Whether to publish digitally or traditionally seems to be the question of the day in the writing world. And to that I say…
Well, let me back up a little.
I am a writer. I’ve written a lot of words. I am, in fact, well past the “10,000 hour” rule. Nearly all of that writing has been done for the simple fact that I love doing it. I find the undertaking to be exciting, even seductive (and we won’t talk about the aggravatingly challenging parts). When I am writing, the rest of the world might not even exist. Food? Oh, yeah, I probably should get some of that so that I don’t faint along the story-writing path. Laundry? Um… I’ll get to it. No, really. Bills? Did I forget to pay something?
From time to time I have submitted my works to publishers, and I even had a short story accepted. I want to be published – and even recognized. I really do. I have long dreamed of seeing my name on the cover of a book-read-by-other-people. But the road to that point has been desultory at best, lazy at worst. I wanted to do the writing part, I didn’t so much want to do the selling. I confess, I still don’t, but… Now I am willing to do it anyway. I have made a conscious, purposeful decision to put some serious effort into pursuing that castle in the sky. I have made the announcement to Friends, Foe, and Family. I do have my moments of doubt, but they do not rule. I am serious about this endeavor! Witness the eStory (It’s short; I can’t, in good conscience, call it an eBook) decorating my sidebar. Have you read it yet? If so, have you been kind enough to rate or review it? Ratings and reviews are gold to starving author types (I so
stole borrowed that line from the lovely K.M. Weiland)!
Coincidentally, my decision to write for fame and fortune (Actually, just the latter would be fine. I am not a fan of paparazzi. Did you see the movie? Oish!) has come at a time when indie publishing is really taking off – and when my husband has decided that we want a new house, a new car, a yacht… Okay, not the yacht (maintenance and taxes, hello!), but definitely some travel. I’m not really seeing my earnings (cough!) paying for those, but he’s sweet to have such confidence in me.
At any rate, researching the possibilities of indie publishing has been inspiring. Distracting, but inspiring. I have learned all kinds of things, refreshed my skills, brushed up on some basics. It was with excitement and a sense of accomplishment that I made available my first short story as an introduction to my style and voice, as as a way to begin connecting with a wider circle of readers. It is so exhilarating to be able to share this passion! I am wading in the shallow end of the Social Media Pool, and it there that I have found references to articles that continue to educate, challenge, and inspire me. I have recently come across the blog of Shawn Wickersheim. The first time I read his blog, I laughed. I laughed again the second and third time, but then I wondered what this fellow was doing in my head! It’s probably not safe there. Very busy. Very crowded. But I kid you not, Shawn often writes what I’m thinking. It’s kind of spooky. For instance, these are his/my thoughts about e-publishing:
Because I felt it was the best way to share my work with the public. More and more people are turning to e-readers and I felt this was the most direct route to take in order to connect with readers. Without big-name recognition, I felt the only way people would get to know my work is if I told them about it myself. And if I was going to go through all that work then I wanted to have most of the rewards too. I’m not looking to get rich quick. This isn’t some money scheme. This is a lifelong dream I’m pursuing and I intend to continue publishing my books exactly the way I want, when I want and how I want for as long as I want…
He goes on to discuss the oft-expressed opinion that ebooks are devaluing books in general, and brings up an amusing comparison involving reality shows. (I don’t care for them at all; neither does he. Go figger!)
“But with anyone able to publish anything, how can the reader know what is and isn’t crap?”
Find out here how he answers: To Be or Not to Be… – and be sure to check out his other posts as well.
You might also want to check out Five Ways to Get More Amazon Reviews by K. M. Weiland. “The candid reviews of other readers are one of the most important elements in this purchasing experience, and authors everywhere check and double-check their Amazon pages for their next review.”
Jody Kihara teaches us about formatting special characters for Smashwords on her blog. (Very helpful for those of us who are into D.I.Y.!)
So how about you? Do you approve or disapprove of e-publishing, and what are your thoughts on the matter?