ePublishing. Should you or shouldn’t you? What are the pros and cons?
These questions and more are discussed by ePublished author Regan Walker, as she shares her experience of releasing her first novel, Racing With the Wind, exclusively to the electronic market.
Regan's answering your questions
in the comment section below.
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Q: Authors today have a lot of options in getting their books published. Why did you go with an ePublisher for your first novel, Racing With the Wind?
A: You are so right. Authors do have more choices than ever: everything from print publishers to ePublished books (with a publisher) to self-published eBooks. I had been writing for about a year and a half when I seriously considered publishing my first book (RACING was then nearing completion). Attending a few writers’ conferences and listening to other authors, I began to see that print publishing is a slow boat, in many cases taking years to get an agent and a publisher and then sometimes nearly a year for a contract and then more time to see your book in print. Having already had a decades long career as a lawyer, I wasn’t in the mood for a long haul. Besides, even if you have a print publisher, you can be dumped if they decide your books aren’t selling or they go in another direction. I wanted my book out there, and considered the self-publishing route, but being a new author I thought I would benefit from a great editor. Though self-published authors can hire the expertise they need (editor, copy editor, formatter, cover artist) I liked the idea of all those services being bundled together with a great editor in the mix—and that is just what I got.
Q: How fast was the process to get your book ePublished?
A: Very fast. I heard about Boroughs Publishing Group at one of my RWA San Diego chapter meetings. Let’s see…that was November 2011, before Boroughs went “live” as a new publisher in December. I was impressed with their emphasis on the story, and particularly interested when I heard about their new Editor in Chief, Chris Keeslar, who used to be with Dorchester. When I realized he was a highly thought of professional with a great track record, I thought I might have found a home for my book, especially when I was told Chris is good at mentoring new authors. I pitched to Boroughs in December and had a contract by March. My book was published in July. And I was not sorry. Yes, I gave up some profit by going that way instead of self-publishing, but I like being a part of a new enterprise, and they’ve been good to me, even allowing me to design my cover with Kim Killion, whose work I admire.
Q: Do you have an agent? Do you need one?
A: No, I don’t have an agent. I wasn’t initially opposed to having one but I didn’t look very hard and then I talked to authors who had none and were thriving. I suppose if you go after the big print publishers, you might need one, especially if you don’t have a background in the publishing business or law. But when the Boroughs opportunity came to me, I didn’t feel the need for an agent. I like working directly with the publisher and my editor. One of my friends who is published with an Indie print publisher (also on eBooks) has no agent and loves working only with her editor, as I do. I have a friend who has an agent and is going after the big print publishers, but is already chaffing at the loss of control. Then I have another author friend who swears by her agent. I suppose it’s what you are most comfortable with.
Q: What do you think about the world of self-publishing?
A: In addition to being an author, I am a reader and reviewer of romance with 500 reviews on Amazon and my own blog, Regan’s Romance Reviews, which features “best” lists, book reviews and favorite authors (http://reganromancereview.blogspot.com). In the process of reading for some of my best lists I have discovered some amazing self-published authors, like Ellen O’Connell, Amanda Hughes and Lauren Laviolette, to name a few. Many use Create Space to publish their books and end up with a superb product, some, in my view, are RITA material.
I find it ironic that they have no errors in their books while the print books contain many. Then there are the authors who have been out there for a long time writing enthralling tales who are now bringing their updated back lists to ePublishing and with great results (my blog features many). The fact is, a good storyteller is a good storyteller and self-publishing gives authors the freedom to write the book they want to write. Because of that freedom, many of those books are different in style. I love the fact they can break the rules and yet deliver a wonderful romance, rich in historic detail (I love historical romances), and rich in character development. Each of the three authors I mentioned has made my best lists. I’m thrilled the world of self-publishing has opened up a whole new world of books to readers. The future is in reading books on eReaders; there is no denying it.
Q: How much self-promoting do you have to do as an author?
A: All authors have to promote their own books these days. It’s just the reality of the business. None of us can afford to be ignorant of social media: Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, blogs and websites. Even if you are a “big name,” those are essential. Readers want to connect with you and that’s how they will find you.
Boroughs requires a “marketing plan” with submissions. Mine was only one page, but it laid out what I was doing (my Regan’s Review blog and standing up my website (http://www.reganwalkerauthor.com), and what I hoped to do (a blog tour, some advertising, etc.). Boroughs accepted that. I think they just wanted to be sure I wasn’t starting from ground zero and didn’t have a clue. I like being connected, so for me this is not a problem. I had to be disciplined as a lawyer, and I have to use that same discipline to make sure I’m writing my next book while I’m promoting.
Q: Would you go the same route for your next book?
A: My next book, the second in the Agents of the Crown trilogy, is AGAINST THE WIND, and Boroughs has an option on it and the final one, WIND RAVEN. Frankly, I’m looking forward to working with Chris on this next book. He brings creative enthusiasm to the process and adds something my critique partners do not—a professionalism that looks at the book with a much different view. So, yes, I hope to go the same route for book 2. Chris and I are already talking plot points.
Q: Tell us something about your trilogy.
A: Gee...I’d love to! The Agents of the Crown trilogy tells the stories of three dashing heroes who have been tapped by the Prince Regent (did I mention they are Regencies?) for “special” assignments. The first one, RACING WITH THE WIND, is set in London and Paris in 1816. The hero is a British lord, who became a legend as the Nighthawk, a thief of Napoleon’s secrets, and is now returning to Paris years later to work with an English diplomat whose niece is a rebellious, adventure-loving minx.
The second one, AGAINST THE WIND, tells the story of a British spy returning from France in 1817, only to be dragged into a fomenting rebellion in the Midlands, the “last revolution in England.” He meets his love in a bordello (need I say more?). The third one, WIND RAVEN, tells the story of a British merchant sea captain (the brother of the hero in book 2), who is asked by the Prince Regent to check out some pirates who are attacking British merchant ships in the Caribbean. His heroine is an American girl with an Irish temper who he is forced to accept as a passenger. She has been raised with her brothers to crew on their schooners so she gives the captain a run for his money. All quite fun!
Learn more about Regan Walker and upcoming titles on her website, review blog, author blog, Twitter, Goodreads and Facebook.
Regan Walker is a world traveled, used-to-practice lawyer
who's recently released
who's recently released
her debut novel Racing With the Wind.
Her website displays a picture of her insanely attractive son.
(You're clicking it now, aren't you?)
Regan’s on Ravishing Romances
today answering your questions.
What do you think of her interview?