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The Pleasure and Pain of e-Publishing

February 11, 2015

February 14th sees the publication of the e-version of Not In Our Hands. I know you all remember that date for other, romantic reasons but my second novel does contain romance, too, and my trusted and clever editor,  Helen Sandler at Tollington Press chose the 14th as it’s precisely one month after the launch of the print version.

Thank goodness I didn’t go down the untested route of formatting my own Kindle version for this, or for my first novel, The Purple Rose. I actually thought that Helen’s e-version of The Purple Rose was the best presentation of an e-book I’ve seen, with hyphens in the right place, lines set out logically and so on.

Yes, of course there was lengthy soul-searching about the financial advantages or rather, disadvantages of putting an e-book out there, since I receive so very little per book. It works out that from the asking price of £4.99 per e-book, I receive £2.88. And we’ve dropped the price of The Purple Rose to make it attractive for people who want to read that first, which has already happened at book shop events I’ve attended.

But look how the readership can spread – if you self-publish, it’s impossible to balance the importance of returns on your money with the wish to have as many people as possible reading the book that you have written. I – and you – want both, but we can’t have it all. Similarly, I also get as much of a thrill seeing my books in libraries as I do on any book shelf – long may libraries live!

Naturally, it does matter to me to try to ‘break even’, as I did with The Purple Rose, but knowing that more people will read that and Not In our Hands because they are e-books as well, is a good – if not as good – a feeling.

Link to buy Kindle edition of Not In Our Hands

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