Friday, August 17, 2012

Over a Decade of Changes, Part Two

Author Kate Hill talks about her early days at Ellora’s Cave. (Part One, posted 8/13/12, discussed the start of epublishing.)

In 2002, with my fingers crossed, I submitted a vampire novella, Marriage in Moonlust, to Ellora’s Cave. The story was accepted in August, the contract was signed in September, and the story was published in October as part of a two-author anthology, Midnight Desires, with Sherri King.

Ellora’s Cave had (and has) an active online readers’ group where I was warmly welcomed by readers and other authors. Hanging out there was great fun and I felt instantly at home. On the business side, the staff was very helpful in answering questions and I really enjoyed working with my editor. Later, upon receiving my first royalty check, I was pleasantly surprised. For the first time my writing actually helped pay the bills.

The skeptics were still talking and trying to subdue those who had decided to venture into nontraditional territory. Maybe their protests weren’t truly because they didn’t like the idea of books not written on paper, but because they feared competition. The world of ebooks was growing.

Ebooks were getting reviewed by many online sites as well as in print publications such as Romantic Times Magazine. Some people were reading on ebook devices. My first device was a Christmas present from my family. My second is still working perfectly, even though it was one of the oldest models made.

As both a reader and a writer, I was now firmly entrenched in the world of ebooks. Most of my favorite authors—Charlotte Boyett-Compo, Sahara Kelly, Katherine Kingston and R. Casteel to name a few—were epublished.

While I couldn’t quit my day job (not even writing for a traditional publisher can guarantee that), I had additional income and best of all it was from my dream job.

During my first few years with Ellora’s Cave, my first novel, Darkness Therein, and its sequels were reissued by them. I wrote additional stories in the series and also started two new fantasy series.

It’s been ten years since my first story was accepted by Ellora’s Cave. Since then I’ve had several single titles and multiple series with them, including Ancient Blood, Alien Affairs, Knights of the Ruby Order and the Horsemen.

Over the past decade, I’ve seen many changes in the epublishing world and how people regard it. Nowadays ebook devices are popular. Big publishing houses offer their titles as ebooks. Some epublished authors have become best sellers. Many authors have enjoyed a long and satisfying career in epublishing.

Readers of just about every taste can find stories they enjoy and characters they can relate to. In the ebook world, great romances aren’t limited to boy meets girl. There are many GLBTQ romances available as well. As both a reader and a writer I appreciate the freedom and variety of electronically published books. Unlike days past, when people looking for a story outside the norm would have to search hard and often end up disappointed, just about any type of story can be found in ebooks. If you’re looking for a medieval menage with alien werewolves, it’s probably out there. That’s what I call fantastic.

To the skeptics who thought (or wished) ebooks and their authors would fade away, not only are we still here, but we’re stronger than ever. Ebooks have given me the opportunity to do what I love most—tell stories. I enjoy promotion and contact with readers and authors. I’m grateful to have learned about the technical aspect of writing from editors and other professionals like those at Ellora’s Cave. While I won’t lie and say I enjoy every aspect of writing, I love it overall and can’t imagine a life without it.

It’s been an interesting journey and I hope it’s far from over. Whatever the next step in publishing, I plan to be open to it and I look forward to what the future will bring.

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