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.

The Plan

Welcome to The (Writer’s) Waiting Room!  As anyone who’s ever gotten stuck in a real life doctor’s waiting room with nothing good to read knows, the wait can turn into a vortex of wasted, unproductive time.  It’s boring.  And, unless you want to make friends with that guy in the corner who might–definitely, probably–have swine flu, it’s lonely too.

One of the main activities for writers is waiting:  waiting to hear back from that magazine, journal, literary agent, publisher.  As soon as we send out a submission or query letter, we set up camp in a new, torturous waiting room.  If you’re really serious about writing, you’ve sent out materials to multiple places, constructing multiple waiting rooms.

Sometimes you know it’s going to 6-8 weeks.  But, more often than not, you don’t even know how long the wait is going to be.  It gets to the point that you don’t even care if there’s a slew of rejection letters waiting for you in the mailbox (or email), you just want to hear back from somebody–anybody–who has read your work.

The question becomes how do you distract yourself in the meantime.  And the answer is…

Wait for it.

[…]

This blog!

I’m designing the (Writer’s) Waiting Room to keep you company while you wait.  I’ll provide as much information as I can about how long the wait is for specific publications, offer information about other journals and contests you should simultaneously submit to (stay productive!), and post links to other blogs, articles, and publishing trends that can help improve your craft, your submission tactics, and encourage you to keep writing while you wait!

What to Expect:

Slow Sundays: on the one day of the week with no mail delivery (and the highly unlikely chance of a journal sending out an email) I’ll tally up how long I’ve been waiting for certain journals to get back to me.  And I’ll encourage you to chime in if you’ve submitted to the same journals and contribute to the statistics for how long the average wait-time is.

New Magazine Mondays:  starting out the week fresh, I’ll give a little bio on a small journal accepting submissions.  If you have a short story that fits the bill, submit there!  I’ll also try to stick to journals I’ve personally submitted to so I can provide the expected wait time.

Writer’s Wednesdays:  discussions on and links to articles and blog posts that writers should read.  Hopefully some inspire you and it’ll be a good kick-off to give you some things to do the rest of your week.

Why Should Anybody Listen to Me?

I’m a writer.  For those of you who need to know my credentials to trust me, I have work published or forthcoming in Inside Pennsylvania, The Stillwater Review, The Honors Review (available for viewing at http://honorsreview.wordpress.com/current/), and I recently won 2nd place in The Baltimore Review Creative Non-Fiction Contest.  By no stretch of the imagination am I claiming to be an awesome guru or a well-published role model, but I love writing and I’m serious about submitting my work.  With my excessive amount of submissions to various journals, I believe that I’ve scouted out a portion of the publishing market pretty well and I want to share what I’ve learned.  At the very least, you can find out how long you might have to wait based upon my personal experience.  Maybe it’s because we’re embarrassed about rejections, but I don’t think writers share this sort of information enough and I want to change that.  So I encourage you to comment on my posts and share how long you’ve had to wait for responses (you don’t have to admit if it was acceptance or rejection, don’t worry!)

So, my main campaign is to keep busy while you wait.

Tune in if you want to join The (Writer’s) Waiting Room and stop waiting alone.