I'll admit; I'm old-school when it comes to books. I like to hold them in my hand. I love to work book signings, and place something tangible in my reader's hands, and gratefully scrawl my name inside, with a short note. And after sending wave after wave of submissions and getting nowhere, I've decided to try something new.
About two years ago, my hubby was watching Montel Williams, and the subject was new companies that had rocketed to the top of the list of successful companies. One of these owners was Jade Black, founder of Ellora's Cave E-books. D yelled at me to come quick; this was something I had to see. I watched the interview, took note of the website, and thought about e-books.
My intial questions were simple: How do I submit a manuscript? What were the guidelines? My books were slightly tamer in the bedroom scenes...would they accept my work? And what happens if the computer crashes? I'd lose everything I'd downloaded! No...I'd stick with the print books. I did send away for my free newsletter, and promptly put it out of my mind.
Until several weeks later...my newsletters arrived, and sparked my imagination. Also, the stores were getting ready for Christmas, and I happened to pass an electronic store advertising....iPods for E-books! That started the wheels turning...
I went back to the EC site, and read 2 excerpts I found intriguing. Hubby agreed to let me buy them; it was less than $6 for both. We had even bought some writable CDs at the time, and he suggested I save both on the CDs. And so I read my 1st e-books. And kept rereading. I think I read one of them every day for a week! It disappointed me; left me hanging. I wanted to know more about what was going to happen next, after the initial sexual attraction was established! But being the thick-skulled person that I am, the final time I read it showed me that yes, the story wasn't about the relationship and how they learned to live with eachother, or even get married...it was the fact they were from different worlds, and it was about her acceptance of his unusual world, and could she live with that?
The second one was more typical...it was contemporary, and more closely to what I normally read. And it had the HEA (happily ever after) ending I liked. And after seeing that yes, I am willing to read a computer screen instead of holding it in my hand, and if the iPod for E-books would become a little more affordable, I just might jump ship and forget about trying to get my series into a traditional NY publishing company. Especially when I read in trade magazines they were all downsizing, and being very picky about who they published!
A year later, EC began a sister company,Cerridwen Press, and they offer an option. You can download the books, or buy them in print. Again, I went to the site, found one that sparked my interest, and the next time I was in town, went to the Barnes and Noble and ordered it. A week later, I was engrossed in it, loved it, and contacted the author to let her know how much I'd enjoyed it. We emailed back and forth; I was picking her brain...and decided maybe CP was the place for my series. But I was still undecided.
During the past several months, I've had the privilege of corresponding with several authors, all of whom have written e-books. I've downloaded several, and even though I went with a better POD (print on demand) company for my 2nd book, and have been very happy with the process, I have decided to submit my 3rd one to CP and see if they'll accept my work. I have received encouragement, praise, and best of all, I've more reading material and hubby doesn't complain about tripping over my 'damn books'.
If you're wanting to read some explicit material, with good plotlines and enter some different worlds, check out these authors and titles:
Anny Cook: Everthing Lovers Can Know (EC); Dancer's Delight (CP)
Amarinda Jones/Janet Davies (writes under both names): Because I Can;Thief of Mine (and others...these are two off the top of my head!)
Bronwyn Green: I've Put a Spell on You (EC)
Kelly Kirch: Marriage Mart (Coming in December from CP)
Mary Winters: Water Lust (first e-book I ever read...EC)
Lauren Dane: Sudden Desire ( 2nd one I read...EC)
TL Gray: The World According to Ali (CP)
Kelly posted a wonderful essay on the subject of e-books vs print books. As she so eloquently stated, "I don't care if people recognize me, it's a longshot anyway. I do want the money, which is better with Epubs. I think it's the respect..." and she also pointed out, "Epub writers work just as hard at their craft as NY pubbed. In fact, harder. We are responsible for our own promo work and brand name. We must know the business and what sells and we must communicate well with the Editor..." and "We are held to a higher standard..."
Amen, Kelly! In fact, go to her blog and read the whole thing before I completely post most of it! http://www.kkirch.blogspot.com/ I think she posted it on Tuesday??
I began working on an EC submission a little over a year ago. As a mother with teenagers and a small child, I work on it in secret, as anything remotely having to do with romance and sex brings gagging noises from my teenagers. I recently came across it, but with this new WIP that has completely taken over my creative brain, who knows when I'll get back to it. And as always, I'll keep you updated on titles, releases, and the publishes when my work finds a home!