The One Downfall to Being Published Electronically: You Can’t Sign a Kindle

Personally, I started out being rather iffy/stand-offish/old-fashioned about the whole e-book revolution.  Give me a physically bound book or give me death, I cried over-dramatically.  I was particularly fond of Meg Cabot’s continued complaint that ebooks are not bathtub friendly (not that paper books are really very compatible with getting wet either, but at least they don’t carry the threat of electrocution should they be dropped in the tub*).  But then my boyfriend’s parents gave me a beautiful beautiful kindle for Christmas and I realized how awesome it was.  One of the main benefits is that I do not have to drive to Barnes & Nobles the day a book came out in stores.  I can buy it in my own home, for less money!  (And by home I totally mean my bed.  In my pjs.)  Also, I could downgrade to a smaller purse because I didn’t need the space for three books at any given time anymore.

The moral of the story is that e-books are now formally a BIG DEAL and I’m really glad that I jumped on the bandwagon.  They’re such a big deal in publishing that, in mine and others opinions, they significantly change the entire view of self-publishing.  For a long time, the perception was that everything self-published was so personal and completely unedited that only immediate family members were going to buy it.  There are some exceptions, of course.  John Erickson, author of the Hank the Cowdog series, self-published and sold thousands of copies out of the back of his pickup at rodeos.  His books became so popular that a traditional publisher proposed a traditional book deal.  So if you’re struggling to self-promote right now, stay committed!  It might pay off big.

Obviously, though, self-publishing requires a huge time commitment to self-marketing.  However, with publication avenues like Kindle that offer a national audience, it’s becoming easier and self-published 99cent books are becoming best sellers.  Which choice is best for you?

There were lots of developments with magazine apps and the iPad this week, if you want to keep updated.  Also, if you have an iPad you might want to check out Nomad Editions.  How long before literary journals follow suit?

It might be awhile before that happens, but there’s definitely an increase in online literary publications.  If you’re hesitant about being published on the internet, something to consider is that, statistically, you have a better chance of getting published.  Think about it.  If a print issue only has 40-pages, they are bound to that space limitation.  But the internet can have endless amounts of pages.  Philadelphia Stories, for example, prints some stories on their website that they didn’t have room for in the print copy.  And Painted Bride Quarterly offers the unique opportunity to get published on their website through their monthly Sidecar.

On a separate note, for those of you going through the critique and editing process, you’re not alone.

*I actually have no idea whether or not e-books emit electricity when drowned.  They plug into wall outlets like a hairdryer, though, so I worry.

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2 thoughts on “The One Downfall to Being Published Electronically: You Can’t Sign a Kindle

  1. vanderjohn says:

    One nice thing about eBooks, and “eWriting” in general with thing like blogs is that it is free to publish, and it lasts forever. You have literally your entire life to constantly publish and revise your body of work for free, and for people to discover it. Also, you get to focus on the value of your writing while trying to build an audience instead of the bureaucracy of the traditional publishing system.

    Slow and steady wins the race. 😉

  2. hannahkarena says:

    I do like that blogging is a totally free tool to develop an audience for your writing. And I agree that it’s really excellent for growing and developing as a writer. What’s interesting is that you almost need to use “eWriting” to even crack into the traditional publishing system anymore. You need to have a “platform” with established followers before your book is worth publishing. But many people lean towards traditional publishing because of the credentials, authority, official editors. It’s a terribly ironic catch-22.

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