Why does it make sense to publish an e-book version before a paper edition? And why is this particularly true for fiction?
Historically, publishers of paper books tried to bet on winners because of high production costs, and they often got it wrong. Some good manuscripts were rejected and some published works flopped badly. Established authors were a safer bet so it was always hard for new fiction writers to get a look in no matter how good their works. For non-fiction other factors made it a bit easier for authors who were specialists in a well-recognised market.
With an e-book the set-up costs are very much lower, which changes just about everything. In particular, there is no stock being created to sit on shelves locking up money until sold.
That means it’s possible to let the market (ie readers) decide what’s best. That can take time, of course, and for an unknown author without a high initial public relations budget it requires friends and family to get the ball rolling. Then viral marketing (hopefully) takes over. If each happy reader recommends the book so that several more people buy it then sales grow progressively faster. Once sales are really established it takes much of the risk out of producing a paper version.
If you’ve written a work of fiction and you have positive review comments from a small number of people with independent judgement (not just your granny!), we’d like to publish it as an e-book. There is a small registration fee (currently £99 including VAT) and you’ll need to enter into a simple agreement with us. You’ll also need to put some effort into helping us promote it.
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