Monday, 28 February 2011

In which our heroine accepts the inevitability of change...

It's no secret to anyone who knows me that e-books just don't light my candle. I like 'proper' books, books you can hold and smell and flip through and hoard like a fire hazard on dusty shelves that make a house feel like a home. Try doing that with your Kindle!

I felt the same about the whole vinyl to CD revolution.

However, now as then, there's no point in 'doing a Canute'. Change isn't just a-comin', it's here.

Two things I read yesterday (along with much Internet clicking and pondering of options and opportunities) have really kicked my brain into gear on this one. That and the fact that the traditional publishing model seems to me to be, if not dead in the water, then certainly floundering and spluttering and hoping someone will throw it a lifebelt.

The first piece I read was in The Observer. It tells not only of the success established thriller writer Stephen Leather has enjoyed, selling as e-books novellas his publisher had turned down, but also of paranormal romance writer Amanda Hocking, who went from an author unable to secure an agent to the world's best selling e-book writer in less than a year.

The second piece I read  was by New Jersey writer Kevin Michaels, who has just released his first novel, LOST EXIT, as an e-book. That in turn led me to this piece, by MONK author Lee Goldberg writing on thriller writer Joe Konrath's website. These are facts and figures that are impossible to ignore. And I suspect the majority of people who love to read will continue to buy 'proper' books, simply adding e-books to the ways in which they enjoy stories - just as so many of us write for and read stories, news and blogs online.

Just to top it all off, The Bookseller reports today that Bloomsbury predicts 2011 will be 'the year of the e-book'.

I have outlines written for a couple of non-fiction books that I honestly believe have a market. What I don't have is a publishing deal for them. Armed with my new-found knowledge, what do you think would be the best way for me to proceed? Should I do the rounds of agents and publishers, submitting speculatively and waiting months at a time for a reply? Or should I simply write the best books I can, self-publish them as e-books, setting my own prices, and let the readers decide if there's a market?

Doesn't really need thinking about, does it? Please excuse me, I have to go now - I have an e-book to write!


  1. I think your right. Al Guthries @E Books That sell ' blog is a good source of info.

  2. Thanks, Paul, I'll check it out. The more I read about this, the more it strikes me as being a no-brainer. It's possibly even a way to make writing pay, which I think we'd all enjoy!

  3. Hi Julie-
    Thanks for the link-up and call out. From my POV, it's all about e-publishing - the traditional publishing business model of agent/publisher is not quite dead, but it's grabbing for the oxygen tank and sucking heavily for breath.
    Write that e-book!

  4. Kevin, I'm working on a plan for a series of e-books, both fiction and non-fiction, right now! I may be testing this business model within six weeks. Exciting stuff!

  5. Hey there Ms make-the-house-a-home-with-an-e'book too JULIE,

    You got it!
    The way to go.
    May Success be your sizzle at stake, babe.

    ~ Absolutely*Kate,
    e-pubbing soon, "HOLY MOXIE" and multi-pubbing HARBINGER*33 ... and look out RAT PACK REVUE - It could happen to you (after all, we're young at heart)

  6. Hey, Kate! I'm slow, but I get there eventually, m'dear. As Mr Konrath said (when I was reading his blog yesterday) e-publishing connects writers and readers, whereas traditional publishing sells 'product'. Just makes more sense! I'm reeling at how quickly I've embraced this, now that I've done some proper research. (Although of course, you and Kevin, and others in our wee tribe, were waaaaay ahead of me!)

  7. We're in the same boat dear Jools and lookin' e'er to the starboard side. Do a little jig, raise a lotta mast ... we're sailin' our sellin'!

    Y'ar, there's treasures in these here cargos we write and write and incite and delight. Let's splash all the success'moves of our researchin' together and lay out the charts to how we're billowing each other the best.

    ~ Your 'pally', Absolutely*Kate,
    who KNOWS you ALWAYS get there, masterful author'dame