Just recently there has been a dispute between five publishers and consumers over the price of e-books. Three of the publishers are paying money back to the consumers, but two others haven't settled yet, or not as of two days ago.
It's not my intent to side with publishers, but to help inform the public about the work involved in e-publishing a book. Most readers think the reason e-books are cheap is because there's not a lot of work to get a book out to the public in this format.
Wrong! E-publishers receive many submissions, and they weed through them to find a story with a germ of an idea that might sell, or a story that is so well written they might not have a lot of editing to do.
Then there is the contract. A lawyer is used to draw up contracts between the publisher and the author. If they give all of their authors the same benefits and terms then they can use the same contract by changing titles, author names and dates.
They have more than one artist to design the covers for books. If the e-publisher allows the author input in the decision for the cover, there will be forms sent to her/him. Questions like what color of hair and eyes your heroine/hero has, how tall are they, and a description of something they're wearing in a scene. These are just a few things asked in the questionnaire for your book cover.
Editors are essential for editing manuscripts before they can be published. Most e-publishers have good editors, and many of them came from the print houses. If you get a good editor, your work will be so much better than without one. Nearly, all e-publishers sell well written stories because they edit, and their authors rewrite many times. I will add that many authors hire an editor to look over their manuscripts before they self-publish, so there books can be good, too.
Next is the formatting. This is a toughie, and it's very time consuming. Most formats are PDF, Mobi Pocket, HTML and print. Any place a book is placed has a different format. For instant, Amazon and Barnes & Noble have different formats. A store such as Sony store is different, and there are many other places where a book can be displayed that do use the same formats.
Last but not least is marketing. I must admit marketing is pretty much left up to the author, and it is in the author's contract that she/he must do a certain amount of promoting her/his books. Publishers do have a website where their catalog of books are shown and can be bought in a format of your choice.
Not being a publisher, I'm sure that I have left a lot out. I just want to let people know that e-published books can be just as good as the big print houses.
I would love to hear what you are willing to pay for an e-book?
Thank you for reading my blog, and I hope to see you next Sunday.