controversial e-book on Amazon

Tuesday, April 17th 2012. | Gadget News

e-booksBenefits of e-publishing

Recent lengthy Times’ articles about Amazon and e-book controversies barely mention authors who have benefited from publication of their work. [“Amazon behind e-book lawsuit,” page one, April 16.]

Regular publishing firms have almost eliminated new authors and instead pay millions in advances to already best-sellers, or those who have done something sensational. I have written for years, won several literary prizes and had three New York agents, with little publishing results.

Two years ago, I submitted a book to an e-publisher that pays royalties and had been in business 10 years. They accepted the manuscript, and I now have three books published and have signed a contract for a fourth. This company puts the work through two thorough edits, and publishes downloads to Kindle, Nook etc. — and trade paperbacks. They provide cover artists who work closely with the author at no cost.

This is not a vanity or self-publishing firm, and they charge no fees for e-downloads, and only a small, one-time setup fee to the author for the paperback. Another plus is that piles of books aren’t burnt or resting in warehouses. Books are ordered and printed through the publisher, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and many others.

The downside is that authors do not receive a cartload of free books, but do get some, and discounts on orders. Another problem is that the author is responsible for publicity and most marketing. And, libraries, book reviewers, and news outlets like Seattle Times still think e-books are unworthy of their lists.

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