Inside The E-Book Expo At The 2013 RT Booklovers Convention

When it comes to e-book publishing, there’s no denying that the format allows for all kinds of creative possibilities. Digital publishing allows authors to push boundaries and write between genres, creating truly unusual characters and scenarios, as well as change it up when it comes to story length. RT has long been a big supporter of digitally published and self-published books and we love the opportunity to spotlight these authors and their work with their very own bookfair.

At today's sixth annual E-Book, Indie Publisher And Graphic Novel Expo, we chatted with some of our favorite digital-first authors and asked them about what they feel like they can do in an e-book that they may not be able to in a print book. Here's what they had to say:

Fans and authors at the 2013 RT Expo

Laura Kaye, author of contemporary romance for Entangled, who is published in both print and digital formats, told us that "e-books allow greater flexibility in length of the story and often allow more opportunities for publication of narrow/non-mainstream genres or genre mash-ups that don't have an obvious place on a brick-and-mortar bookstore's shelves." She continued, "E-books also have the ability to reach much broader audiences. I hear from a lot of readers that they no longer have a bookstore nearby."

Laura Kaye behind a big stack of her books

Cassandra Carr, who pens steamy erotic romance for Ellora's Cave, told us that she enjoys that e-publishers allow for various story lengths, compared to traditional print publishers. The author commented, "You aren't constrained by size. An e-book can be absolutely any length, whereas if a story is in print, it has to be long enough to be bound." When it comes to writing erotic romance, Carr believes e-publishers allow for a higher heat level, "[S]ome of the themes in erotic romance might lend themselves better to a digital release." She also brought up the fact that many readers may feel more comfortable reading erotic romance on e-readers because they don't have to " ... try to hide the cover if they want to read in public ...."

Cassandra Carr with cover model Scott Nova

We then paid Michelle M. Pillow a visit, a self-published author who writes primarily paranormal and futuristic tales. When asked about e-publishing, she made a great statement about publishing costs and risk: "There's less upfront cost in producing a book, so publishers (and books published Indie) are willing to take more chances on things that might not have made it into the traditional publishing world of 20 years ago." When asked about story elements that are specifically suited for e-books, she replied, "Authors have the freedom to take more chances with digital releases," and cited her genre-bending Naughty Cupid stories, which combine paranormal, historical and fantasy genres, as an example.

Michelle M. Pillow promoting her latest release

The next stop on our Tour de Expo was self-published romantic suspense author Liliana Hart, who praised digital publishing by saying, "I love the freedom of being able to change the backmatter of my books to make them current," adding that as a self-published author her readers are "able to get several releases a year from me now, and I love being able to give them what they ask for in such a short time." She finished by pointing out that "romance does extremely well in digital, but I think that's because romance readers read more than the average person."

Liliana Hart chatting with a fan

Julie Rowe, a historical romance author for Carina Press, was the last stop on our Expo tour, and had some words of wisdom to share regarding the industry. According to her, digital publishers are "willing, even eager, to take chances on something different, something that doesn’t fit into the standard notions, tropes or themes of a genre." She had nothing but good words to say about how digital publishing has expanded the romance genre, telling us that "restrictions on elements such as length, setting and character types have disappeared, we’re seeing the re-emergence of serialized stories, an upswing in little used settings and an explosion of LGBT characters appearing."

Julie Rowe enjoying the Expo

Want more from e-book authors? Be sure to check back soon for video interviews from several writers who publish digital first (and digital only) works in the coming weeks on the RT website. And you can always check out what’s going on in the digital world on RT’s Everything E-Books Page.