Much has been said about e-book companies, some good and some derisive, but I am one of those who made e-books my first choice. This was partly because I respond better to smaller businesses, and like being a part of an independent venture - I find independent companies are more willing to work with everybody attached to a project, as a general rule. Primarily, however, I chose e-books because you don't need an agent, and my first attempt at publishing was an experiment; I had a manuscript, and I just wanted to see if someone found it worth publishing. I wasn't in it to write full time right away - I just wanted to see if someone would accept that first novel. When someone did, it was fast. I got word back within a month of submission, a turnover that would be impossible in traditional brick-n-mortar publishing, where the two years in the slush pile is the norm.
Two years of waiting, while life moves on, is simply not conducive to an experiment.
So, e-publishing was for me, straight away. Would I love to move into paperbacks? Sure. I will be thrilled when my current companies move into paper (like WHP has started to do, and Wicked Nights will be doing this year), and I wouldn't say no to a chance to publish something with a big print company someday, now that I know I'd like to stick with my writing for a while. But the general practice of e-publishing, of taking quality works fairly efficiently, and letting new authors get considered for publication without the work of an agent, was best for me at first, and will remain so for a while yet.
I won't be seeking an agent until I decide to write full time, if I ever do. So, e-pubbing is for me.
I now have works out with three e-pubs. I have two other companies in mind for current works in progress, but I am sure I will work with these companies again. Right now, I have my short paranormal erotic Waking Kara and my upcoming full length, Strings Attached, with Wild Horse Press; I have Good for the Goose with Wicked Nights' erotica line, After Dark, and I plan on a further series of holiday erotica with them (in the hopes of benefiting from their move to print). I have only one short Christmas romance, Unwrapping Scrooge, with Decadent Publishing, but I would love to work with them more.
Wild Horse took the very first chance on me, and has been instrumental on me staying in writing, and doing more. I have also met some of the most important writing friends I have through my association with this company, and the more experienced writers have been wonderful at helping me figure out where I am going. WHP is open to all of my creative suggestions, and, despite how busy life is for a publisher, they have remained enthusiastic and happy to hear from me. I owe WHP a lot.
My second company, Wicked Nights, was a heaven sent chance. I had a book that needed to go out by Christmas, and was in a panic because it was growing too long for the anthology for which it had originally been planned. I turned to Stacey Thompson-Geer, one of the authors at WHP, for advice, and she welcomed me to Wicked Nights with open arms. For a small, new company, Wicked Nights is getting it together - slick, determined and fresh, Wicked Nights has a strong future, and I am pleased to get in at the ground level.
My third company, Decadent, was a long shot for me. I knew they were quite powerful and "major league" for a startup, and, unlike Wicked, I didn't know anyone working there. But, I had Christmas romance that needed a home, and WHP simply couldn't accept any more submissions for 2010, as they were packed. Sitting with this romance, I was thinking to send it to Wicked, but I wasn't sure if I wanted to have two releases at one company within weeks of each other. I found Decadent, and was considering it when a happy Decadent author on Facebook gave me a nudge of encouragement, so I sent it off. I knew this book was strong, but I admit I wasn't sure it would be accepted. Then came word - Yes! Unwrapping Scrooge would have a home at Decadent!
I have really enjoyed my time with Decadent. They have lovely covers (which is important, despite the old adage), extremely rigorous editorial quality control, and they also do a bit more promotion than a lot of e-book companies do, which is great for a new author on a budget. They also have an incredibly supportive and active author community who have embraced me as one of their own, even though I am, at the moment, a one-short author with the company.
I would gladly work with all three of these companies again, and very likely will if I can come up with more works they like. Sure, my sales have been moderate at best, which is the price one does tend to pay for e-pubbing, and, in time, I might have been more successful (if you measure that in dollars or stats) had I been miraculously discovered in the slush pile two or three years from now... But I wouldn't have been happier.
And I wouldn't have been more keyed up, that's for sure. Right now, I have a great deal of enthusiasm for my avocation, which might not have been the case if I felt my publishing lacked momentum. Right now, I can feel the rise - when I Google myself, I get more and more hits, and I feel like putting out all of these works are starting to pay off. I may never be Nora Roberts, but that's okay - she has the big times all sewn up. I'm happy producing good work with small, intimate companies.
So, wherever I head now, and whether things work out with the other companies I have in mind, or if I never hit the big times, I am putting things out there, and proud of them all. I will always remain grateful to all of the companies who see in my work something worth taking a chance on.
2010 has been good to me. I wish us all the very best in 2011!