not have done well in that marketplace. Novellas are much more of an ebook thing, becaue people look for shorter reads to take with them on their ebook reader or to enjoy while they munch on popcorn in front of their computer screens at midnight. But I also don’t write erotica and erotica is what is selling high on epublishers. My issues lie with where I can make the best and most comfortable career for myself. Where I can work at a pace that I’m comfortable with, push out some good, quality material, and still get a decent sized fan base that would support my endeavors.

Print publishing is a really difficult business to get into, but it certainly holds the candle if you want to make writing a career. Plus, with print pubs there is the marketing involved. The book signings, the conference things, etc. Maybe I’m just insecure and feel that I’m not ready for that world, a world of the likes of huge authors like Nora Roberts and Nicholas Sparks. I know I’m not at that par. I might never be. Then again, does that mean that I’m not good enough?

These are important career decisions. Ones that I have found myself contemplating more and more as I work on my current WIPs, each promising to be novel length single-titles. Should I test the ebook waters and hope to grow my career slow and steady? Or just jump head first into the print world and cross my fingers hoping for the best? I’ve got my eye on getting an agent. I seem to be leaning in one direction, I’m just afraid I’m dreaming too big.

2 responses to “Print vs. Epub

  1. This business is NOT easy, I’ll say that right off the bat. I hate the discrimination epub’d writers get. I think it’s unfair, not everyone can get published, even in the epublished world. I’d say that epublishing has helped my writing (i.e. the editing process, etc.) and I’m thankful I started here. Do I want more, do I want NY and print – an agent? Heck yes. Is it going to be an easy road? No but I’m willing to take the chance.

  2. First, I love that Calvin and Hobbes cartoon! They’re among my faves. As for the whole issue of going epublish or not, it’s totally up to you. A lot of authors who have print books out there started in epublishing. It’s a good way to get “your feet wet” and learn more about the business and it’ll help you learn how to deal with editors, etc. As for being publish in print, all that validation isn’t necessary unless you don’t trust in your own writing. And even if your book goes to print, who’s to say it will sell? Go to any bookstore, and see their shelves loaded with books. Yours will be just one more in the shelf. With ebooks, yours don’t get so lost in the shuffle. Besides, more and more people are downloading ebooks. Look at the releases of books from Kim Harrison, Stephen King, etc. Most are available in ebook format too. So the NY publishers are realizing that there’s a huge market out there, people who prefer to buy ebooks instead of wasting paper.

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