Does it exist? Absolutely, and in the burgeoning world of self-publishing, it’s running rampant.
It seems e-books are showing tremendous growth in the publishing industry, tripling in sales from 2009 to 2010 with future predictions that are staggering. I know it was a definite influence on our decision to self-publish. Unfortunately, despite the optimism, it all comes with a mark of shame, a “scarlet letter” branded upon authors who choose that road. Something I find a bit snobbish, if not uninformed, even ignorant.
To those people who believe only writers who can’t get published with traditional publishers go the route of self-publishing, I say bunk. As I have mentioned before, publishers generally have many restrictions: book length, character and plot limitations, standard story-lines, etc. Some writers merely wish to stretch their talents and allow their imaginations to roam free of restrictions and write outside the box.
For anyone who believes all e-books are sub-standard reads, that’s just not true. Yes, there are books that possibly should never see the light of day, in both realms of electronic and print. Just because it appears on printed paper with a publisher’s logo on the cover, does not mean it is destined to become a classic. And, as more and more e-books make their way to the best-sellers list, I think with growth comes legitimacy and quality reading. But, it will not be an easy road.
Is an e-book a “real” book? It is; in every way, shape and form. From my perspective, I can say I have never worked so hard on a book before. Emerald Prince was written, revised, edited, and in general, put under a microscope by the Brit Darby writing team for ten months. And neither of us are novices when it comes to working with publishers, editors and agents alike—the traditional kind.
So, my final word to everyone who thinks self-published authors are the black sheep of the family, second-rate citizens, untalented dregs of the writing world, the ugly step-children … don’t judge a book by its cover, or lack of it. It may be worth taking a second look, or maybe even a second read.