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HOW TO GET YOURSELF PUBLISHED ON THE NET

Carla Ledbetter became a best-selling author through electronic publishing. Read how she did it and how you can do it

When the release of one of Stephen King’s books in electronic format was announced, readers all over the world immediately sat up and took note of this little-known publishing venue.

 

BMthmb.jpg (36797 bytes)Electronic books are sold over the Internet and accessed by millions of people every day. These books can either be read on computers or downloaded onto a variety of hand-held reading devices once you’ve paid by credit card. They cost less than paperbacks and are available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

The number of electronic publishers seeking manuscripts from writers over the Internet has increased dramatically in the past three years. I selected DLSIJ Press, a quality publisher, to send my manuscript for my novel ‘Blue Moon’.

You have to wait between one and three months after you submit your manuscript to learn whether or not they are going to offer a contract. After I’d signed my contract, I was amazed to learn that ‘Blue Moon’ would be released for sale within three weeks! They published one sample chapter free, and then invited customers to buy the complete work.

This is one of the major advantages of electronic publishing. In addition to receiving a higher royalty percentage, an author’s work is released for sale almost as soon as the contract is signed. I didn’t even know that major bookseller Barnes & Noble had a best selling electronic book list. But ‘Blue Moon’ made it to the list in two categories (Horror and Suspense and Romance)! Now, some twelve weeks later, DLSIJ Press has offered a paperback contract for my novel, to "complement" the electronic sales.

Most electronic books are professionally edited and the covers are professionally designed, so the move from electronic book to paperback book is very easy to accomplish. Electronic books are already formatted to look exactly like a paperback book on your computer screen, so the only thing a publisher needs to do is format the file to fit the selected printer’s requirements and submit it to the printer!

The main steps to remember in submitting a manuscript to an electronic publisher are:
  • Make sure your manuscript is ready to be submitted (it must be edited for content as well as grammar) Remember to run "Spell Check" one last time !
  • Do your research - make sure the electronic publisher you select is actually looking for your story genre. Check their web site, and if you have any questions about submission requirements, send them an e-mail. You should receive a response within a few days
  • Your next move is to write a letter about your work and send it to your chosen electronic publisher. If you don’t hear back in a week or so, send them a short but polite e-mail asking if they received your query letter
  • If you get a positive response, follow their instructions and be patient. This is the hardest part. If you haven’t heard anything back in three months, send them a short but polite e-mail asking if they’ve had a chance to review your work
  • Find out about copyright for your manuscript. It will help to protect your work in case of a lawsuit. The US Copyright web page can be found at : http://lcweb.loc.gov/copyright/ This web site is very informative, easy to read, and will answer all your questions about the copyright process, including the current cost ($30.00). For UK authors, try the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society: email: alcs@alcs.co.uk
  • If you are lucky enough to be offered a publishing contract, read it carefully. This is your only chance to negotiate for what you want, so take your time. You might want to have someone who’s familiar with publishing contracts take a look at it, perhaps a lawyer friend. Most electronic publishing contracts are pretty standard, but it pays to be prudent in this type of negotiation, and different publishers offer different royalty percentages. Is your royalty percentage close to the average amount generally offered? If not, ask why
  • Once you’ve signed the contract, you need to work with your publisher on any final editing they want done to your manuscript. Remember, they are on your side, and only want to make your book the best it can possibly be. You are the author and it is your work, but -- at the very least -- please listen to their suggestions with an open mind
  • Work with your publisher in promoting your book. The key thing to remember is that the more people who know about your book, the more chances you have of making sales. If you have any ideas for promoting your book, let your publisher know
  • Enjoy ! You’ve made it ! Congratulations !

If you would like to read Carla's best selling electronic book the details are:

TITLE : BLUE MOON

PUBLISHER: DLSIJ PRESS
CATEGORY: Romantic Suspense
ISBN: 1-928973-34-5 (E-book)
ISBN: 1-928973-37-X (Paperback)
PUBLICATION DATE: (E-book) April, 2000
PUBLICATION DATE: (paperback) July, 2000
FORMAT: E-book, 412 pages, (PDF, RocketEdition, Palm Pilot, Braille-Friendly Format)
FORMAT: Paperback, 6x9, 288 pages
RETAIL PRICE: $5.65 (e-book)
RETAIL PRICE: $16.95 (paperback)
AVAILABLE FROM: http://dlsijpress.com
AUTHOR: C. D. Ledbetter
Carla Ledbetter is a resident of Greenwood, AR.

www.IUniverse.com site for writers - everything you need to know about the publishing business


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