Sunday, March 05, 2006

Is E-publishing a Publishing Credit?

I have a question. Many people are of the mind that epublishing is not a valid publishing credit. Given the quality of a great majority of ebooks, I concur. But would you rather a query letter inform you of a first novel e-published, or is that first novel so irrelevant that you don't care?

E-publishing is a valid publishing credit; however, major publishers do not recognize it as such. The reason for this is that many editors agree with you and feel that many e-pubishers will publish anything, and, thus, most editors feel that what they publish is substandard. While this may or may not be true, I can tell you the majority of queries I have seen that list e-publishing credits are usually those whose writing samples show little skill. The key here is editorial review. If a writer wants a book that counts as a credit, there are no short-cuts. You have to take your rejections like everyone else. What I mean is that some writers have read that any publishing credit will suffice as long as you are a published author, but that is not true. If you have e-publishing credits listed in your query, and your writing sample is not very good, then that leaves the agent or editor with the idea that you are one of those folks who got published by an e-publisher that didn't have adequate editorial standards.

Personally, I like to know you have been e-published, and the reason is that I know that at least you have gone beyond your first attempt at writing a novel. However, the best way to accomplish this is to have a professional editor review your writing and respond in kind. Everyone who writes needs an editor. I think most writers nowadays think that they can self-edit and thereby get around the trauma of rejection or the expense of paying someone to edit their work. But as far as I’m concerned, an editor must look and comment, one way or the other. Why? Because creation is a right brain activity and editing is left brain, and few folks can do both adequately, or without driving themselves crazy.

1 comment:

Jan said...

By professional editor, do you mean an editor at a publishing house or an editor I pay to work on my book?

If it's latter, what does this have to do with how you view it with regard to offering presentation? Not being catty, just not connecting.