Making the Move by Jaci Burton
I started my writing career in e-publishing, worked there for several years before I got my first NY print contract.
Making the move to New York and going direct to print was a world of difference, requiring big changes in my work processes. And yet many things remained the same. Of course the fact that I now wrote for multiple publishers required me to juggle my time, become more organized and efficient (eek!).
I thought writing would be the same, but it isn’t. I tend to write shorter books for e-publishers. My NY print books are anywhere from 85,000 to 100,000 words, which means they take longer to write. My E-published books tend to be shorter, so I can write those in anywhere from a couple weeks to a month. My NY books take on average 3 to 4 months to write and edit.
The time lag between finishing a book and getting it edited is different, too. In E-publishing, you turn in a book, it tends to go to editing within a rapid space of time (at least with my current E-publisher). One or two rounds of edits, then it goes to the final line editor and we’re finished. I also get release dates sooner. (yee haa! I so love this about E-publishing!!)
With print publishing, from the time I contract a book to the time the book is released may be anywhere from a year and a half to two years. And when I turn in a book, I may get edits back in a month, or it may not be until 4 months later. It depends on the editor’s workload. Once revisions are finished, there’s a waiting period before copyedits arrive. After that, the book is typeset and then I have to review galleys, so there’s one extra process with NY books because they go directly to print. And if you’re under the gun timewise, the revision/copyedit/galley process could occur within a very fast time period, too, much like E-publishing does. It really does vary by publisher and every author’s experience is different.
There are also differences in the types of books I put out. With my NY books, I’m locked in contractually, and typically into series books. So I know two to three years down the road what I’m going to be writing for them, and there’s no deviation from that. With e-publishing, I can decide I want to write a ménage novella for Christmas, and if there’s an opening I can have it written, edited and out within a matter of a few months (which is exactly what I did with my upcoming Samhain novella, Unwrapped). There’s much more freedom in the types and length of books I write for E-publishers, which makes my crazy muse very happy. I tend to love writing in multiple genres, so E-publishing really fits the muse in this way.
E-publishing also provides me more schedule flexibility, which I love. NY publishing has tighter restrictions on release dates, contracts, etc.
Cover art is another area that’s both similar and different between E-publishing and NY publishing. I write for two NY publishers. One gives me no input whatsoever in cover art. Another asks me for input, but the final product is their decision. I’m very lucky that with both my NY publishers I’ve been given some outstanding covers. With E-publishing, authors are more involved in the cover art process. We can make suggestions on how we’d like the cover to look. And my E-publisher has done some amazing covers, too. I’ve really hit the jackpot with cover art!
So there really are a lot of similarities between E-publishing and NY publishing, and many differences, too. I feel so incredibly fortunate to be able to do both. I really am living my dream right now, and hope I can continue to juggle effectively. 😉
Glad you made it, Jenyfer! And thank you 🙂
I tried to comment yesterday with no luck!
Thanks for a very interesting view of the world of e / print publishing. Lots to think about! And you’re right – you’ve been given some really really nice covers!
Thank you all so much for reading my books, whether in print or ebook!
Michelle, I was content as an ebook author for many years before making the move to NY. You have to do what makes you happy as an author. 🙂
NJ – The next Demon Hunter book should be released next fall. I’m hoping to get a release date from my publisher very soon. Thanks for asking!
Congratulations on your move to NY Publishing. I have had the pleasure of enjoying many of your stories and look forward to many more in the future.
Whether E-publisher or NY Publisher, if it says Jaci Burton on the cover it’s quality. Congrats on all your success. When is the next Demon Hunter book due out?
Thanks for the insight into both types of publishing. I think that it is great that you are allowed the flexibility of doing both. I enjoy your books and hope you will be writing for a long time.
Congrats on making the move to the big houses. Your insight is very helpful and though I’m content with e-pubs right now…someday! So good luck with everything and keep writing girl…Love your books!
E-pub or NY…I love all your books!
Hi, Jaci! 🙂
I love both your ebooks and NY print books and can’t wait to read whatever you have coming out next 🙂
I have discovered so many great author’s thru ebooks, and you are one of them. I enjoy your storytelling Jaci and can’t wait to read more of your ebooks and NY print books, too.
Thank you for the article about ebooks vs. NY print books, Jaci! I love your ebooks and print books so I am glad you will still be writing both. As a reader, I like the fact that ebooks are faster from writing it to publishing it. I love when new books either ebook or print come out from my favorite authors.
Hi Kathleen anbd Kim! And thank you for your comments and for visiting the blog today.
Robin, thank you! I’m so glad you enjoy my books 🙂
I’ve been reading your books for a long time now and have always loved your writing. It’s great that the NY publishers took notice! But, I’m glad that you still plan to write ebooks too.
Thanks for the inside look at the differences in the two types of publishing.
Thank you Edita! And yes, my first NY published book released a year ago this month! Since then, I’ve released two books with Bantam Dell and two books with Berkley, and it’s been an incredible whirlwind.
It actually came about when I signed with my agent, the fabulous Deidre Knight of The Knight Agency. I met her online and quite by accident when she was setting up her blog. We blogged back and forth, then started talking via email. She knew who I was because of my success in E-publishing (see how great E-publishing is? *grin*) and I sent her some of my work, she signed me in May of 2005 and by August of 2005 one of my paranormal romance proposals sold to Bantam Dell in a 3 publisher auction! A few months after that we sold a contemporary erotic romance to Berkley for their HEAT line in a 2 book contract.
So, for me at least, it was all about being at the right place at the right time as far as finding that perfect agent. And then having the right kind of books on the right editors desk at the right time. Really, a lot of this business is luck and timing. I’ve been very lucky. 🙂
It also helps to be persistent…and patient. Hang in there and don’t give up. Good luck to you!
It’s belated congratulations, Jaci, since you said you’ve made the move to print publishing (NY) what sounds like several ‘contract-books’ ago. I read the article with great interest…all through, and then (being me which is not always a good thing) returned to your first sentence: “…before I got my first NY print contract.” That’s what kept nagging at me as I read through and spawned a question: “How did you get that first NY print contract?”
Going here on a wide and probably not well substantiated assumption that NY-print is what most e-book writers strive for, I’d like to know your “route” to that cherished goal. Was it a chance, a lucky opportunity, a result of detailed study of what NY prints and then tailoring your novels to their requirements, or what is something else…? In other words, how did you make that fortuitous transition to NY-print? It’s elusive, I have to say that…at least for me, regardless of having reputable agents and such; regardless of having half a dozen short stories published in lit-mags over these last 6 years (and some sci-fic and fantasy shorts published back in the 80s). I’d love to get your story on your road and arrival, as they say and pre-emptive thanks for your reply. May you continue to enjoy all the success that comes your way in the New Year 2008 and my best, Edita.
Glad you could make it. Interesting differences in Epublishing and NY publishing. The challenges just make you a stronger writer 🙂
Jaci, congratulations on your move from E-publishing to NY publishing. Thank you for your informative article. Your demon series sounds fantastic.
Wish you the best! -Kathleen Rowland