Friday, October 29, 2010

E-Publishing and Procrastination

I swear, if procrastination was an illegal drug a lot of writers would be found in back alleys begging for another hit. What’s my point? Well, my procrastination has lead me to some research and we’re on the cusp of an amazing opportunity, and as writers, we’re all too smart to be so dumb. It’s like going back in time and having the chance to buy Apple stock at $10 a share, and it’s relative. Are you going to bite?

I’m talking about e-publishing. I know, I know, you want to scream: “technology sucks!” and run around with your hands over your ears, but Sweetie, just take a deep breath, unhitch those panties from your clenched cheeks and feel the opportunity that’s breezing by. The profession of e-publishing is so young, there aren’t even standardized guidelines yet to follow while submitting to publishers, and the amount of books being downloaded each day is building with incredible speed. Another biggie is “vanity” has been removed from the idea of self-publishing, so the ability to self e-publish I predict is soon going to be all the rage.

The big question is how many books will be polished and standout as “wonderful” or “brilliant” among the masses? Most writers will assume because “they” think their work is perfect, so will the world… but we already know what the real answer is. So now you may be asking “Okay, where do I start?” Well, when you feel your manuscript is ready, find a literary consultant like BubbleCow who can “provide professional copy editing with manuscript assessment, book proposal advice and writer mentoring”. Oh come on! Don’t roll your eyes and think I’m not talking to you. If you’ve ever been serious about being a “successful” writer, whether submitting to a publisher or e-publishing on Amazon, you need professional feedback before it’s out there no matter how good you are. And if you didn’t know it, then “high-five”, you just learned something really important!

So, am I saying some of us brilliant storytellers can be complete idiots towards the business side of writing? Yeap. For all kinds of bizarre reasons we’ve been scared of loving “the business side” of the publishing world and have spent valuable time and opportunities procrastinating instead of showing the tenacity we all are capable of. That has to change. If you’re now wondering what genres specifically will do well with e-publishing, the answer is all of them. As a writer of middle grade and young adult, I thought about children’s books and the possibility that parents won’t want children reading electronically. Then I thought of the built-in dictionary and pronunciation capability, to tap on a word they don’t understand and learn without even realizing they are learning… Yes, every genre is going to be successful in e-publishing.

During my own procrastination, while I should have been doing rewrites, I’ve logged about 100 hours searching through and reading articles and press releases on e-publishing and you know what? This is REALLY-FUN-MAKE-YOU-WANT-TO-SAY-“YES-YES-YES!” EXCITING STUFF! In fact it’s so exciting I’m working successfully everyday now on my rewrites. Have I sold you on it yet?

Come on, think about it. In our lifetime, we’ve been pioneers to so many things - cable TV, really high heels, cell phones, tattoo eyeliner, fantasy football teams, and the list goes on and on. The biggest of the biggies for me and probably you is pioneering the personal computer with, wait for it…. Google. Five years ago I was seriously apprehensive of going on Google. “Why would someone just give away all that information?”… Now it’s a daily necessity in my life. Imagine what writers back in the 80’s must have thought when they were first told to put down their typewriters, dictionary’s and whiteout correction tape and plug in a computer. “Evil! No way! It’s so cold and business-like, I couldn’t possibly be creative with one of those machines in my house!” I think you get the idea, and it doesn’t take much of a leap to see e-books will be a normal part of peoples lives in just a few years.

What’s the next step? Inform yourself and all the writers you know…(or at least the ones you like). Some of us are going to be at the forefront of the new way of selling books, and you know what? I want to be one of them. Here is a starter list of must read articles, twitter addresses and links to really smart people who know what they’re "e-talking" about. Please drop me a note with any questions you have or great information you find. I’m at and I’ll be linking related articles on twitter daily to make e-publishing easier to understand.


**Konrath E-Book Sales Top 100K**

**#1 Epublishing Business Model**

**How To Publish Your Book On Kindle And iPad**

**E-Book Revolution**

** Elgan: Why book publishing needs the Silicon Valley way**

**Kindle Singles: Big Opportunity For Smart Writers**

**Video link/ Toddler Prefers iPad Over Print Book**

**Alice Pope’s Wednesday Tweet Roundup**



@writersdigest @JaneFriedman

@angelajames @bubblecow

@glecharles (Guy L. Gonzalez) @40kbooks

@inkwelleditor @AlicePope

@toc (Tools of Change) @nickbilton (Nick Bilton)

@inkyelbows and @ipadgirl @danblank (Dan Blank)

@andrewsavikas (Andrew Savikas) @kirkbiglione (Kirk Biglione)