Ebook Publishing: Pros and Cons

"Josiah: Undead Cowboy" Kindle Nook
A ghost town, a closed down gold mine with vampires inside, and a jaded undead cowboy guarding it.

"Was That a Ghost?" Kindle Nook
Find out if you encountered the unexplained using the "Trinity of Relevance," quizzes and examples, then what to do next.

"Don't Go There! A Flash Horror Anthology" Kindle Nook
Large collection of horror short stories, timed so you know how long it takes to read each and fit them in your schedule.

"Abandoned Places: Abandoned Memories (Desert Edition) Kindle Nook
Photographs and psychic reads of abandoned locations in the desert.

I spent over 20 years trying to get published traditional routes. I don't consider myself a poor writer. So, what's the deal? Well, getting published became harder and harder without someone representing you (and taking a plump cut). The ironic thing about ebook publishing is that it has changed the publishing industry forever. You know how indie music and online music exchanging hurt the big stupid music companies that were spitting out godawful stars like Britney Spears? You know how movie studios are hurt by indie moviemakers who are making what people actually want to see? You know how newspapers are taking a nosedive because people can get news online or cable? Well, thankfully the publishing companies are eating humble pie now.

Still, is it worth going ebook publishing? Well, it is our future and unavoidable. In the negative, you have to ask yourself first--Am I willing to be my on editor? my own typesetter? Book cover designer? Promoter? Agent? PR? You literally have to be able to do it all. Putting the book up on Kindle and Nook and other sites is easy enough, but they also have not made them document friendly as far as taking a word documenting and plunking it down without it looking odd on readers. If you have a lot of photographs in your book, it could be a hot mess. Even if you think you can get attention and publicity, you might sell a dozen books a month if you're really cranking. It's not an easy industry. Without hard copies of a book for people to thumb through and with so many ebooks being online, the chances of someone finding your book are very slim. To get print copies of your book in print-to-order, you might need to transfer to PDF format and need an expensive Adobe program for that as well as understanding a helluva lot about running these programs and getting the layout right. You also have to set up accounts with every place you deal with and constantly check in and rush around trying to get people to read and review your book or know it exists. It's enough to make you want to just start writing books with titles like "How To Get More Sex" just so people find your book! Even with all of this, you still are completely vulnerable to grumpy pants trolls going on and giving your book a bad rating and if only a handful of people have rated your book, it can weigh it heavily. You have to remind yourself constantly that when reading reviews, if there's one sourpuss in a group of people who loved it, everyone knows that this guy has a burr in his pants.

So, what are the pro's of ebook publishing? Being able to give publishing companies the finger and move on. The more you experience feedback from the direct audience (readers), the sooner you can work your skills and become a better writer. Having been published and showing that you've already been out there in the public and your book rated and so publishers will have more to go on when you present yourself as a published author to their company. Doing ebooks is simpler in that you can go to publish much sooner than publishing companies that can line books up years ahead of time. Places like Kindle and Nook send you a check periodically for your royalties (70% if the book is 2.99 or more) and you get a tax form at the end of the year. Some people do make millions in ebooks, but you are very unlikely to have that happen unless you are in a genre that is wildly popular, such as paranormal romance (think "Twilight" crowd) and if you spend 24/7 on publicity and getting it to catch fire. I suggest having a few 99-cent offerings so people can taste your writing and see if they want to bite the higher priced stuff.

Ultimately, putting up an ebook says something to yourself as a writer--I am legit. For that alone, it's worth the sweat and tears, insecurity and anxiety.

I have a few upcoming ebooks--

"Philia: Sex in a Dark Place" An erotic/horror short story collection
"Ghost Hunting Theories Blog Book" A 99-cent collection of the best of GHT's theories about the paranormal, how I built up the blog, how I grew the blog.
"The Hunt: Ghosts" First in a 3-part paranormal romance series about a paranormal investigation team.
"The Thicket" A paranormal romance about a Pagan community in the hills of West Virginia.

Hoping to go to print--(in the market for publishers, want these in hard copies)

"Zombie Housewives of the Apocalypse"
"Kickin' Up Dust! (Getting Lost to Find Ourselves)"
"Spirit Vessels: Why Some Buildings Are Haunted"


  1. I wasn't going to give in to e-readers, but just did, and while it isn't the same as a book (I have a special love for books) I have to admit I liked it. I could live with them I think...just as long as I can still get my hands on a real book with paper and a cover when I want!

  2. Good attitude, Melanie. I find that I enjoy the convenience of being able to read anywhere, especially since much of life involves waiting in lobbies and such. I also adore having big bookshelves and dog-earring books and re-reading them. I hope to enjoy both worlds by having print forms of my books and ebooks, but sometimes because of the industry, we must do things ass backwards. I'm one of those people who, if you say I can't do something, I will exhaust myself to prove it can be done. To the publishers, I say, "take this!"

  3. Here's another long, rambling comment....

    I'm finding that e-books have the same problem that the real book market does, only ten-fold.

    If you don't have regular releases, they (the market) forget that you exist, your sales plummet even on existing titles, and it becomes harder to get something else out there as time goes by.

    As I've been dabbling in e-publishing these past few months (with little store fronts here and here, and half-assed promotional efforts on social media and my blogs (like this one) I'm also learning that I have no ability to accurately asdess what the public wants. Products I think will do really well get low sales (like my beloved "Alice in Blunderland") and ones I expect to have average sales at best do really well (like "Fists of Foolishness").

    (I probably shouldn't admit to that in public. I've applied a couple of places for editor jobs.)

    But I think the biggest problem with self-publishing is a lack of visibility, especially in this digital age. (On the other hand, you don't have to be on the convention circuit flogging your book in little booths.)

  4. Good points, Steve! I am finding that over time, the more books I have on ebooks, the more people seem to find my books. They might find one and then wonder about the others. That's really the key. If you're confident that, as a writer you can suck them in with your skills, then you can get sold. But, I know a lot of people with very odd titles to their books and vague subjects. I run into that with the abandoned book. Who wouldn't want to see photos of abandoned places in the desert and read about psychic reads of a scene from the past brought to life? But, who knows they're looking for that book and does the title portray what it's about? I almost should have named it "URBEX: Psychic Reads of Abandoned Places." More people would look up URBEX and then find this cool title. I am learning.

  5. Okay, I'm just looking at that list of upcoming books and thinking that if you could just bottle and sell some of your energy and enthusiasm, you'd make a FORTUNE!!

    I bought your 'Was That a Ghost?' book, and now that all the Halloween craziness is over, I'm eager to read it. I'm going to do a post on my possible ghostie experiences, but I want to read your book and get a little more insight first.

  6. LGH; I think I'm just simple-minded enough that I don't know when to quit. I get an idea and I feel compelled to follow it through. I'm always curious what else I can accomplish. I have a motto that if I think it, I must do it. Why the hell not? It's not like I have anything to lose, just experience to gain. Let me know if you want to knock around any of your ghostly encounters. I might shed some insight onto it, but I suspect the book will answer much for you.

  7. Oh, totally! You're gonna be my go-to ghostie gal when it comes to questions!! I'll be plugging your book when I do the post, too.

  8. I think it's best to forget about getting rich and just write because you like too. If you happen to strike a follow and get rich, great.
    If not--no big deal.

  9. For many people, getting a book published is really a matter of pride that they started a book and actually finished it, so for them, an ebook is a fantastic way to say "I freaking did it." For some, like me, who want to write full-time, it's a second full-time job. I literally get up at 7 am, do an 8-hour day job and then immediately begin the writing job until 11 pm every single day. It's the only way I can get anything written, published, and moving. It's by no means an easy industry, but I feel absolutely driven to be a writer because I've always known it was my destiny. For others, it's just the need to share an expertise in a book or to have accomplished a goal they set out to do. For me, it's a daily process. It's not easy to make cash at it, but it feels so good when you know you're reaching a wide audience. That's the thing--just like blogging--you're sharing a part of yourself and looking for acceptance that, yup, you are on the right track.

  10. Great article. I think I have an idea of what it takes to write an ebook for kindle and etc.


  11. I think the majority of folks are still a little timid when it comes to buying ebooks. I don't know the exact numbers but I do know that the market for ebooks is much lower than the market for print books. That will soon change, however, and when it does, indie authors will become the norm.

  12. I think, these books are really interesting to read. I also want to read these books when I’ll be free because I like hunted books.


Post a Comment