I’m Done with New E-Presses
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I’m going to make people angry with this post, of that I have no doubt. But frankly, this post falls under “my blog. . . do what I want.” With that proviso in mind, read on.
Jayne and I have been avid e-readers for many years now and when we first started eBook Sunday, one of our features was reviewing epublishing house bookstores. I haven’t done that in a long while because, frankly, I was tired of buying books from houses that sold crappy books just for the purpose of reviewing the ebookstore on the site. More and more the epublishing houses that die off due to mismanagement and poor funding is accompanied by two other epublishers rising from the ashes (sometimes by the same individuals who were involved in previous epress debacles).
To say that some of these epublishers are fly-by-night operations is to insult fly-by-night operations everywhere. I’ve completely lost the desire to experiment when new e-publishers hit the market. So many of the new epublishers seem to be publishing books that not only push the boundaries but trample them by the wayside. Once your top selling book is a twincest threesome novel, I’ve lost interest in your books. If you are looking for Daddy/Daughter roleplaying stories, I’m not interested in your collection, no matter how diverse it might be.
If you can’t act professionally online, I don’t believe you are capable of putting out a quality, professional product. If you can’t bother to put up posts without using spellcheck or proper grammar, I doubt that you can edit a book correctly. If it appears that your epublishing house is on the ropes financially, I am not going to invest in a book that might be here today but gone tomorrow. From just a fan standpoint, I hate seeing authors getting screwed over and that makes me not want to my funds go to a publishing house that seems to have shady business practices.
One author emailed me that the benefit of Kindle’s new epublishing platform is that anyone can publish digital edition of her book. To me, this just means I have to wade through exponentially more crap to find even one decent book. Fictionwise has greater barriers to having a book sold on its site, but I appreciate those greater barriers.
When I buy an ebook, I can’t return it; resell it or even the get the satisfaction of throwing it against the wall and stomping on it one or six times. Given those restrictions, I am certainly not going to be trusting my time and money on books published by epublishers that haven’t already earned my trust.
The e publishing year of 2007 has been a sad disappointment for the most part (Samhain partnering with Kensington and the opening of Drollerie Press are two positives). I’m convinced that the RWA folks are all saying “I told you so” and feeling righteous about its new definitions of vanity and subsidiary publishers. Are the new epublishers going to raise the bar in 2008 or just alienate more epress fans? I might be missing out on some quality literature but right now, I’ve just lost interest in new epublishers.