E-pubs and in ehouse' e-magazines--veinglory

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A lot of epublishers now have some kind of electronic magazine that is rather more formal and traditionally formatted than a simple newsletter. I, personally, do not read them. I am not sure how much I am missing out on but I am a bit 'goal oriented'--I go to epublishers for ebooks. I am not fond of supplemental materials. Perhaps some of you can put me right on that issue and tell me what I have been missing and which epublishers emagazines are the most interest, and if any have good industry information rather than more in house/entertainment/readership loyalty material.

There is of course nothing wrong with putting out a magazine, my personal tastes being quite beside the point. But it is rather labor intensive and must suck up staff time--and most epresses are not richly endowed when it comes to staffing. I notice that Cobblestone Press Quarterly recently came out looking gorgeous. But despite being marked 'September' it was clearly released in November--two months overdue?

I am also left feeling a little guilty about the number of requests for emagazine content that I have ignored. I do want to support my publishers--but I am not sure that is a terribly effective or efficient way for me to do so. Perhaps I am wrong to think so because Google patterns show that readers are constantly looking for free erotic/romance material and that magazine provide that, wrapped up with promotion of their/our books and the genre/ebook format in general.

So what are your thoughts--in house emagazines: wonderful promotion opportunity for author, publisher and out inductry as a whole--or sparkly distraction for the core business of creating the publishing ebooks?

6 comments:

Cat Grant 10:57 AM  

You know what they say about there being no such thing as bad publicity!

My publisher puts out its own electronic monthly newsletter. It's probably more friendly and chatty in tone than crisply professional, but I don't see anything wrong with that. I'm not particularly fond of "supplemental" material either, but a new publisher's got to do whatever they can to snag more readers.

Bree 1:47 PM  

There's not much I can say without being biased in one way or another... (hey, in this case super biased because wow, that's my cover and it looks so cool to have artwork I did sitting there.)

I'm of mixed feelings. I think that as long as the magazine doesn't detract from the publishing of books, then they can be a great and interesting resource. But your point about staffing is a valid one...it is hard when you're running a small business to be able to pay people what they're worth, but nothing good comes for free.

I can speak to the related success of free reads. I have relatively little exposure in the romance community at this point, having only been published for the first time in late June, but the free reads we offer on our website have enormous draw. We have had thousands of downloads on the 5 offerings, and have even gotten quite a few e-mails from readers who enjoy them and are looking for related books that they can buy that take place in the same universe. So in that respect...I'm a huge fan of free stuff as promotion. Even better if I don't have to do all the work formatting it. ;)

Erastes 2:57 PM  

All I want from a publisher is something like the Torquere "this is what's coming this month" Title, Author, Genre, short blurb. End of.

Fae 4:21 PM  

I contributed an article to EC's emagazine once and it garnered a lot of web traffic and a good bit of promotional bang when in exchange we got a back cover RT ad for our book. So in that area, it was worth it for us. It didn't necessarily translate into sales but it was fun, it didn't cost me anything but a bit of time to write the article, and it did get our site and our name in front of a LOT of people, readers and industry folks alike.

Nonny 12:16 AM  

I think the e-zines are great for shorter fiction. I've had a couple of short stories released on their own as ebooks, and some of the feedback I received from readers was that they felt cheated because of cost and length. I think that would not be the case if the stories had been packaged in an e-zine with more content, leaving readers feeling they got more "bang for their buck", so to speak.

That said, I don't know how well the 'zines sell when a lot of authors just put up their shorter reads online for free.

fiona glass 5:43 AM  

I have yet to be convinced one way or the other, but it would be interesting to know what readers (as opposed to authors-who-read!) think of the zines. Presumably the publishers must be getting some positive feedback from their readers, or they wouldn't spend the time and money putting them out every few months...

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