By Joyce Holland
Outside of the fact that I love the way Christine writes, her blogs are always full of details I want to file away, or things I want to talk to other writers about. I doubt there is any subject more talked about right now then self-publishing and ebooks.
I meet regularly with a group of published writers, one of whom, Vicki Hinze, is so knowledgeable regarding the business end of things that I usually ask her what certain editors are looking for right now. And I’m the agent! Anyway, the last time we met the subject was self-publishing. She’s one of the hybrids. We all know a hybrid has publishing credentials and often a following, so they have a better shot at making a success at self-publishing. Vicki and another author taught a one day workshop for Emerald Coast Writers last year. Their best piece of advice was to hire a cover artist. Nothing shouts self-published louder than a lousy cover. I have to admit, when I go into a bookstore, I buy books because of their covers, and, of course, the blurb on the back. And name recognition. Sorry.
As for all the new books coming out—because anyone can be a publisher—I think that tsunami will soon crest. Let’s face it, having a computer doesn’t make you write well. Until I closed to submissions recently, I often received more than 50 queries and/or manuscripts per week. Out of those, I accepted roughly one every three months, and some of those on spec. Now consider what happens if all those authors decide to self-publish after being rejected over and over. Unfortunately, that’s happening. If they are poorly written, people won’t come back for more even if these authors give their books away. And pretty soon, readers will return to publishing houses that cull material before they print it. Finding great books to read isn’t easy, but printing bad ones is a breeze. BTW, have you noticed how many of the big houses are opening eBook lines? If you’re going to ride the self-published wave, you better hurry because people will tire of reading material that used to leap from the slush pile into the circular file. If you’re good, you will be noticed. We all know what really sells books—word of mouth. I think one of the best ways to get that ball rolling is to get your friends and fans to read your book and post kudos on www.Goodreads.com