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. 😉