Monday, October 11, 2010

Why I Joined the Ebook Revolution

Well. Actually. The truth is, I’ve always been part of the ebook revolution.

In 1999, I published Rumors of War, a novel of politics and suspense, in ebook on Fatbrain which later morphed into Mighty Words. I published the print version in 2000. My middle grade mystery anthology The Road to Weird (Zumaya Publications) was published in ebook and POD in 2003.

In 2011, Rumors of War will be re-released in ebook by Binary Press Publications (BPP).

As I mentioned in my previous post, Letters to Juniper, my middle grade novel, will be released for the first time in ebook in November.

Two more YA novels are waiting in the wings for their exclusive ebook debuts. PFC Liberty Stryker will be released in 2010. Hurricane Katrina will be released early next year.

That’s right. I signed a contract for all my un-contracted works to an ebook publisher, Binary Press Publications.

Perhaps it’s more like I'm surrendering to the ebook revolution. I had a fabulous agent who worked really hard to find traditional publishers for my unpublished works. She said publishers were interested in my work, “But they just aren’t buying.” She added, “The market is crap. The publishing industry in general is in a holding pattern. Not taking any risks.”

When my friend, author Natalie Collins told me Binary Press Publications wanted to see my manuscripts, I jumped at the chance. I released my agent. True to her fabulous self, she was understanding and supportive. She asked me to keep in touch. Then I decided to follow Oprah's advice: “I believe that one of life's greatest risks is never daring to risk.” I took the risk.

In a recent Business article, Steven Johnson outlined "10 Reasons Why the Ebook Download Market Keeps Growing". His Number 3 caught my eye:
3. Exclusivity – Books on subjects unlikely to appeal to a wide enough audience to justify publication costs can now often be found available in ebook format on the numerous websites dedicated to the promotion of, and trading in, digital books. Furthermore, several well-known authors including Stephen King, have written books that have been published solely as digital editions.
Letters to Juniper, PFC Liberty Stryker, and Hurricane Katrina, are all based on actual historical events. They are edgy – sometimes humorous – sometimes graphic – and deal honestly with young people in dangerous situations. Although I have to admit all too often editors have responded to these manuscripts with the words, “Doesn’t appeal to a wide enough audience.” Yet agents and readers – and me – believe these books will definitely find an audience.

However nothing – or no one – is really ever an overnite success and so it is with ebooks. Everybody knows ebooks have been around for more than a decade. Which came first? The computer? Or the ebook? Hmm …

So what makes this a revolution? Ebooks are selling. In fact they are currently outselling other formats. In July 2010, trade ebook sales were $40,800,000, a 250% increase over July 2009. Mind boggling numbers. What changed was the availability and price of ebook readers. I can read ebooks on my Kindle, my computer, and my iPhone and I can sync em all up. It’s just too irresistible. Books are techno – with gadgets and stuff – which makes reading way more fun.

I don’t even pretend to know what it all means. I do know this the most exciting time in publishing in my lifetime and I want to be in the thick of it.

Peggy Tibbetts

My books

My blogs:
Advice from a Caterpillar
From the Styx


  1. I know some others in the publishing world are also seeing the ebook trend and jumping on the wagon.

    I agree with Oprah. You got to take a risk. My first book EARRINGS OF IXTUMEA was published first as an ebook then later in print. I liked the premise of the publisher and decided to go ahead and take the risk.

    I still think epublishing and ebooks are the future. And I do think teens will jump on the wagon too. Right now they're still hesitant about ebooks and not buying them. Others though, including romance, have had sky rocking ebook sells. I even broke down and bought an ebook player, which got passed around in church.

  2. I just bought an iPad and plan to add books to it. Some of my books are in print and ebook and I'm hoping that one day ebooks will be the way to read. I hope Kim's right about teens starting to read ebooks.

  3. I just think it's a matter of time when they'll join the ranks of ebook readers. Most traditional publishers are jumping on the ebook wagon too.

  4. "The 2010 Kids and Family Reading Report, released Sept. 29 and commissioned by Scholastic Inc., offers a mixed portrait of eBooks and families. Around six out of 10 of those between ages 9 and 17 say they’re interested in reading on an electronic device such as the Kindle or the iPad. Around one out of three from the same age group say they’d read more 'for fun' if more books were available on a digital reader."

    Encouraging news!

  5. Been epublished since 1998 and that was a cozy mystery. Though I've been to NY and sold there, I love the freedom of E