So, you’ve written a book. And now you have the audacity to want it published. In this new information age there are many possibilities—all of them require some form of research, discipline and fortitude. How to choose? My advice would be to do the old ”here’s a list of pros and cons” exercise.
Here, in no logical or strategic order are my pros and cons for Print VS E-Book.
Just kidding. There really are some valid strengths and weaknesses in the publishing process. Here, off the top of my head are a few.
Publishing – Have to write a query letter. If you have never written a query letter consider yourself one of the world’s lucky people. They are agony. Like root canal only worse.
E-Book – No query letter just go to Kindle and print away.
Publishing – Need an agent. This is actually much harder than it sounds. You send your first three chapters to an anonymous literary figure somewhere (probably New York) and six months later they write back and say your book was so awful they used your first 3 chapters to start the fire in their fireplace on Christmas Eve. They would have notified your sooner, but they were still laughing at the absurd idea that you consider yourself a writer.
E-Book- No agent is necessary.
Published – You will need a synopsis of your book for the agent (should you find one—and the publisher should your agent be any good and find one for you.) The synopsis is a one or two page summary of story, character, plot and ending. I always wonder why bother to write the whole book if you can summarize it in two pages? But that’s a question for another time.
E-Book – You won’t need a synopsis.
Are you beginning to see a pattern here?
If your book is published, the publisher chooses the cover and has control of the title.
With E-Book, you design your own cover and write your own title.
Published books do appear in bookstores, but in this day and age the author has a heavy responsibility to market it.
E-Books are totally the responsibility of the author and marketing is his/her job.
Published books are smooth to the touch—smell good like a book should and have that satisfying spine snap the first time you open them.
E-Books are basically on little machines that need recharging and don’t make those pleasing page turning sounds.
Published books can be heavy and can be used to press flowers from your son’s prom or, if big enough, can be stood on to reach a dish on the top shelf.
E-Books fit in your purse and can’t press flowers.
Published authors are called by the Today show and they want to interview you on air.
E-Books authors are called by their grandma who is frustrated because she can’t figure out how to order a printed copy of your book to show to her bridge club.
But the bottom line is this:
Published—you are an author.
E-Book—you are an author.