SHALLA CHATS with author Tina Gerow about: “The Great, Okay and the Ugly of E-Publishing”
Who’s Tina? Tina Gerow has great passion for romance and anything paranormal. She writes “the weird stuff” with sarcasm. Her debut novel, Into a Dangerous Mind, published by Triskelion, comes out this May.
Shalla: Hi Tina.
Tina: Hi. It’s great to be able to talk with you.
Shalla: So you’re getting e-published. That’s interesting. We’ve heard the great, the okay and the ugly about e-publishing and we like to ask you about your experiences with it.
First of all, what made you decide to go the e-publishing route?
Tina: I heard all of the bad stories too, so as a fresh newbie, I only queried print publishers. I got lots of ‘good’ rejections – the ones that say send more! – the same with agents, but no one offered a contract.
In the meanwhile, I was getting to know authors in my local chapters who are published with Ellora’s Cave and Triskelion and who are all big advocates for e-publishing.
So, since my book wasn’t erotica, I submitted it to Triskelion just to see what would happen. (That’s before Cerridwen Press was well-known.) And within a few weeks, they requested the full.
A month later, they sent me an email offering a contract. I accepted and have had nothing but wonderful, positive experiences with them. My book comes out in May and they have been extremely supportive and helpful in every aspect.
Triskelion is also actively seeking RWA recognition and I’ll be surprised if they don’t make it by the end of 2005. I still tell people to check out e-pubs thoroughly, because I have some friends who are with some e-pubs who are NOT giving them very positive experiences. I keep telling them to come on over to Triskelion.
I’m still going to actively pursue print publishing as well as future e-published books. If you get with the right e-publisher, then the differences are just semantics – especially since some e-pubs now offer your books in print when they sell well in e format.
Shalla: I have lots of respect for e-pubbed authors. It’s still quite a new format. By the way, how are books formatted? Is it a Word File? A PDF?
Tina: It really depends on the individual e-publisher. Triskelion offers PDF, MobiPocket, HTML and LIT. Ellora’s Cave offers Adobe PDF, HTML, MS Reader, Palm PDF, MobiPocket and RocketBook, which is the .rb files that Rocket reader’s accept. So, they really are quite versatile.
Shalla: Since, e-publishing's only electronic, if they publish your novel, can you still sell that manuscript to print publishers? And/or audio downloads?
Tina: Most of the e-publishing contracts I’ve seen cover e rights as well as print rights because if your ebook sells well, some of the houses will print it. Again, it depends on the house.
Shalla: Since the cost of e-publishing is significantly lower than print, do you get higher royalties?
Tina: Yes, most of the e-publishers I know of offer 37% on e-downloads and slightly lower on print, although still better than the single digit percentage offered by most print pubs.
There is no advance for e-pubs, but you get paid monthly. It’s a bit of a trade off, because for e-pubs, you do a lot of your own publicity. Some people think that puts them at a disadvantage, but I’ve found that many people overseas really like the e-books because they are cheaper for them to get than US print books because of shipping etc.
I’ve had emails from people in China, Taiwan, Russia and Germany asking when my book is coming out because they saw me on the Triskelion book loops and liked my excerpt. There is definitely a market for e-publishing out there.
Shalla: When e-querying, what’s the response time like?
Tina: Pretty quick compared to what I’ve experienced with print pubs and even agents. I sent an email query letter and two weeks later got a request for a full. Then a month later, I received an email offering me a contract.
Shalla: How are negotiations conducted? In person? By phone? By email?
Tina: Everything I’ve done with them has been through email.
Shalla: What’s the time line like from sending that manuscript to getting an acceptance then a contract? Then from signing that contract to getting the book out?
Tina: I received an email offering a contract a month after I sent in the full. Then from the time I accepted, it took another three weeks before I received the contract. I took a week to look it over, sign it and get it back to them.
The edits and when the book comes out after that depends on when your book is slated. My book comes out in May, so my edits will start in April. But I know some other authors in other lines whose books came out two months after their contract was signed – it all depends on when it’s slated to come out.
Shalla: Who’s responsible for promotions? You or your e-publisher? Are you doing promotions? Like what?
Tina: My contract states that I’m responsible for promotions, but Triskelion actually helps.
One of our editors sends out our books to a list of review sites and they helped coordinate a group ad in RT magazine for authors writing in the same line – we all chipped in to split the cost.
So, other than the RT ad, I’ve printed up bookmarks to take to RT and RWA Nationals, I’ve signed up for a radio interview on Jewel’s Way weekly radio show, and I signed partials of my book that I had printed up at the Glendale Chocolate Affair.
Shalla: So how long is your book staying on inventory? And where do we find it? Where do we get it?
Tina: I have a two year contract with Triskelion and as long as one sells now and then off the site, it will stay on for the full two years.
I’ve also agreed to let my book be listed on Fictionwise.com if they offer, which would be for five years. Once my book is released in May, it will be available on www.triskelionpublishing.com and I’ll have a link to the Triskelion page from my website.
Shalla: Thanks! For more on Tina Gerow, visit her website www.tinagerow.com Congrats and cyber champagne Tina, we all love that time our work gets out to the world.
We at Shalla Chats send our highest wishes for success and blessings to you and your writing career. Thanks so much for taking this time to talk with us. We look forward to your future books.