With “publication” of Marcelle Dubé’s novel, On Her Trail, by Carina Press, she became the first e-published author in the Yukon.

On Her Trail combines Dubé’s love of the Yukon with her familiarity of Montréal where she was raised.

The fast-paced romantic suspense features feisty Laura Thorsen who returns to her Yukon home when her life is threatened following her exposé of Montréal mob boss Johnny Tucker. Not only must Laura escape Tucker’s hit men, she must confront her mother, a woman haunted by the ghosts of her deceased husband and former lover.

E-books have been around since 1971, but it took until 2000 for the medium to gain acceptance following Stephen King’s release of Riding the Bullet for download only.

By 2008, delegates at the Canadian Science Writers’ Conference were extolling the virtues of e-publication. Many noticed a jump in print sales when readers decided to buy paper copies to give to friends and family.

Dubé, who doesn’t even own an e-reader, admits the experience is far from that of traditional publication.

“With a print book, the reader walks into a bookstore, sees the cover, picks up the book and examines it before deciding to buy or put it back. With an e-book, the reader has to be comfortable reading off of a screen and know where to go looking for e-books.”

The advantages, though, are that Carina, the e-book imprint of Harlequin, accepts short manuscripts starting at 15,000 words. Also impressive is the turnaround time from acceptance to publication, normally an 18- to 24-month process for paper books.

“I heard about this new imprint in November and seven months later, my story is published!” said Dubé. In fact, the only downside is “I will miss not having a hard copy to hold in my hands.”

E-publication allows publishers to experiment as well. Carina accepts manuscripts in all genres, not just romance. “They were the perfect fit for my story.”

Dubé’s earlier publications include short stories in On Spec magazine,Polaris: A Celebration of Polar Science, Open Space: A Canadian Anthology of Fantastic Fiction, and Challenging Destiny issue 25.

“This was my first time working with an editor on a novel, but the process was similar to editing a short story,” she said.

Her editor, Elizabeth Bass, well-published in her own right, has a delicate touch. She suggested shuffling a couple of scenes for better flow and the addition of one small scene, but otherwise the book Dubé wrote is what readers get.

The most difficult part of the editing process, which took place over the ether, was to “label each version accurately to avoid confusion.”

While there won’t be any signings of Dubé’s book, as of June 21 it was available for download from www.carinapress.com, on Amazon, and through Dubé’s website www.marcelledube.com where readers can preview Chapter One.

Dubé is giving away three free copies, drawn from commentators who post on her blog, Twitter and Facebook.