Monday, August 2, 2010

Do "Serious" Writers Write for the Web? by Debbie Mumford

Do "Serious" Writers Write for the Web?

I was interviewed for a local writing group's newsletter a while back. One of the questions I was asked touches on a bias I run across far too frequently…that e-pubbed writers aren’t *really* published.

The Question:

How would you respond to the “prevailing wisdom” that “serious” writers don’t write for the web?

My Answer:

Serious writers learn their craft. Sometimes that education comes from academia, sometimes from spendy writers’ workshops, sometimes from hiring a freelance editor. None of those avenues was available to me. I had earned my Masters Degree years earlier and had no desire to return to college. Costly avenues like Gotham Writers' Workshop or freelance editing were beyond my means. My critique workshop gave me a great start, but they only critiqued short fiction. I wanted to write novels.

I found my education in e-publishing.

My publisher saw promise in my writing and was willing to work with me—as long as I was willing to sweat blood and learn. I was blessed with an amazing editor. Her skill coupled with my willingness to revise produced two novellas and two novels that I’m quite pleased with. They’re not my best work—that’s still to come, but they’re the best I was capable of at the time.

Because of the great foundation my e-pub gave me, I’m now represented by a fabulous agent with a well-respected NYC agency. I’ll admit, I’m hoping for a traditional print publishing contract, but I’m also proud to be part of the e-publishing world. I’d like my career to span all available avenues of readership.

Serious writers follow the best path they can find. Most importantly, serious writers write.


What are your thoughts on the subject? Do you think e-published writers are second-class citizens in the literary world, or do you agree that e-publishing represents a different but equally legitimate business model?


The Silver Casket
is a time-travel historical novella set in Scotland.

Cat Logan, a young American with a recent degree in medieval literature, travels to Scotland to discover her roots. She finds more than she bargained for when a mysterious silver casket (rumored to hold the desiccated heart of a long dead Scottish laird) transports her back in time to the 1400s and the man whose heart she holds in her hands.

About the Author: Debbie Mumford specializes in fantasy for all ages. Middle Grade, Young Adult, Romance...if it's fantasy, she writes it. Debbie loves all mythology, but is especially fond of Celtic and Native American lore. Dragons and Faeries and Coyotes, Oh My!

Ms. Mumford is published by Freya's Bower, Wild Child Publishing, and Adams' Media. Her work is represented by Victoria Skurnick of Levine Greenberg Literary Agency.

Flights of Fantasy -


  1. Hi Debbie- great post and I happen to like ebooks and since many of the major trade publishers are doing ebooks now - I'd have to say that it's a very legitimate way to publish. Sure some of the smaller epublishing houses have alot to learn and they are learning and so are the authors.


  2. Thanks, Maria. Yes, as the NY houses sell more e-books, the stigma will fade...and we'll all be better for it! Published is published as far as I'm concerned.

  3. You cannot worry about people who feel like that. You just have to do what you do as good as you can. I love time travel story.


  4. Great post Debbie!!! I admit, epublishing was not my first choice...and I kinda stumbled upon it one day and said "What the hell?" and submitted my novel. But since then, I have learned a lot! The epublishing world is growing in leaps and bounds and there is so much talent out there! I'm very excited about where epublishing is taking me! And like you, I hope that one day it will open the door for me with an agent who can help get my work in front of a broader audience.

  5. I think that e-publishing represents a different but equally legitimate business model. Actually, I find e-authors are ahead of their time and blazing a trail for "traditional" authors to follow.

    In the past 2 years, I have read and discovered more e-authors than I have read traditional authors during my lifetime (decades and decades).

    Tracey D
    booklover0226 at gmail dot com

  6. Thanks for stopping by and adding your thoughts, Loretta, Stephanie, and Tracey. And you're right, the e-publishing world is just beginning to bloom!


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