E-Publishing: a Serendipitous Conversation
Weather report: heavy rain mingling with severe thunderstorms. Flash floods as well. This was too much tumult for my tender nerves, so I traveled to a late summer writer’s conference a day early. Lucky for me, the “Blue Room” at the Chipman Inn in Ripton, Vermont was available. Built in 1828, the inn is owned by the friendliest hosts a traveler could hope for. When I arrived, Deborah (sister of one of the owners), a buoyant woman with golden hair, broad smile, and infectious laugh, welcomed me into the fold. As it turns out, she has her own literary passions. “I write trashy romances, or as the Brits call them, “sex and shopping.”
Later in the evening, over tea and flourless chocolate cake, we talked about the joys of writing romance novels and the value of electronic publishing. “Why electronic publishing?” I asked.
Deborah: I tried for several years to find an agent and a publisher. Unless you are Maeve Binchley or Danielle Steele publishers are not interested. Romance writers are a dime a dozen. Many people read my book and said that it was compelling, interesting, and all the things that you want a romance novel to be – happy, with some tension, drama, and lots of sex – I thought there has to be a different way to do this. Self-publishing was the way, but print-on-demand books are expensive.
A friend of mine, Octavia Randolph, wrote a trilogy and she had a large, international readership that wanted more of her work. She realized that the ebook format was the way to go for her readers. She does not charge much, but she is in the top ten of Amazon’s top 10 list of Women’s Adventure. People seem willing to take a chance on the books if they don’t have to spend too much money.
“So there is a formula,” I said. “Sex, love, danger, and happy endings in an electronic format.”
Deborah: Yes. Romance readers are voracious. They read books in two days and look for the next thing. I was told to have three books before publishing a romance novel as an ebook. I am almost finished with the third. I write because it makes me happy, and when I share it with people it seems to make them happy – and when they have access at low cost, it is all good.
You can read Deborah’s blog here. Her romance novels will be available on Amazon or through her website deborahdishes.com. And if you have questions about romance writing or ebook publishing, feel free to contact her.