The eBook Adventure Begins in Earnest
When I published The Curse of Troius through Createspace, I was excited for two things: I now had an actual printed book that I wrote in my hands, and I could look at Amazon.com and see my book for sale across the country. I felt good about it, to see all those hours and days and months that added up finally resulted in an actual tangible result. I suppose it was a shadowy imitation of the experience of having a child (I wouldn’t know for sure, but in my imagination it is): something unique that only you could have created, now in the world. All I know is, Lady Aravan probably thought I’d lost my mind as I sat holding it, giggling and shaking my head in sheer wonder.
Like other children, it was a little ungainly at first. The cover was generic, there were typos in it, information I wanted in the book didn’t get in. Gradually, though, it grew up. A talented artist made the cover something awesome instead of bland, I fixed some of the typos and added some of those things I’d wished I’d had before – including whole new sections of story – and made a Kindle version available. I’d gone digital!
Now, I felt like I was done. I’d done everything I could to make my book accessible and hopefully attractive to a publisher. Of course, months went by full of rejection letters, one manuscript request, and heaping helpings of stony silence. It’s not like I expected the publishing world to open up its shiny gates and breathlessly sing my praises and herald me as the second coming of Shakespeare, but I thought I’d written a decent enough story that was better than some of the dreck that managed to get published.
As my last post explained, though, my eyes were opened to a whole brave new world, one free of gatekeepers and people trying to sell books that were popular a year and half before they managed to get them out the door. I realized that while I was waiting for Traditional Publishing to welcome me into their homes (through the small side servants’ entrance of course, disdainfully and reluctantly, while I held my hat and cringed appropriately and fawned and nodded at their every word), their method of doing business was beginning its death rattle. Authors were leaving them, rejecting them, and doing the thing I had done in order to make themselves more money, the very opposite of my original plan. Places like Smashwords made it possible for an author to publish a novel, not in years, or months, or even weeks, but in a couple of hours. How? By ignoring paper and targeting the growing world of eReaders like Kindle, Nook, and iPads and iPhones and Droids and the entire new method of consuming the written word.
So, now I’m in that world with both feet. My novel is available in a multitude of electronic formats. You can go sample 15% or so of it for free. It is going through the process of vetting for inclusion in the Premium Catalog, which would gain it access to the Nook through Barnes and Noble’s site, Apple stores, and more. A few hours after it was published, there were already people downloading the free sample. It feels good, and it makes me even more jazzed and excited to finish the next part of the story and get it published. It makes me feel like a writer, a real one. I don’t care if only two-dozen people ever read my work – that’s a hell of a lot more people than could have ten years ago.
So I’m excited, and I’m excited for you, too. Maybe you have a short story or fifty sitting around, something you had to write because it insisted on it. Right now, for absolutely NO COST, you could get a eBook of your collection available for purchase, all in less than a day. Imagine an explosion of content available, no longer held back by the stony-faced gatekeepers of the traditional publishing world. Certainly, some of it will be bad, just like the crap that gets printed right now. Some of it will be sublime. Some will trigger the imagination of a young person and change their life, opening their eyes to some possibility they never considered before. Some of it might just make sleep a little uncomfortable as they jump at shadows.
It’s a pretty cool friggin’ world we live in. I’m a writer, just like I always wanted to be. I don’t make a living at it, of course. Yet.