What’s Direct to Ebook Publishing?
With Amazon sales of ebooks surpassing hardcover books this summer for the first time, it has many writers and readers thinking hard about electronic publishing. Tyndale House Publishers response to the growing ebook trend was their Direct to Ebook Publishing program. (Read the story here)With four fiction and one nonfiction titles releasing straight to ebook, can this be a trend that other publishers will follow and what does it mean for unpublished writers?
I asked two of the top agents in the industry who have clients who sold to Tyndale’s the new program what they thought about Direct to Ebook Publishing.
“Since one of my clients is a part of this initiative it could be assumed that I’m in support of it! There is a misunderstanding about the seeming absence of a print component. The books will release in ebook first. There is a good possibility that a paper edition will follow. The books are launching this month (June 2011). We will know results quite soon.”” –Agent Steve Laube of The Steve Laube Agency
“I love it. It gives new voices a chance, but supports them with the Tyndale name. It focuses on fiction, which is where the e-book buyers are. And the one nonfiction book (which I happen to represent) is a spiritual memoir, so it has a chance to work as an e-book. The deal they offered authors was fair, and they were selective — unlike some other companies, who seem to be throwing anything they can find onto the e-book shelves. Consider me a fan.”-Agent Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary
Do you think other publishers follow?
“There has been some discussion at other publishers, but each publisher has their own idea of what a digital program looks like. Everyone is evaluating and looking at what is working.”-Steve Laube
What does this mean for authors in comparison to traditional publishing?
“Every author these days is expected to put in time and energy on their books. That will be true of these authors, as it’s true of all contemporary authors.”-Chip MacGregor
“It has little or no bearing. The author still has to write a fantastic book and get a publisher to believe in it. My understanding is that there were a number of candidates from which Tyndale chose a select few. We are very proud of Pam Hillman for being chosen.”-Steve Laube
How could this benefit unpublished authors?
“This is Pam Hillman’s first book contract. The advantage she had is that she wrote a great book. This same story Stealing Jake won the Genesis award last year for best unpublished historical novel. She is also a finalist for this year’s Golden Heart award from RWA for the same manuscript. (Ironically, her book will be published by Tyndale before the winner is announced!)
Another advantage she had was that the manuscript was complete. This was a requirement by Tyndale at that time. They needed stories that were done and then were done well. That is why they were able to release the books so quickly. The lesson for unpublished authors is to “keep working hard.” Often it is a matter of timing to break through.”-Steve Laube
Join us later this week for an interview with Pam Hillman.
Steve Laube is a 30 year veteran of the bookselling industry. He began his career in the bookselling arena and his store in Phoenix was named the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA) store of the year in 1989. He then spent 11 years with Bethany House Publishers rising to the position of an editorial director. In 2002 he was named the AWSA Golden Scroll Editor of the Year. The next year he became a literary agent and in 2004 formed The Steve Laube Agency. In 2009 he was named the ACFW Agent of the Year.
Chip MacGregor has a comprehensive knowledge of the industry—from book development to writing, acquisition to production, marketing to sales. He has secured more than 100 book deals for authors with all of the major publishers in both CBA and ABA. Chip has written more than two-dozen titles, including two books that hit #1 on the bestseller lists in their category, but his greatest desire is to help authors create great books that make a difference in the world.