The unveiling of Apple’s Ipad has started yet another wave of people hailing a revolution in reading. Apple is proclaiming that it will revolutionize how folks read. Yawn
The Kindle, the Sony e-reader and a host of other gadgets have been there before Apple and the revolution is more like a slow turning of a tide. I have both of my books available in e-format and it is important to me, something I’ve tried to explain on this blog long before now. I read e-books and I listen to books on my MP3. But authors need to consider much more than format when they decide about a publishing company.
If you are an author out there looking for a publisher right now, I can not emphasize enough that one of the most important things to look for has to do with distribution. You want your books available in the most places you can get it. And you want your publisher to take returns. These two factors alone will decide if your book is available not only for your relatives to buy, but also for the casual browser at your friendly neighborhood bookstore to take a chance on.
Yes, you need to consider what rights you are selling. Try to retain as many rights as you can for yourself. Just because a publisher does e-books as well as paper books doesn’t mean you want to have your e-book come out with that publisher. It may be that while their trade paper books are widely available, they do not offer the same kind of distribution on their e-books. So find an e-pub who does. Ditto with the audio rights. Some publishers may very well do audio books in their basement–that doesn’t mean you want your audio book out with them.
No book will be available everywhere (Okay, maybe Stephen King’s but for the rest of us….) Bookstores, if they are run well, know their customers. And they will buy books according to what sells in their stores. So all stores will not stock all books. Makes sense, right?
Bookstores are businesses. Writers are business people too. We need to remember that and not just take any deal that is offered to us.