9 Responses to “Shopping small press epublishers”

  1. Rebecca J Vickery May 26, 2009 at 9:28 AM #

    Great article that I am going to share with my publisher. I would definitely be interested to know which books you purchased and your ratings for each as to: worth the money, want more by this author, and waste of time? LOL

  2. Ashley Ludwig May 26, 2009 at 9:57 AM #

    Excellent article… Rebecca is right. Our publishers need to know that readers care about these things. Authors should read titles before they commit to a press.

    Thanks for this careful review of this growing industry.


  3. AJ Llewellyn May 26, 2009 at 9:59 AM #

    Interesting blog. I write for a small press (eXtasy Books) and it’s a very competitive market. My publisher makes it clear how many pages and words a book has and her pricing is very fair.
    I have written full-length novels and shorter pieces for her (25 published so far). I have also written a few “fantasy game” stories for her, minimum of 5,000 words (max 10,000) and they are each priced at 1.59. That, I think is good value!
    I would love to know what you bought and how you rated the books too.
    You don’t really say if covers put you off or encouraged you to buy…I’d be curious to know.

  4. MB (Leah) May 26, 2009 at 10:01 AM #

    I really enjoyed this post. I’d say that 90% of the books I read/ buy are ebooks from small presses and I hear you on all of those issues.

    #2 -is a big issue. I see the many small epubs charge a ridiculous amount of money for what they offer. Unfortunately for me, I like reading a certain sub genre that is not very popular so I’m kind of stuck paying that if I want to read it. But some pubs are far worse than others in that dept.

    #3- is a biggy as well. And seriously, I so suck at grammar that if even I notice these things, it’s really bad. I can’t imagine what it’s like for someone who gets good editing and writing. Kind of like how I can’t listen to a horrible sound system.

    #5- Amen! I can’t tell you how many books I’ve read with graphically written slot A into Slot B that had all the eroticism of stepping in doggy poo. Seriously. Major turn off. And there there are authors who aren’t graphic at all and I’m running for the fan because what was written is very erotic.

    #6- is why I mostly read small epub books.

  5. Miss Mae May 26, 2009 at 10:20 AM #

    I agree that editing is extremely important, perhaps especially more so for small presses. Bad editing puts me off as a reader, and also as an author.

    Very interesting article.

  6. Nonny May 26, 2009 at 6:30 PM #

    The ebooks I could think of that I loved — are mostly from Samhain. >_>

    That said, I don’t tend to read a lot of ebooks because I spend too much time on the computer as it is. Hopefully I can weasel an ebook reader or PDA for Yule this year. Mwah.

    I completely agree with #3a. I’ve gone looking around at various e-pubs and I have to wonder how some are selling with their pricing. I feel cheated if I’m paying novel prices for a novella or short story. Unless it’s by a friend or somebody whose work I really like, I won’t pick it up.

  7. Karen in TN May 27, 2009 at 8:15 AM #

    I believe Fictionwise has been using Calibre for it’s multiformat books for some time now. As you know, the metadata in it (and in mobicreator) allows the author to place the blurb there (and reviews, if using mobicreator, so they can be separated in their own location). There is no reason a small press can’t switch to Calibre and start delivering better quality ebooks, since they add the metadata once, then a few clicks generates the formatted file (and Calibre supports several file formats, although not all of them, as output formats).

  8. Angie May 27, 2009 at 8:24 AM #

    @AJ I’ve never been comfortable rating/reviewing other small press books because I feel some people would look on that as me bashing the competition. I just bought a bunch more at Fictionwise. I think, in maybe a week or so, once I’ve had time to read a few more, I’ll do a post of titles and publishers I read from and maybe do some general comments.

    @Karen Using Calibre to create formats is an easy way for publishers to do things, but not necessarily the best way, because you depend on Calibre to render all of your formatting correctly and professionally. Now, I’m biased, but I think the formatting of our books is superior to Fictionwise’s formatting, by a mile. I think the books from Fictionwise look fine, but they look…like ebooks. A well-done, well formatted ebook can look polished and put together, like a rendering of a print book.

    Also, if Fictionwise does use Calibre, I do wish they’d put the blurbs in the metadata. They don’t right now. Just wordcount in the comments, and a (often incorrect and unspecific) genre. But Fictionwise’s genre/categories are a whole other rant I could go off on 😛

  9. trav June 3, 2009 at 3:08 PM #

    GREAT post! Thanks for organizing your thoughts like this. Two notes I’m taking away is to post exact word counts and place the blurb after the cover.
    Very cool. Thanks!


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