At PBS.org, MediaShift: Your Guide to the Digital Media Revolution is running a series of highly useful articles about e-publishing and independent publishing. Here are excerpts from a smattering of their excellent posts.
“In today’s tight traditional publishing market, agents, editors, and publishers are now encouraging authors to test market their book by self-publishing. … Self-publishing has finally lost its stigma. [N]ew attitudes are taking hold, especially among younger up-and-coming literary agents.”
“‘Many of our indie e-book authors are outselling, outmarketing and outpublishing the traditional publishers,’ says Mark Coker, founder of Smashwords.”
Says Carla King: “[S]orting through the sheer quantity of offerings, claims, and technologies is overwhelming. I spend a good part of each week researching the topic and, for authors of trade paperback books with no or few illustrations, my answer is to use these two services for creating your e-book and print book: Smashwords and CreateSpace.”
Laurie McLean, an agent with Larsen Pomada, says she is “incorporating self-publishing into every one of my clients’ career plans for backlist titles, experimental fiction, shorter works, and more.”
Laura Rennert, senior agent with Andrea Brown, “has taken it a step further, pioneering an indie-publishing path for the agency’s authors. The first to debut is a young adult novel titled ‘Solstice’ by P.J. Hoover.”
“Rennert shopped ‘Solstice’ to traditional publishers, and it even went to acquisitions at one house. She said that when it was finally rejected (because it was too similar to another book being published by a big name house), ‘we realized this was a concern we were likely going to run into elsewhere, so Hoover made the choice, in consultation with me, to go the independent publishing route and be the first to work with our agency in this capacity … authors are driving this trend in publishing.’” [Emphasis added by moi]
My Role As Continuity Editor
I just finished rereading Waterspell Book 1: The Warlock, getting it into final shape to e-publish. I made a few minor revisions (“Of the making of books, there is no end”) but mostly my focus was on continuity and consistency: I searched for items in Book 1 that contradicted the grand finale through which we travel in Book 3.
In the course of writing Book 3: The Wisewoman, I learned a great deal about the culture and the geography of Ladrehdin (LAD-ruh-din), the world where most of the action takes place. I learned things I simply didn’t know in the beginning of this big project. In Book 1, Myra mentioned “rutted” roads, but in Book 3 we learn that the province of Ruain has good roads. So in Book 1, I changed “rutted” to “busy.”
In Book 1, Myra mentioned the difficulty of getting “hot” meals when on the road. But I now know that Ruain is a prosperous province. Almost every town and village has an inn or a pub—someplace for a traveler to get a hot meal. So in Myra's lamentations, I changed “hot” to “home-cooked.”
Little things. But after working so long and so hard on the WATERSPELL trilogy, I could not bear to publish these books without tending to these sorts of small but important details.
Now it’s time to settle down (again) with Book 2: The Wysard and play my same role as continuity editor. It’ll take me two or three weeks. When I'm done with that one, I’ll issue another progress report.
My goal is to publish the first two books of WATERSPELL by mid-October at latest. The story opens with Carin confronting danger in an autumn woodland, so I aim to match the release date of the books to the same season in which we get to know my vulnerable but gutsy heroine.