Last week I attended the RT Booklovers Convention. This was my second year participating, and I’m happy to say I was not disappointed. Not only did I get to meet and speak to some wonderful people, including some fellow SFR Brigaders, but I got to learn some important things.
Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting on some of the workshops I attended so as to share information with all of you. Today, I’ll share with you some of the things that were discussed in the workshop What to Expect When You’re E-Expecting.
The panelists for this workshop were Angela James, Executive Editor of Carina Press, and national best selling author Lauren Dane. One the interesting things they discussed, was how the E-book industry has opened up in the last five years, especially in the last few months. If you’ve been keeping up with the news, than you probably know that digital sales are up. In fact, in just one month we’ve seen sales that amount to over 25% of 2009. The rise can probably be attributed to the appearance of the E-Book readers, specifically the Amazon Kindle. We readers have gone from getting in our car, driving to the bookstore, standing in line and driving back home, to basically just pressing a button. And though probably not as healthy for us in the long run, it certainly is convenient. Wouldn’t you agree?
So, what does this all mean for us authors?
1. More opportunities- Angela and Lauren discussed as to how five years ago agents were hesitant to represent books for digital. That’s clearly changed. Agents have seen how much money can be made and expanded their representation. The chances of your book getting published have increased.
2. Name recognition- there are many authors who first started out pushing through e-books that are now in print. Not to mention the marketing by e-book sellers, using tactics like giving away the first book of a series for free. That has helped many authors sell the rest of the series.
3. Higher royalty rates- whereas you’re looking at single digit percentages in most print publishers, most e-book publishers are paying in the double digits.
So let’s see, the books are cheaper, convenient to download, and the authors get paid more. Who doesn’t like that? (Other than the bookstores and printing companies, of course, but that a debate for another time.)
Back to the topic at hand, Angela and Lauren did have a word of caution for authors looking to go digital: Do your research, read the fine print!
Specifically when it comes to the word “Net.” It is crucial that authors get this clearly defined. Sometimes things are be too good to be true.
My advice to authors looking to go digital: attend an e-book marketing and digital rights workshop. Be it at a conference, or online. Learn how to navigate and negotiate these contracts now, before the time comes to sign, because if you’re anything like me, you’ll be so excited just to get published that you’ll miss something important and end up kicking yourself in the rear a year later.
One last thing, if you have any advice, anything that you might like to share with other authors, please do so! I know I’ll appreciate it!