Wednesday, January 5, 2011

E-Publishing: The Cream Will Rise by Kris Tualla

I received another email through an author group yesterday: someone is starting an e-publishing company. It seems like everyone is starting an e-publishing company. Why is that?

Because publishing e-books is free and easy.

But running a publishing company is not. There are websites to design, submissions to evaluate, contracts to write, ISBNs to purchase, editors and cover designers to hire, royalties to collect and disperse, tax forms on top of tax forms…

So why the rush to jump in? More to the point - why the rush to submit? These new publishers are not any better known than I am. They aren't proven yet and have a TON of promotion ahead of them. As do I. But I'll receive my entire 70% commission from e-book sales, while their authors will only glean 35-40%.

Why do it? Because when someone asks "who is your publisher?" we need an answer.

Otherwise, we fall into that scary void of self-published authors who produce books which are severely sub-standard. From the writing to the editing to the formatting to the covers, these ignorant hopefuls have worked in a vacuum and have no idea how awful their books are. To make matters worse, most self-pubbed writers have gone to vanity presses and spent $500-$5,000 or more to create these disasters.

So being able to answer the "publisher" question is huge. Because it means someone has vetted your work. You were judged worthy enough to hang a reputation on. That means something.

But, what if you really DO know what you are doing, and are capable of getting a quality product out by doing the work yourself? Or, what if you have been traditionally published, but your books are out of print and you have the rights back? What if you just want to release some short stories or novellas to support your traditionally published books?

And you want to whole 70%?

The next best thing to a publisher is a LABEL. Enter Goodnight Publishing, a new website where independently published authors of quality books have linked arms to present a united front to the world. Where authors can enter the name "Goodnight Publishing" whenever asked for their publisher. Where there are no contracts, no relinquishing of rights, no splitting of royalties. Just a traditional fa├žade for readers - and support for indie authors.

Interested? Join us! I went the independent route because I write outside the publisher's boxes: my heroes are Norse and my stories begin in the Missouri Territory then move to Norway and back. And as an editor from Kensington said to me (complete with finger gestures) "Publishers like their boxes."

Is there quality? A Matter of Principle, my January 2011 release (the third book in my historical romance trilogy), garnered 4 STARS and a great write-up from RT Book Reviews. It will take time, but in the end, the cream will rise to the top no matter how it is published.

So. Is it time you found an "outside the box" hero? Please allow me to help.

For every 10 people who comment here, I will give away one free e-copy of A Woman of Choice - the beginning of the trilogy. And, yes. Commenter #11 warrants 2 copies! Comment #21? I'll give away three.


In February at the end of my blog tour, I'll give away one SIGNED PAPERBACK SET of the trilogy. Here's how you can get in on that deal:
1. Go to and find the "Secret Word" on my home page.
2. Send an email to with "Signed Trilogy Giveaway" in the subject line. Put the secret word in the body.
3. Comment on any blog at any time in the tour to activate your entry. Each day's blog location is listed at

A Woman of Choice, A Prince of Norway, and A Matter of Principle are all available at

A Woman of Choice - Missouri Territory, 1819
A woman is viciously betrayed and abandoned by her unfaithful husband. She is rescued by a widower uninterested in love. In desperation, she becomes engaged to his best friend. One woman, three very different men. Life is about choices.

A Prince of Norway - Christiania, Norway, 1820
American-born Nicolas Hansen has been asked to candidate for his great-grandfather's throne. His new wife Sydney isn't about to let him go to Norway and face that possibility alone. The moment they arrive at Akershus Castle, the political intrigue and maneuvering begin. Can Sydney trust anyone? Will Nicolas resist the seduction of power? Or will he claim the throne for himself? Most importantly: will their young marriage survive the malicious mischief of the ambitious royal family?

A Matter of Principle - St. Louis, State of Missouri, 1821Nicolas Hansen has returned from Norway determined to change the world. But when he runs for State Legislator in the brand-new state of Missouri, the enemies he made over the past two years aren't about to step q
uietly aside. Sydney has made enemies of her own, both by marrying Nicolas and by practicing midwifery. When a newspaper reporter makes it his goal to destroy them, Nicolas must rethink his path once again. But this time, it's a matter of principle.


Beth Trissel said...

OK, well, wow. I'm impressed both by all you've done to get where you are, your savvy on the epub industry and your books.

Miriam Newman said...

I have seen the site for this publisher and it is indeed very different. The industry is changing so fast, it's hard to keep up. ButI wish them well.

lastnerve said...

I agree that there are so many epubs breaking out. I am a reviewer and have reviewed some work by some of the newer ones and something always sticks out. The editing. It seems like so many books are slipping through the editing process. I don't know if they're just being skipped over and they just want to get a book out or if they just have poor editors. Don't get me wrong, there are some new epubs out there that are phenomenal. They really know their stuff BUT it also takes someone who actually knows what they're doing. Ebooks are here to stay. The market is growing rapidly. The one downside to being self published is the price of a print book. It's crazy. In my opinion, I actually hold those who are self published on a higher pedestal. I don't know if it's because I am just a reader but to me, being self published means you've put forth the effort. I'm the kind of person who feels if I want it done right, I do it myself. Kris, I've read your work and it is outstanding. You go girl!


Clancy said...

I like your thought son this. I agree, if you are good, it doesn't matter how or where you are published - it will be noticed. If you're writing is craptastic, then people will remember and never want to read you again. The worst thing you can do to your career, to my mind, is to publish something yourself that should have never seen the light of day. And, I will have to go check out Goodnight Publishing. Thanks.

Tara Lain said...

Hi Kris--
I fascinated by the Goodnight model. In my subgenre, i'm about as well-positioned publisherwise as i think i can be, but who knows what unboxy creations the future may hold. : )

Dana M said...

I agree that editing is key to a quality product. However, even established publishing houses often put out books with glaring mistakes that kick the reader right out of the story.

Anonymous said...

This is fascinating. I just started looking at e-publishing. Not sure yet if it is right for me, but in the research phase. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

Julie Robinson said...

The one thing I have found is that books that are epubbed tend to have more typos and incorrect word usage, which jilts me out of the story when I see one. Not that I'm looking for them, the errors just pop out. I don't know if editors of epubbed are less careful or more ignorant of spelling and grammar than print publishers. But I do know that I like my e-reader stories, as does my DH, since this has cut down on the fire hazard at home!

Kris Tualla said...

Hello, all! :)

One of my frustrations has been reading horribly written stories who are tradtionally published, then being told I won't be considered beccause they don't know how to market me! Well - I'LL figure out how to market me!

As for the cost of self-pubbed print books - THAT HAS CHANGED, everyone! Mine are 5.25" X 8" (standard trade size), run 325-355 pages and they cost me $4.85-$5.15 each WITH NO MINIMUM PURCHASE EVER REQUIRED. I sell them on Amazon for $12.99 & $13.99 - also standard for trade paperbacks - and $10 in person if a bookstore is not involved (then I revert to the Amazon price to cover their 40% cut). So I consistently make about $3-$4 PER BOOK.

Kris :)

Kris Tualla said...

One more thing - IM-very-HO, the reason the editing is so poor in e-books is that the profits are lower, so the "salary" is lower, so the skill level of the editors might be lower. I see that in e-cover designs as well.

Also - eBooks tend to be rushed into release, so maybe some of the proofing steps are skipped. I know that in my case - when I'm having the print books proofed - we catch SO MANY more typos than any of us saw on the computer screen. (That's one reason reading the MS on my Kindle is so helpful!)

Me again :)

Maureen said...

I can really see your point for the future. As a first time writer, I need to garner the experience of working with a publisher. But come a time...yup, I think you're onto something. And I'll bookmark the Goodnight location and remember it.

jacarnda @

Riley said...

Great post again, Kris! I think many people judge others who self-publish, and don't have a publisher to call their own, but I've read of a LOT of folks who are going that route, or doing as you said and creating their own publishing companies! :) Take care! (Hey Maureen!!!)

Julie Robinson said...

That makes sense, Kris. I didn't think about the ebook editor pay being less---or more rushed, not to mention that there are probably more ebooks being submitted for editor approval.

Haley said...

I didn't really understand how e-publishing worked until I read this post. Thanks for the information. It is the start of my research on the subject.

Wendy_Ely said...

Thanks so much for visiting Wicked Thorn and Roses, Kris! I hope you'll visit us again soon :)


Kris Tualla said...

Thanks - and you have enough comments to give away 2 e-copies of "A Woman of Choice"! YAY!

Amber Holt said...

I love it! I love that I can fix a typo a year after publication. I especially love your can do, let's do this attitude!

sue fineman said...

I loved A WOman of Choice and look forward to reading the next book in the trilogy.

C.J. Ellisson said...

Great post, Kris! I'm one of those folks who owns a small publishing house and I couldn't agree more! I started it with the intention of self-publishing my work the right way, but it quickly grew into a micro-house where I publish writers I know in erotica anthologies.

I've heard of GoodNight Publishing, but hadn't checked them out yet. It's a great idea and I'll be stopping by right after this.

Wendy_Ely said...

And the winners are: Ciaraknight and Clancy. Please email me at to get your prize!

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