It’s a brave new world of publishing. Because of ePublishing, we are in the midst of the greatest revolution in publishing since the invention of the Guttenberg Press, which, by the way, put a whole class of people out of work within a generation: scribes. And initially, there was quite a lot of resistance to printed books; some members of the elite classes believed that no educated man would buy coarse printed books. We’ve all seen how that turned out!

The traditional publishers are dinosaurs, fossilizing in front of our eyes. They take too long to read manuscripts, they take too long to get manuscripts into printed form, they respond too slowly to the market, they are afraid to take risks, they are terrified of innovation and run from it, they run themselves on old-school business ‘rules’ that are outmoded and largely false for books, they run via group-think and committee-mind so they lack creativity and vision, their PR departments are incompetent, they want to be gatekeepers instead of gate-openers serving the reading public, and they have no sense of nurturing mid-list authors and developing a career over time.

Basically, traditional publishing houses are searching vainly for an algorithm that will guarantee that every book they publish will be a bestseller. To that end, they beat the deceased equine until it is a gelatinous mass.

This is a time when independent-minded, innovative, pathologically persistent authors can do very, very well—because they can get their books out to the reading, buying public quickly. Think about the millions of eBooks author John Locke has sold.

However: beware of literary agencies that offer to ePublish your novel for you, for a price. In my mind this is a serious conflict of interest for a literary agency and a shocking dereliction of ethical responsibility. If an agent likes your book but can’t sell it, take your book and ePublish it yourself. With a company whose sole business it is to ePublish books.

Literary agencies face tough times. They make money from selling books to traditional publishers, and the traditional book publishers are buying fewer and fewer books, and stupider and stupider ones, to boot. I understand the temptation that these agencies face in wanting to get a slice of the ePublishing market and bolster their bottom line. However, it is a conflict of interest for a literary agency, and it is not an ethical business practice. Some literary agencies are marking up the ePublishing services that they recommend to authors, so the agencies are making money off the author going through the ePublish process. NOT COOL.

If a literary agency says to an author, “We love your book and we know readers will, too, but we can’t sell it,” the thinking author MUST ask himself or herself one question: How hard did they really try?

Even if the agency hands the author a list of twenty submissions, the author must wonder, what if number 24 was the charm?

Fortunately, ePublishing, as a form of self-publishing, has lost its stigma. It’s a viable option, especially for authors who already have a solid readership.


HOWEVER, and this is crucial: it is imperative that every ePublishing author do a few things: 1. Hire a professional manuscript editor and do at least two revisions, and 2. Hire a professional copy-editor and have the manuscript copy-edited before sending it to the ePublisher. These are not optional. They are mandatory. Sloppy books are not taken seriously and will not sell. My third recommendation is that eAuthors hire a PR firm. Readers can’t buy your books if they don’t know about them.

When it became clear that, despite the international success of my historical novel IMMORTAL, traditional publishers were not biting, I chose Telemachus Press to ePublish/POD my novels FALLEN and THE BOTTICELLI AFFAIR. I had been researching ePublish/POD for a non-fiction art book I wrote with my husband, sculptor Sabin Howard, THE ART OF LIFE. I had done exhaustive research in the field; Telemachus Press was the clear front-runner. I own all my own publishing rights, unlike with some of the other big self-publishing companies that people are using. This matters. Telemachus is cost effective and very, very professional.

Working with Telemachus has been a delight. They care about their product and about their customers. I can say that they have bent over backwards to accommodate me and to ensure that my novels will be quality products. They are timely, they are efficient, they care. I have only good things to say about them. I recommend them to every would-be eAuthor. Find them at


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