Cindy Vallar

Author, Columnist, & Editor
P. O. Box 425, Keller, TX  76244-0425

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E-Books Historical Fiction vs. History My Excerpts: Novels My Excerpts: Short Stories
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   E-Books

When the seed sprouts, an author nurtures it until the idea becomes a story. After writing, revising, editing, revising, editing, and revising once again, the novel that was once a seed is ready to submit to a publisher.

I began work on The Scottish Thistle in 1990 while attending a faculty meeting at the school where I taught. I don't remember the topic being discussed, but I do remember I wasn't listening. I played, instead, with the image of a stormy night and a caped rider illuminated by a streak of lightning. Sound a tad familiar? That idea became the opening paragraphs of my first novel. Over the next ten years, I researched Scottish history, geography, culture, and many other topics in order to recreate Scotland during the Rising of 1745. After numerous revisions and listening to what others had to say about my story, it was time to begin my research into where to submit The Scottish Thistle for possible publication.

Initially, I looked at traditional publishers and encountered two problems. First, most publishers shy away from historical fiction unless it can be marketed in another genre, i.e. mystery, suspense, or romance. Second, many publishers prefer to work with literary agents who represent the author. Many agents, however, prefer to represent authors who can prove their writing is marketable and that they can meet deadlines. Also, once a manuscript is accepted for publication, it can take upwards of two years for that novel to be published. Should it be one of the lucky ones to actually make it onto bookstore shelves, it will probably only have a shelf-life of six weeks. This time line fails to include how long it takes to find the publisher who wants to publish the book in the first place.

Faced with these realities, I turned to the world of electronic publishing. E-publishers are more amenable to publishing novels that cross genres. The Scottish Thistle is historical fiction, but it's also romance. Yet it's not a traditional romance because I emphasize history over love. While reading an issue of Of Ages Past, I came across a review of Carolan Ivey's Beaudry's Ghost. Intrigued, I took the plunge and bought my first e-book. Then M. J. Rose offered free copies of the book she co-authored with Angela Adair-Hoy entitled The Secrets of Our Success: How to Successfully Publish and Promote on the Web. I also read Leta Nolan Childers' e-Lectrify Your Sales: A Writer's Guide to e-Publishing Success and Karen S. Wiesner's Electronic Publishing: The Definitive Guide. E-publishers prefer to receive queries directly from authors rather than agents. They also accept historical  novels. My second e-book purchase was Trace Edward Zaber's Civil War novel Sins of the Father, a fascinating historical that blends mystery and romance with fiction. This purchase also allowed me to sample Pulsar Books' product. In the end, this publisher became my first choice to submit to, and I was delighted when they asked to read my manuscript, then offered me a contract.

E-publishing, however, isn't without perils. By the time my book, The Scottish Thistle, was first published, Pulsar Books had merged with the other publishing houses under the Romance Foretold umbrella to become RFI West. The company I contracted with no longer existed and while some of the people in charge remained the same, others left. Six months after the release of my book, I terminated my contract with the publisher for cause. Although a bit depressed and wondering if I had erred in my judgment, I still felt e-publishing provided the best opportunity for me as an author.

A fellow author, Dorice Nelson (The Gunn of Killearnan and Unlawful) recommended a new publisher, NovelBooks, Inc. Once again I researched the company and its founder and CEO, Penny Hussey. Impressed by the company's professionalism and Penny's enthusiasm and plans for NovelBooks, Inc., I submitted The Scottish Thistle for their consideration. In April 2002 NBI released my novel in both e-book and trade paperback formats. I stumbled along the path, but I landed on my feet anyway.

On 1 January 2005, unforeseen circumstances caused NovelBooks, Inc. to close its doors. In June 2006 Amber Quill Press asked me to submit a manuscript for their consideration. AQP doesn't accept unsolicited manuscripts. Rather they are a "submit by invitation only" publisher. They hand-select writers "who not only possess enormous talent, but who...excel at their chosen craft." They released The Scottish Thistle in e-book  format in November 2006, and the paperback edition came out shortly thereafter.
 

 Interview with Cindy Vallar on the pros and cons of being e-published by Lee Masterson

Great site.  So much to offer an e-book author! - Rita Y. Toews, founder of Read An E-Book Week


EPIC Member BadgeVisit the website of EPIC -- The Voice of Electronic Publishing





More information about E-books and E-publishing
(Updated 20 June 2015)

2012 Ebook Read Comparison Chart / E-Ink and Color Tablets

The ABCs of E-Reading by Geoffrey A. Fowler and Marie C. Baca
Adapting Julia Child for E-Readers by Julie Bosman
Amazon Kindle and Sony Reader Locked Up: Why Your Books Are No Longer Yours
Apple iPad FAQs by David Pogue

Bold New E-readers Grab Attention at CES by Brandon Griggs
Books Have Many Futures by Linton Weeks

C.E.S. 2010: Explosion of E-Book Readers by Brad Stone (video)
 
DRM vs. piracy, and the future of e-books by Chris Meadows

E-Book Borrowing, Preceded by E-Book Waiting by Alan Finder
An E-Book Buyer's Guide to Privacy by Ed Bayley
E-Book Fans Keep Format in Spotlight by Brad Stone
E-Book Prices Fuel Outrage -- and Innovation by Narasu Rebbapragada
The e-book, the e-reader, and the future of reading by Matthew Shaer
E-books Are the Next Chapter for Getting Kids to Read by Molly Guthrey
Ebooks: Neither E, Nor Books by Cory Doctorow
E-Books Make Readers Less Isolated by Austin Considine
EPIC
EPublishing Overview -- Writers Write
The E-Reader Revolution: Over Just as It Has Begun? by Greg Bensinger
European E-Book Sales Hampered by Tax Structure by Kevin J. O'Brien

For ebook devotees, reading is a whole new experience by Matt Frassica
Foreign Publishers Getting into the Electronic Game
The Four Paths to Publishing by Todd A. and Teresa V.M. Stone
Further Thoughts of a Novice E-Reader by Verlyn Klinkenborg

Google's move into e-books could be explosive by Matt Hamblen
Great Digital Expectations

How Do E-Books Change the Reading Experience? by Mohsin Hamid and Anna Holmes
How Ebook Buyers Discover Books (chart)
How the E-Book Will Change the Way We Read and Write
How the Publishing World Acclimated to the Digital Revolution by Gerry LaFemina

International Digital Publishing Forum
Interview with Larry Kirshbaum, chairman of Time Warner Trade Publishing
 -- NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, PBS, March 2001
Interview with M. J. Rose -- Newshour with Jim Lehrer, PBS, March 2001

Kindle Numbers: Traditional Publishing vs. Self Publishing by Joe Konrath
Libraries and Readers Wade into Digital Lending by Mokoto Rich

Making E-books Is Harder Than It Looks by Andrew Zack
Math of Publishing Meets the E-Book by Motoko Rich

New E-Book Company to Focus on Older Titles by Motoko Rich
New Study Suggests eBooks Could Negatively Affect How We Comprehend What We Read by Memet Walker
Nine E-Readers to Gawk at
Not All Pirates Are in Somalia by Charlotte Boyett-Compo

Of Two Minds about Books by Matt Richtel and Claire Cain Miller
Off the eBook Shelf by Frederic Filloux
Our Digital Future: An Interview with Lori James of All Romance Ebooks by Kassia Krozser

The rise of e-reading by Lee Rainie, Kathryn Zickuhr, Kristen Purcell, Mary Madden, and Joanna Brenner

Self-published authors find e-success by Deirdre Donahue
Should e-Books be Copy Protected? by David Pogue
Something to Read by Danielle Belopotosky
The Story behind "Read an eBook Week" by Mark Coker

Thoughts on Electronic Publishing vs. "Traditional" Print Publishing by Cat Rambo
Turning Page, E-books Start to Take Off

Untreed Reads

What Every Indie Author Needs to Know about E-Books by Alex Palmer
What's Hot in Romance? from All Romance eBooks by Jane Little
What's Next for Publishing?
Why Ebooks are a Different Genre from Print by Stuart Kelly
Will Tablets Close the Book on e-Readers?
With Kindle, Publishers Give Away E-Books to Spur Sales by Motoko Rich

Writer's Cramp: In the E-Reader Era, a Book a Year Is Slacking by Julie Bosman



Elizabeth
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George
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 Copyright 2010 Cindy Vallar


Home
About Me
Appearances & Book Signings
Editing Services
E-Books Historical Fiction vs. History My Excerpts: Novels My Excerpts: Short Stories
My Other Writings My Reviews Pirates & Privateers Recommended Books to Read
Research: Favorite Links Research: My Resources Scotland: Clan Cameron Scotland: Highlands Workshop Photos
Scotland: Thistle's Scotland 1 Scotland: Thistle's Scotland 2 Web Rings & Memberships Website Awards
Workshops Contact Me Sign My Guestbook Subscribe to my T&P Newsletter