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eBook Ecstasy Newsletter

June 2001 Issue

June 15, 2001
Volume 1 No. 20
ISSN 1530-5287

E-Book Ecstasy

In upcoming issues, we plan to include information on worthy ebook news. So, epublishers can feel free to send us their press releases about innovations, authors should send notification of book signings, awards or other achievements and readers should provide feedback as to the features you would like to see added to E-Book Ecstasy. This is *your* newsletter.

Susan Bodendorfer, Publisher of Wordbeams will soon reveal her true alter ego. Wordbeams recently held a "Secret Identity" contest. The winners, and Susan's pseudonym, will be revealed in the July issue of Beamings and posted to the website. Snippets of some of the very interesting comments will also be included.

RosettaBooks is having a 25% off sale during their Grand Opening. These are the folks who took on Random House over electronic rights. This is a very important case for everyone who has a stake in epublishing. I strongly recommend that epublishers and eauthors show their support by buying their ebooks and/or donating to their legal fund.

If  you would like to make a donation, please make a check payable to RosettaBooks LLC with a re line "legal fund" and mail it to them at the address below. They will use it to help defray their significant legal bills.

Leo Dwyer
COO RosettaBooks, LLC
845 Third Avenue, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10022


Special Announcement
eBook News
Featured E-Authors
E-Book Corner
New Releases


Featured E-Author:  Charlotte Boyett-Compo
Featured E-Author:  Lida E. Quillen
Featured E-Publisher:  Roy Hoy, co-owner of Booklocker.com
Featured Reviewer:  Jan Crow
Featured Reviewer:  Rita Hestand
Featured Reviewer:  Sheila Jordan

***Special Announcement***

E-authors and E-publishers - If you would like to contribute an article to E-Book Ecstasy, please contact me so we can highlight you and your web sites. E-book reviewers, I am especially interested in four star reviews of upcoming releases. Now paying $5.00 for articles and/or reviews. Word count from 800 to 1500 words.
Lida E. Quillen  


eBook News

The National Book Award, one of the industry's most prestigious literary prizes, will extend its eligibility to ebooks. Ebooks will not be considered as a separate category, but will be judged within the four existing award categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry and Young People's Literature. All eligible ebooks must have been published only in electronic form December 1, 2000 to November 30, 2001.

David vs. Goliath
RosettaBooks contractually acquired and paid for the electronic-publishing rights to nearly 100 titles, including several works by William Styron, Kurt Vonnegut and Robert Parker. Random House has sought injunctive relief including an order which would prevent Rosetta from approaching the authors of the nearly 21,000 Random House backlist titles. Random House claims to own the electronic rights to its entire backlist whether there is a specific electronic rights grant in the contract or not.

Because of the gravity of Random House's suit over authors' rights, an amicus brief was filed by The Authors Guild (7,800 author members) and joined by the Association of Authors Representatives (representing over 350 literary agencies).  This is the first time that these two organizations have joined in an amicus brief.

In related news, a former Random House exec warns - "Like any other successful bully, Random House must choose its victims carefully. It harasses a  relatively powerless start-up because it doesn't dare go up against the powerful agents who dominate trade publishing."

Cedar Mill Library is one of the first libraries in the Portland Oregon area to have e-book readers available for checkout by patrons. Mary Taffs, Awe-Struck E-Books, presented a Rocket eBook to the library. Susan Bodendorfer, founder and CEO of Wordbeams, a Portland based epublisher, spoke optimistically of the future of ebooks. Participants included ten eauthors from such epublishers as Awe-Struck E-Books, Hard Shell Word Factory, New Concepts Publishing, Novelbooks, Inc. and Wordbeams. Read about the all-ebook reading and author signing that took place May 29th.

Cindy Vallar is the new Resource Editor at GWN Literary Magazine. Her first column premieres in July and each month she will write about doing research on the Internet.

Ms. Vallar was also the Featured Author for the month of June at MR Books (Tonya Ramagos aka. Calley Moore’s web site) http://www.geocities.com/tomrbooks/

Visit her website: http://www.cindyvallar.com

In April 2001, Gemstar-TV Guide International unexpectedly shut down eBookNet. Glenn Sanders and Wade Roush, creators and founders of eBookNet.com, have created eBookWeb which "aims to be the eBook movement's community hub." Official Launch date July 4th. [ Ed. - Independence Day.  Hmm. Coincidence?]

If you are interested in hearing more about Glenn and Wade's new venture, eBookRadio has posted an audio interview with the two of them. You can listen to it in Real Audio, Windows Media Player or MP3 formats.

Gemini Books closed operations on June 1, 2001. Founder and owner Lisa Schmitt made the decision due to continuing personal and health concerns. The infrastructure, website, equipment, ISBN numbers and contract with R.R. Bowker along with inventory, supplies, etc., are still in place and she is looking for someone who is interested in purchasing a portion or all of the business assets.

Gotta Write Network
GWN is currently seeking Genre Webpage Editors to submit a column on a monthly basis. Responsibilities include writing a how-to column and providing markets open to submissions. Editors may apply for this position by emailing: Netera@aol.com. Payment will be free advertising and a writer's directory listing. Contributors may currently submit articles in order to begin the networking process. Authors have already begun to email me updates on their current writing projects.

Hard Shell Word Factory has upgraded to a newer and faster site. Ebooks now available in more formats from the new E-Book store. Authors and publishers should check out the new Digital Posting feature.

New epublisher Lost Papyrus Publications will be offering science fiction, fantasy, and horror on CD. Initial titles include works by Steve Perry, David Bischoff, Nancy Kilpatrick, and Rick Hautala. Website still under construction.

An international group of writers/readers are attempting to rebuild the Rocket Library by contacting the writers who had given permission for their work to be included. Subscription info:

Sandy Cummins, Editor/Webmaster Writers Exchange and Writers Exchange E-Publishing was the featured epublisher for June on Rita Hestand's web site.

Wordbeams recently announced the debut of Wordbeamettes, the publisher's bold and exciting new line of fiction and nonfiction shorts which became available June 1st.

Athina Publishing is creating an anthology in celebration of women. Seeking women-based short stories (1000-3000 words)
written by women only.

Rumor Mill
Dreams Unlimited is no longer an ebook publisher. Co-owners Bonnee Pierson and Silke Juppenlatz have decided to close Dreams Unlimited and Daylight Dreams. LTDBooks has offered contracts to all the DU authors and thus far nineteen authors with thirty books have signed up. Watch the LTDBooks web site for new developments.



Subscribe to BEAMINGS!
Beamings is the official newsletter of Wordbeams, the brightest star in electronic publishing. Our books offer top-quality fiction and nonfiction in electronic format via download (e-mail attachment) and on diskette.

Subscribers will learn all about our new releases; get the latest news about Wordbeams authors; and find out about Wordbeams contests, special offers, and promotions. Beamings is free and is sent to subscribers approximately once each month. Subscribe to our newsletter and find out why we're beaming!
Subscribe: Beamings-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
URL to this page:

AllAboutMurder announces their newsletter, AAM in the News. "We have a bit of something for everyone. Like murder, suspense, thrills, and a bit of romance? Check out our monthly updates from movies, to books, to writers tidbits, to quizzes and polls. Interested? You need not be a member of AllAboutMurder to subscribe! Check out our page at:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AAM_in_the_News or subscribe directly at:

Karen Wiesner is thrilled to announce that her new book, Forever Man, is now available. This completes the Angelfire Trilogy. To celebrate, Karen and her publisher Hard Shell Word Factory are having a Celebration Sale. For a limited time only - June 4th - June 30th - purchase Books 1 and 2 of the Angelfire Trilogy and receive the newly released Book 3 free!

NovelBooks, Inc., (NBI) will open its doors for sales on October 1, 2001, producing top quality books, available in both electronic and print-on-demand (POD) simultaneously. NBI will offer its customers as many formats of its books as possible, including downloadable HTML, PDF, Microsoft Reader, Adobe Reader, Palm, and more. NBI's POD books will be available in trade paperback size. NBI will launch with 8 books in October, thereafter releasing 4 books per month. Their release schedule is full through May 2002. They publish in all genres with the exception of Young Adult, Erotica , and Horror.

Announcing Radio Free Gallery Suites, a unique new low cost Website Design and Hosting Services for Authors.

Obtain unique Radio Free Gallery advantages for a reasonable one time payment... Imagine the promotional impact of audio readings from your own books in your own voice. You're On the Air, Everywhere, All the Time with Radio Free Gallery. If you're planning to order a reading or interview,take advantage of our extraordinary low fees by ordering before July 1st.

Come to Word Wrangler Publishing and discover the exciting new world of electronic books! Secure shopping cart, prompt 24 hr. service and plenty of eBooks to choose from. While you are there, sign up for our free, twice monthly newsletter, enter our free Fantasy Writing Contest and download free eBooks! New eBooks added frequently.



What You Won't Be Getting….

Charlotte Boyett-Compo, award-winning author

Electronic publishing is a godsend for writers who might never have been published had they held out for a traditional publisher to come knocking at their door.  With the advent of e-books and small press e-publishers, the voices of those talented writers who could not get their foot into the traditional publisher's door now have a pathway into the mysterious, wonderful world of publication. Unfortunately with their entry into publishing, these fledgling writers brought with them a plethora of misconceptions about the industry.  The shooting down of these misconceptions—most garnered from  novels, television shows and movies about published authors—is the hardest lesson newbie authors will have to learn about this business.

I've never liked to burst anyone's bubble, but sometimes telling it like it is will prevent a new author from forming unrealistic expectations of what being published means.  Knowing the realities of publishing might help an author to understand this is a business and not a journey into self-gratification.  It is a serious business that should be conducted in a professional manner.  Understanding a few essential elements of the publishing process might prevent misunderstandings between a new author and his/her publisher.

Book Promotion: This is an area where new authors have the most skewed perception of what will and will not be done in the advancement of their book.  Even after reading and signing their contracts, these writers do not fully understand the ins and outs of promotion. They fully expect their publisher to do all the work and all they need to do is sit back and rake in the royalties.

Sorry to tell you this, but that is not the way it works.

With very few exceptions, most e-publishers will leave the promotion of your book almost entirely up to you. They will expect you to send out the press releases. They will expect you to contact radio and television media in your immediate area.  They will expect you to book your own book signings. They will expect you to find your own reviewers. They will expect you to get your website (and you would be foolish not to have one) linked to as many genre-specific and promotional websites and webzines as possible.  They will expect you to continuously promote yourself on listservs.  In other words: the process of promoting your book to the fullest extent will be your responsibility, not theirs.

Why? Well, let's consider the fact that your publisher has very limited resources.  With small e-publishers, the entire staff is almost entirely voluntary.  There is no mega-budget with a limitless purse from which that publisher can draw to promote each and every one of their authors.  Given the fact that authors are from all points of the globe and the local radio and television stations in their areas are so numerous, it is silly to think the publisher can make arrangements to have each of them interviewed.  If the author makes the initial contact, perhaps the publisher will follow up with a letter on the corporate stationary to help sell him/her as an author, but that will be the extent of what most will have the time or money to do.

In most cases there is neither the staff numbers nor the time to parcel out promotional opportunities for each author.  There might be a list of willing review websites who will accept ARCs of new novels being released, but that isn't a guarantee that the website will actually review the book or, if it is reviewed, the review will ever see the light of electronic pasting. Having someone on staff follow up to see if the ARC ever arrived, the review was done and/or posted, takes time away from other needs more pressing in getting books out to the reading public.  Multiply that need to look into the progress of the review times however many authors are contracted with the publisher and you can see it is a logistical nightmare at best.

And just who pays for sending out print ARCs? It won't be the publisher. You will be expected to print out, copy, and mail the ARCs to places that will not accept email attachment ARCs.  With the cost of paper, ink cartridges, binding, wrapping, and mailing out print ARCs, the expense can be prohibitive to new authors who don't have a lot of money with which to play. There again: multiply this times all the publisher's authors under contract and you'll see why the publisher will not be sending out your print ARCs.

Book ads are another avenue down which new authors often travel all alone or in groups of three to 15.  Some genre-specific magazines like Romantic Times will not accept your book for review unless you do an ad with them. To some that is blackmail, but it is the cost of doing business if you want a review from RT.  The price is high but if several authors go in together, they can get a pretty decent one page black and white ad. (Don't even ask what a color ad would be!).  Although you will be sharing space with an author who is in direct competition with you, at least you will have your name before a large segment of readers.  You have to weigh the exposure against the cost. Most authors don't mind doing a joint ad and many have parlayed it into decent sales. But you will be the one paying for the ad, not the publisher, although some publishers have been known to ante up a small, token amount to help defray the cost.  Will they or do they commit such largesse to every author under contract? Not often.  Expect to pay for ads yourself.

As for that spectacular thing called THE BOOKSIGNING TOUR: this is a myth I would like to see expelled from every author's repertoire of Things My Publisher Will Do For Me.  Unless you are a big star at one of the traditional publishing houses (and then you'd better have a name that is a household word), the chances of your publisher setting you up on a 15-city tour has as much chance of happening as you winning the Iowa Lottery.  It just ain't gonna happen.  Here is what will happen:

You will be the one to contact the bookstores.  You will be the one to nudge the store manager into granting you permission to have the signing.  If you're lucky and get an enthusiastic store manager, you might have that manager suggest you do other signings in some of their other stores. That will entail you speaking with the corporate office's Event's Coordinator who might help you set up a multi-store/city signing.  Even with the signing scheduled, you will still have to deal with each store manager on your own. You will have to call them, introduce yourself, and hope they aren't having a bad hair day. You will be the one to make sure the bookstore contacts the local media to hype you. You will be the one to follow up to make sure your books are at the bookstore so you won't look like an idiot if you get there and there's nothing for you to sign. (Even the best publisher can not guarantee the books will reach their destination on time, folks. Given the mail system we have today, your books might wind up in Katmandu, so you'd be wise to check before heading to the store.)

That brings us to promotional items to give away.

No, your publisher will not provide you with free books to hand out at seminars and conventions. They will not make and give you free copies of sampler diskettes or CDs. They will not give you a box of PODs or mass market paperbacks for you to have as contest items on your webpage.  It is highly doubtful publishers will provide you with bookmarks, coffee mugs, mouse pads, pens/pencils, magnets or any of the other sundry promotional giveaways big name authors fling into the crowd like riders on a Mardi Gras float.  There is no budget for such things and again: multiply that with the amount of authors under contract and you'll see why most publisher shudder even at the thought of providing promotional items.  You will be expected to shell out the money for these items to launch yourself at conventions.  You will be expected to learn how to make pamphlets, bookplates and bookmarks with your book cover on them to give out at seminars and to drop off at libraries. (Don't know how to do this? Ask a fellow author. We've learned and we'll be happy to share!)

Convention, seminar and book fair fees:  Nope. This is another of your responsibilities, not the publisher's. If you want to attend, set up a booth, have the books to sell, you will be the one to do the work. You will be the one to shell out the money. Consider all the ramifications of attending conferences and seminars when you do your budgeting for promotion.  These things can be quite expensive and you have to weigh the possible returns against the cost.   The exposure can be great, but unless you sell enough books to warrant attending, think twice before committing to forking over money you might not recoup.

Going into publishing knowing the pitfalls, the drawbacks, and the realities will help new authors become the professionals they need to be.

 - - - - - - -
Author info

Charlotte Boyett-Compo is the author of twenty-one books, the first nine of which are the WindLegend Saga.

Visit one of her publishing houses at Twilight Times Books (http://www.twilighttimesbooks.com ), Hard Shell Word Factory (http://www.hardshell.com ) and Amber Quill Press (http://amberquill.com) to learn more about her available books and what's coming up next.

She has a new sword & sorcery romance book (The Windhealer: Book Four of the WindLegends Saga series) coming out in July and DarkWind, the long-awaited sequel to BloodWind, will be out in November. Drop by her website at http://www.windlegends.com  to get know a little about her.  Please be sure to sign the guest book so she'll know you came by.

Check out Charlee's interview at Sharp Writers

Copyright © 2001 Charlotte Boyett-Compo



Ezine Submissions
and recommended writers' web sites

Lida E. Quillen

This article is primarily for speculative fiction writers who have a few completed stories or a finished novel under their belts (or under their beds). If you are a beginning writer, there are literally hundreds of resources on the web to help you at each stage of the writing process. Published authors should consider submitting short pieces to online magazines in conjunction with the release of their books as a promo vehicle.

By now, you are subscribing to a writer’s monthly magazine, you have read several books on writing and you are a member of a critique group. You have made the changes your writing partner recommended and you are ready to send your masterpiece out into the world. Go over the story again. Look for typos, failures in logic, misspellings, the usual. Make certain the story is your very best effort. It may appear on the web for a very long time.

For info on standard manuscript format, check out the excellent articles at SFWA or tips for writers at Inkspot. Both sites have dozens of links of interest to writers.

Read submission guidelines carefully and submit according to the specifications. Some ezines prefer you send the story in the body of an email message. Other ezines will accept file attachments in specified formats. If you’ve been sending and receiving email messages, you can send your story to an editor as a file attachment. Send a test message to yourself or to a friend to ensure you are doing this correctly before you submit.

If you feel you need more help, check out this email program tutorial.

Be careful what rights you are giving away. One-time electronic rights and the right to archive for a year or two seem standard. As a courtesy, you should not submit elsewhere until the story has been online for ninety days. You should always mention if the work has been previously published. Word does get around.

Start researching the paying online magazines first. If you are still getting rejections after a dozen submissions, look for web sites that list new ezines. Low Bandwith and Newbie Writers Resource Page come to mind. You will have a better chance of a careful reading from a new magazine.

Low Bandwith

Aspiring Authors -- info on writing, submitting and finding fiction markets.

Again, read the submission guidelines carefully. If your story is in a genre different from the ones listed, move on. Avoid inappropriate submissions. Do mention if artwork is available to accompany the story. At times, this may tilt the odds in your favor.

Do try sending your story several places before you simply upload it to your personal web site. Very few ezines and even fewer print magazines will accept previously published material. Getting accepted by ezines will get your work into the hands of readers, build your confidence and your publication credits. And be patient. Response times may be a few weeks longer than stated.

When your story appears online, be sure to list the web page info with places such as BitBooks.com and search engines in order to receive more exposure and more hits.

Where do you find other magazines that might be interested in your stories? Join writers’ email lists to find contests and new markets mentioned by list members. Look up the magazines and check out their submission guidelines. One good place to start is the Zine Guild. Below you’ll find a few ezines and a couple of web sites listing various zines in an ezine database format, etc.

For Writers.com -- email list of 900 writers.

The Writer's Corner - a support group. Good place for beginners

Zine Guild


Netiquette tip: Don’t send out multiple submissions. When an editor receives an email message addressed to twenty magazines, I can assure you that message goes directly to the recycle bin.

Web Sites

For the Pros:
Two ezines that pay pro rates are currently closed to submissions. You might check back periodically to see if they re-open.

** Dark Muse -- pays 3 cents a word for horror stories up to 1000 words

*** DNA Publications website -- SF/F/DF/H. Pays 3 to 5 cents per word

*** Gothic.net -- H/DF. Pays 5 cents per word for stories 2000 to 5000 words.

** Mind's Eye Fiction (closed)

*** Neverworlds -- speculative fiction. Pays $15. for short fiction.

*** Pulp Eternity -- SF/F (closed to subs except for upcoming anthologies). Web site under construction.

** Speculon -- Dark SF. Pays 3 to 5 cents per word for up to 5000 words.

Webs of Wonder Contest jointly sponsored by Analog Magazine and David Brin. Winner gets their award presented at Worldcon! Cut off date 7-15-01. See the web site for more details, information on judging, the nomination form, etc.
at http://www.analogsf.com/wow

The following web sites are recommended for semi-pro writers:

** Clam City -- speculative fiction. Pays $5.00 for fiction, poetry or artwork.

**** Eguild -- an electronic labor union, dedicated to protecting the rights of online authors and artists, promoting their work specifically and e-publishing in general. Tell 'em Lida sent you.

** Fiction Fix -- Non-fiction market. Pays $20 per article for First Electronic Publication rights 800-1000 words preferred: informational material or personal experiences with writing

*** Folks Online -- pays $50 - $100 for personal articles. True Story articles should contain 900-1200 words.

*** Muse It -- prefers speculative prose or stories with a strange twist.

**** Net Author pays offers an honorarium (currently $10.00 upon acceptance) for each piece. Articles, essays, and interviews related to the art and craft of writing. All submissions must be queried first.

*** Nuketown -- SF/F/H ezine. Pays $20. for stories to 4000 words. Reprints $10.

 *** Rogue Worlds -- a new online science fiction, fantasy, and horror magazine. Payment is $5 for stories between 1k/wds and 5k/wds, and $10 for stories between 5.1k/wds and 10k/wds. Paid on publication.

**** SFF Net -- a gathering place for authors, editors, readers, and publishers to get together to discuss books, stories, the art and craft of popular fiction, and all aspects of the literary life.

*** The Worlds of Fantasy – resources for speculative fiction writers. Tell the editor Lida sent you.

** The Writer's Place -- huge database of guidelines

 **** Twilight Times -- an award winning digital journal of speculative fiction, fantasy artwork and poetry. Beginning with the Summer 2001 issue, Twilight Times will pay $5.00 for fiction, artwork, articles or poetry. Check submission guidelines.

***Writers and Illustrators of the Future Contest -- open to new and amateur writers of new short stories or novelettes of science fiction or fantasy. No entry fee. Entrants retain all publication rights. Prizes every three months: $1000, $750, $500.

*** Writer Online is a paying market and is seeking non-fiction, fiction and poetry. Fiction: clever, innovative, humorous, and/or meaningful short stories pays $40. Poetry: $10-20. Short humor, Tips, Quotes. $5-10.

Here’s a few worth checking out as they are very open to amateur writers:

**** Artistic Intent -- tell the editors Lida sent you.

*** Demensions seeks mainstream science-fiction and fantasy stories, novellas and chapter excerpts.

**** Quantum Muse is an ezine seeking submissions of science fiction, fantasy and alternative stories to 8,000 words. Very open to unpublished writers. Accepts electronic submissions. Pays flat rate of $10. per story.

*** The Fifth Di-- accepting SF/F submissions of short stories, poems, essays, and illustrations. Upcoming print anthologies. The editors are very open to excellent work by beginners. Tell 'em Lida sent you.

*** The Martian Wave -- accepting SF/F submissions of short stories, poems, essays, and illustrations.

**** The Writer's Hood gives a friendly welcome to readers, veteran and beginning writers. Accepts electronic submissions. Free critiques. Current response time four to six weeks. General fiction, genre fiction, poetry and stage plays. No payment indicated on the submissions page. Tell the editor Lida sent you.

*** Twisted 9's Publications  -- very open to new writers. Their stated goal is to "provide fledgling authors a place to voice their stories, and to provide well told sci-fi tales to the world at large." Tell the editor Lida sent you.

**** Writers Exchange Ezine -- good place to obtain publishing credits. Listed in the top 101 websites at Writers Digest. Tell the editor Lida sent you.

For readers:

BitBooks -- new category for ongoing serials

Freebies page at Twilight Times Books -- a listing of free ebooks currently available from various e-publishers

*** iBookTime.com -- where print books meet ebooks. Features include an Electronic Book Directory and an Author Directory Locator. iBookTime.com is seeking reviews and author interviews.

Note: "Ezine Submissions" is an excerpt from Practical Tips for Online Authors published by Twilight Times Books. Copyright © 2000 Lida E. Quillen. Re-printed by permission of the author.

 - - - - - - -
Author Info:

Lida E. Quillen is an author, editor, literary agent, publicist and web master. She is the founder and owner of cyber book shoppe and publishing house Twilight Times Books as well as the Twilight Times Agency and Twilight Times ezine.

She shares the knowledge and experience gleaned from her internet endeavors in her non-fiction book, Practical Tips for Online Authors, revised for 2001.

This year she finally decided all these internet endeavors were simply clever ways to procrastinate about writing. Lida is now determined to take up her partial novels and finish them one by one. Stay tuned...



The Right Book Price: pricing ebooks and print on demand books for maximum profit and sales

Richard Hoy, publisher and co-owner of Booklocker.com

This week we're going to tackle the issue of setting a book's price.

If you read last week's column, you already have a basic understanding of what costs go into producing a book. So whatever you set your book price at, you know that is has to at least be enough to cover those costs. Otherwise, you go broke.

On the flip side, there is already an expectation in the customer's mind as to the most he or she will pay for a particular type of book. For example, a 250-page, soft cover, trade-paperback novel (5"x8" cut size) goes for, at the most, $14.95. So as much as you would like to sell it for $100 a copy, it ain't going to happen in this lifetime.

So we see that there is a range of prices a customer might pay for a book.


The first thing in figuring out how to price your book, then, is to define its possible range of prices. The bottom of that range is the minimum you have to charge to make back your costs. And the maximum of that range is the most a customer will pay for that type of book.

Figuring out the minimum is easy. But how do you define the maximum someone might pay? Well, that is different for every book, But here are some general rules to guide you:

1.) The harder it is to find the information contained in the book, the more it is worth. This is why romance novels sell for $6.95 and research reports sell for hundreds of dollars.

2.) If you have a "captured market" buying the book - a group of people that have to buy it to fulfill a requirement of some sort - you can charge more. This is how textbook companies get away with charging college students $50.00 for a book on American history.

3.) People won't pay more than the going market price for a particular type of book. The going market price is defined by what everyone else is charging for their books on the same subject.

If you go to Amazon.com and look at the price of books that are similar to the one you are trying to sell, you'll get a feel for the most you can charge.

Another great place for book price data is ISBN.nu ( http://www.ISBN.nu ). This is a book price comparison engine run by Glenn Fleishman. If you enter either a title, a subject, an author's name or a book ISBN, it will return the prices of the books fitting those search parameters on every major online bookstore. Also, use the site anytime you're shopping for a particular book to get the absolute lowest price online.

Once you know the range of prices you can charge, you should start testing to find out at which price you sell more books.


Okay, no book pricing discussion would be complete without talking about the subject of how to price ebooks versus their print counterparts. We get asked this question all the time.

Let me start by going into a little rant.

I think people like Seth Godin, best selling author of the book "Permission Marketing," did a great disservice to the industry by giving way the ebook version of his print book, "IdeaVirus" (the follow-up to "Permission Marketing"). In case you aren't familiar with the story, the logic goes like this.

Seth claims that by giving way, for free, "IdeaVirus" as an ebook, it actually stimulated sales for the print version. Now as to the exact reason why "IdeaVirus" sold so well, we can't be certain. His study was hardly scientific. The reason could have been that it was his follow up book to the best selling book "Permission Marketing." Or the fact that viral marketing was a particularly hot topic in the online marketing industry when the book came out. Maybe he made more public appearances or got more press for this book. Maybe the book would have sold even more copies if he just gave a few chapters as an ebook. Who knows for certain?

What is certain, though, is Seth Godin has reenforced the expectation in the consumer's mind that ebook = free.

I noticed his latest book, "The Big Red Fez" is for sale on Amazon.com. It's an ebook...and it's not free.

Here is what Booklocker.com has learned about pricing ebooks after selling these things for a couple of years now.

1.) If it is information people want immediately, they will pay prices for an ebook comparable to that of a print book. The format of the information isn't as important as getting the information fast. And the last time I checked, downloading a file is still faster than FedEx.

2.) This argument that all ebooks should be $3.00 or less because distribution costs are so cheap is B.S. Yes, delivering the book to the customer is cheaper. But ebooks require far more customer support that print books because they are essentially software. And anyone in the software business knows that all consumers do not have equivalent technical knowledge. No one ever walks into a Barnes and Noble and says, "I can't figure out how to open this book and read it." Yet we get that statement at least once a day regarding ebooks. So you are really just trading one cost for another when you distribute electronically.

3.) When you are selling the ebook and print versions of a book side-by-side, the ebook needs to be less than the print book. But, depending on the subject of the book, the ebook doesn't need to be priced significantly lower than the print book. It depends entirely on how long the customer is willing to wait for the information. (Remember, they are paying for faster-than-FedEx" delivery when they buy an ebook.)

4.) For fiction, ebooks are not the optimal container for the information. So the only way you can incentivize a customer to buy fiction in this form is by offering a low price. At Booklocker.com, we decided long ago that ebook fiction is not a market we want to focus on (though we do offer ebook counterparts alongside our POD fiction books). There are people who have made that business model work. Specifically, a company called Fictionwise ( http://www.fictionwise.com ). But you'll notice, if you visit their site, that everything is priced around $6.00 or less.

Wow! Looking back I realize I gave you a lot of info to digest. Munch on what I wrote.

Type at you next week!


            Email your comments and column ideas to
             Richard Hoy at: richard@booklocker.com


**This articled be may be reprinted/redistributed freely as long as the entire article and byline are included.**

 - - - - - - -
Author Info

Richard Hoy is the co-owner of Booklocker.com, the most author-friendly epublisher online offering up to 70% royalties on ebooks, 35% royalties on print on demand books (the highest in the industry), and non-exclusive contracts. Booklocker.com strives to help authors make money by combining epublishing with Internet marketing. See guidelines at:
To subscribe to WritersWeekly.com (it's FREE!), surf to:

Copyright © 2001 Richard Hoy


E-Book Corner

Title: Shipping Sharon
Author: Daisy Dexter Dobbs
Publisher: Wordbeams
Reviewed by Rita Hestand

Rating: 5 stars

"Daisy Dexter Dobbs brings us a zany romp of two star crossed lovers.  This book will have you in stitches with it's wonderful lite hearted crew of characters and the shear wit of Ms. Dobbs  writing. Although the language is not meant for the faint hearted, it still carries through with all the capers of an old Grant and Hepburn style love story, that is both modern and stylish.

There are parts in this book that will have you in tears because you are laughing so hard.  Not an easy feat to accomplish by any means.  A brilliant comedy romance that will both warm you heart and tickle your funny bone.  A very entertaining read.  And you certainly won't forget Norman, he has to be the ultimate match-maker of all times.  A gotta read for romantic comedy lovers."

 --Rita Hestand for Romancing The Web Reviews

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Rita Hestand brings you reviews by romance authors of historical, western, contemporary, and sometimes even biographical.  Rita writes romances for Wordbeams Publishing. Check out Pretend Mom, and her newest release, Nick's Baby from Wordbeams.

Visit her personal pages and get to know a knowledgeable writer/reviewer:


Title: Secrets
Author: Elaine Hopper
Publisher: New Concepts Publishing
ISBN: 1-58608-207-8
Reviewed by Jan Crow

Rating: 5 stars

Secrets. That's what the soap opera that Lindsay Jordan writes for is entitled. And this book is full of secrets, nighttime secrets, and even secrets that sizzle. Lindsay is vying for an Emmy, creating story lines and new characters. Jeff Andrews, AKA Apollo the Greek God, is an off Broadway actor hired to be the love interest of Sabrina, AKA Miss High and Mighty. Jeff Andrews is Lindsay 's image of THE perfect man. However, Lindsay is not a fan of actors and becoming involved with one is the last thing she wants to do....

Elaine Hopper has expertly written what will be one of my favorite books of the year. Her colorful cast of characters and their idiosyncrasies will keep the reader laughing and turning pages. Lindsay's mother, Beverly is a throwback from the days of the hippies... Troy Young, the debonair, second fiddle actor reminds me of a puppy running from person to person trying to date any skirt on the scene... Even the villain is a character to love... Hopper has also provided the reader with enough hints about secrets that there is always a reason to turn the page and keep going, refusing to put the book down until the very last one has been revealed. This will be a keeper for me. The Emmy goes to...Elaine Hopper for "Secrets". Oh, and I would love to see the story of Beverly and Drew.

Reviewed by Jan Crow for Simply Ebooks Reviews

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Reviewer bio

Jan Crow is a single forty-three year old with aspirations of being a writer. She says she has taken a few writing classes, but enjoys reading much more than the writing. Thus, she reads everything she can get her hands on. She is a manager of the accounting department for an environmental laboratory by trade -- reading numbers all day long. Jan is also very involved in the water industry.

Ms. Crow has two sons and two beautiful granddaughters. However, Ramsey, the cat is the one who rules her home.


Title: Pockets Full of Joy
Author: Judy Gill
Publisher: Awe-Struck E-Books
ISBN: 1-58749-077-3
Contemporary romance
Reviewed by Sheila Jordan

Rating: 5 stars

"Elaina McIvor opens the door of her home to a world of change that waits outside, on her front porch. Had she known the small child carried in the arms of the tall, gorgeous stranger would be shoved into her arms--seconds before he unloaded the child's luggage from his van, she would have run. Or would she?

"A tall woman herself, Elaina starred up into the man's eyes. She watched his haggard, tired face lighten as stress and fatigue seemed to fall away from his features as they starred at one another. Elaina fell in love--before one word was spoken. Until he shoved the soggy bottomed little girl into her arms. Shoving the note of explanation at Elaina, Brad left quickly, and never looked back.

"Dr. Bradshaw returned that night to find the letter from Betsy's mother that explained her sending her daughter to Elaina was nothing more than his own telephone bill. The note of explanation was still in place above the visor in his van. The truth was-he had to see the beautiful vision again--Elaina holding the little girl that could lose her mother.

"It was one of Brad's many trips to Elaina's home, to see Betsy. Brad knew he was falling in love with Elaina-but he could not allow that to happen. His ex-wife had seen to that, as had Elaina's bigamist husband. He would wait until Betsy's mother recovered and retrieved her daughter-then he would leave. Wouldn't he?

"Does Elaina learn that her needs are as important as Brads? Will Brad, return for the sensual love they have shared in the past? She cares too much to make demands on him. Doesn't she?

"Judy Gill has woven a sensuous story of love and the need for family that wound its way into my heart. I found myself wanting to read more of these vivid characters she has created. A must have for the avid romance reader."

Reviewed by Sheila Jordan for Sandy Cummins Book Reviews

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Reviewer bio

Sheila lives in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky with her husband of thirty-one years and a hunting dog named Red. Her ability to survive in raising three children and now helping with five grandchildren has taught her that all things are possible. This attitude found it's way into her writing and keeps her submitting her work.

She has published works in Bella On Line, Wordweave Creative Writing Web, PQ Positive Quotes and Shery Ma Belle Arrieta's Mothers Day Ebook.

She has a web site for submitted works by children and grandparents




Murder by David Halliday
Free illustrated book

American Book Publishing

When Nightmares Collide
Karen Beck
ISBN: 1-930586-06-X

Avid Press

Bittersweet Surrender
Barbara Sheridan
ISBN: 1-929613-71-7
Western Historical

Faces of Fear
Christine Spindler
ISBN: 1-929613-83-0

Sweet Dreams
Karen S. Wiesner
ISBN: 1-929613-61-X
Paranormal Suspense

Awe-Struck E-Books, Inc.

David's Promise
Polly Bolack
ISBN: 1-58749-071-4
Inspirational Romance

Pockets Full of Joy
Judy Gill
ISBN: 1-58749-077-3
Contemporary Romance

Baen Free Library

Free science fiction and fantasy ebooks
Born to Run and Werehunter by Mercedes Lackey.
In the Heart of Darkness, Old Nathan, Redliners and With the Lightnings by David Drake
Fallen Angels by Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle and Michael Flynn.


The Tenth Ghost
Jennifer St. Clair Bush
ISBN: n/a
Dark Fantasy

Crossroads Publishing Company

Sound the Ram's Horn
S. Joan Popek


Landing Party
T. J. McFadden
Action (Quick Picks line)

Shortcut to Romance
Ann Herrick
Short Story (Quick Picks line)

The Horse Chestnut War
Leta Nolan Childers
Short Story (Quick Picks line)

Third Time's the Charm
Jim Farris
Romance (Quick Picks line)

Domhan Books

Dust Gathered in an Afternoon
Rosanne Dingli
Collection of Short Stories

Heavenly Venture
Shirley K. Wolford
Historical Romance

Moment of Pause
Douglas Penick

Saving Kennedy
Don L. Clark

Shadow Wind
Edward Mann
Historical Fiction

Thief by Moonlight
Jeanne Lamont
ISBN: 1-583459537
Historical Romance, circa 1891 London

Electric eBook Publishing

Cannibal Electronics
David Bell
ISBN: 1-55352-008-4

Driving From Tofino
Anne Cameron

Embiid Publishing

Cold Iron
Melisa Michaels
ISBN 1-58787-096-7


Offers four 2001 Hugo Award nominees as free ebooks

The Ultimate Earth by Jack Williamson.
Kaddish for the Last Survivor by Michael A. Burstein
Redchapel by Mike Resnick
The Elephants on Neptune by Mike Resnick

Gloria Lane -- Self Published

The Last Farewell
Gloria  Lane

The Broken Circle
Gloria Lane

Hard Shell Word Factory

Electronic Publishing Q&A
Karen S. Wiesner
ISBN:  0-7599-0375-1
Non-fiction/Writer's Reference

Bagels for Tea
Serita Stevens & Rayanne Moore
ISBN 1-58200-506-0

Touch the Dawn
Chelley Kitzmiller
ISBN 1-58200-575-3
Historical Romace


The Last Flight of the Arrow
Daniel Wyatt
ISBN: 1-55316-041-X


A Matter of Life
Robin Bayne

New Concepts Publishing

13 West
Jane Toombs
Medical Thriller

Dark Legacy
Jonni Rich
ISBN: 1-58608-170-5
Paranormal Mystery

In the Company of Darkness
Kerrie Droban
ISBN: 1-58608-209-4
Legal Thriller

Irene Estep
ISBN: 1-58608-266-3
Romantic Suspense

The House on Maple Terrace
Rebecca Russell
ISBN: 1-58608-162-4

Thin Cover
Zelma Orr
ISBN: 1-58608-263-9

Tad Williams -- Serial Novel

Author of the near future sci-fi series Otherland offers a free online serial novel this month.

Writers Exchange-E-Publishing

Tempered Dreams
Pamela S. Thibodeaux
Inspirational Romance

Practical Tips for Online Authors
Lida E. Quillen
ISBN: 1-931201-00-5

Zander eBooks

The Hidden Truth of Cytech's Randall Forty
Vickie Kennedy
ISBN: n/a
Time Travel Romance



Awe-Struck E-Books
For the best in romance and sci-fi and everything in between, check out the reads at Awe-Struck E-Books.
(Pssst! There's a sale on ALL the time... Sunny Beaches Sale June 11 - 24th)

Colorado Spitfire in paperback on sale now.
Author: Glenda D. Tudor
For more information:

DiskUs Publishing
Just in from DiskUs. "June has finally arrived, a month that heralds the beginning of summer fun and the traditional month of romantic weddings. And here at DiskUs Publishing, we plan to celebrate both.

We're going to begin our June celebration with a special you just can't beat. For every book purchased during the month, you can select one free Quick Pick. Double your pleasure, double your fun--and all for the regular price of one!
Check out the Specials page for the details."

eBooks N' Bytes, brought to you by Eva Almeida, is jammed packed with useful resources for electronic authors, gathered together in well-organized sections. Includes: where to promote your e-Books, links to send out free press releases, e-book publishers accepting submissions, and e-book reviews. Don't forget to list your e-Book in the directory.


eBooksOnThe.Net offers a wide selection of genres that will fulfill one of two purposes: entertain or inform. Current selections include Panama Padre by Samuel Moss Loveridge, Pandora's Box by Jim Farris, The Scythian Stone by Jon F. Baxley, Practical Tips for Online Authors by Lida E. Quillen and Soul Guardian by Tara Manderino.

iBookTime.com -- where print books meet ebooks. Features include an Electronic Book Directory and Author Directory Locator. iBookTime.com is seeking reviews and interviews.

In the third year of business, Scribblers has acquired distribution rights for over 3,000 unique titles including all genres, fiction and nonfiction, children and adult. The first bookstore totally devoted to electronic books..."

Karen Wiesner's informative article, "E-Publisher Acceptance Rates," is now available on Writing-World.com.  http://www.writing-world.com/epublish/wiesner.html

LOVE to read? Feel naked without a BOOK?

Subscribe to WORD OF MOUTH--free book review newsletter! The place where regular people share their all-time favorite reads and a little about themselves so that you can decide if you share their taste.
SUBSCRIBE at:  word_of_mouth-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Not the Usual Way
Independent Authors Community has moved from Yahoo Clubs to MSN Communities. The new url is:

NUW is an international independent authors support group for authors published by e-book, print on demand or independent traditional publishers. They post tips and ideas as well as just providing support for each other. If you are interested in joining, just click on the url and sign up. New members are welcome.

Got a "traditional" ebook? Your own ebook resource site, discussion list? We've got a place for you, too! List at eepCity, PLANETeep's full-featured community central. Join free for ebook news, reviews, releases, discussion forums, yellow pages, expert articles, resources, tips on creating, marketing, promoting your electronic goods.

Practical Tips for Online Authors. Revised and updated for 2001.
"You can find lots of info about the craft of writing, market listings, writers' critique groups, etc. on the internet. But very few web sites will tell you exactly what you need to do to make a sale to an ezine, how to create an ebook, or how to market and promote your book." 1000+ verified links of benefit to writers in the new issue. Featured ebook at Twilight Times Books.

Terry Freedman
Editor of Writer's Know-how -- the no-jargon newsletter for writers who want to get more out of their computers. Subscribe and get a free ebook: "Get Organized! A writer's guide to computer file management"

The latest Edition of the Writers Exchange Ezine is now online. Listed in the top 101 websites at Writers Digest. Several informative articles on writing.


Thank you for subscribing.

Founder of E-Book Ecstasy ~ Glenda D. Tudor
E-Book Ecstasy Online:  http://come.to/ebooksecstasy/
Electronic Mail Distribution ~ Lida E. Quillen
Managing Editor ~ Lida E. Quillen
Copyright © 2001 Lida E. Quillen. All rights reserved.

Community email addresses:
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Editor's note: Permission is granted to distribute the E-Book Ecstasy Newsletter
in whole or in part to writers' and readers' email lists as well as
appropriate web sites if you include the following info:

E-Books Ecstasy Newsletter, Volume 1 No. 20
Source ~ Copyright © 2001 Lida E. Quillen




For info on new and upcoming ebook releases with four star reviews,
subscribe to E-Book Ecstasy.

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Copyright © 2001. Lida E. Quillen. All rights reserved.
This page last updated 6-17-01.
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