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!