Is e-publishing the answer?

Kindle Publishing

I’ve been doing a little digging into e-publishing in hopes of figuring out if that’s the route I want to take with my novels or not. I haven’t submitted to nearly enough agents to give up on that possibility, but the more I think about it, the more I dislike the thoughts of getting involved in traditional publishing culture.

In all honesty, I didn’t write these crazy novels to get rich. That would be nice. I wouldn’t say no. But I wrote them because I had something to say and I had a story to tell, and I could find very few books in the world that actually peaked my interest. I like a specific type of book, one with a lot of complicated plot issues and lots of subplots and really intense character development. Most books I read aren’t complex enough. I try to figure out the way the story is going to end, and most of the time, the story ends far more simply than I imagined. And I am disappointed. A good new example of the type of book I really enjoy is Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles, The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear. Really satisfying reads, both of them, especially for a schizophrenic mind like mine.

And more and more it’s really difficult to get an agent’s attention. I know there are probably workarounds. And I know it’s a lot about networking. And it’s also very much about selling yourself. And I suck at all of those. I can sell other peoples’ work without any trouble at all, but ask me to promote myself? Yeah. I prefer to hide in a corner and try to convince people I don’t exist. Anonymity is my closest friend. I would rather make the works available to whoever wants them for as cheap as possible and stay in the background while they enjoy a really good, really random read.

I have a Kindle and I take it with me everywhere. I use it every day. And that’s probably the way I’m going to go.  I mean, after all, real marketing starts with grass-roots efforts, doesn’t it? Amazon has a pretty easy FAQ on their Kindle Direct Publishing web site. There are a lot of do’s and don’t’s and a lot of formats to stick to, which I didn’t know about and will have to reformat everything to suit it. Oh, well. My devotional this morning was on diligence. I guess I can put pen to paper on that and see how it works out.

What really fascinated me was the concept of the Kindle Singles. They’re basically short stories or novellas. I wasn’t sure if they had a word limit or not, and they seem to vary from 5,000 to 30,000 words. So my plan is to try publishing one of my short stories to see how the process works and if it’s successful, I may follow through with a novel . . . or two . . . or three. =) I’ve got plenty to choose from that don’t fit the mold any publisher or agent wants right now, according to my reading and the people I’ve talked to. Actually, they don’t fit any mold.



In other news, I tried entering a self-publishing group’s contest. I thought I should give it a whirl. The contest was through Xulon Press, a Christian type of publishing group. Sounds nice. I’m sure they’re perfectly peachy. I didn’t win the contest, but I thought it was a good shot. I think they hold the contest every year, and the grand prize is a pretty sweet publishing package worth around $8,000.



And I was informed that I will have another piece of work published in February. Not fiction. And really more centered around my day job, but writing is writing, right? I actually get my name on the February edition of Plumbing Engineer with a piece about the domestic water installation in the LIVESTRONG Sporting Park in Kansas City. Yeah. That’s going to look great in my credits . . . . a romantic short story . . . . and a plumbing installation article. Fan-freakin’-tastic. =)

A.C. Williams

Amy Williams left a lucrative career in marketing to write novels about space cowboys, clumsy church secretaries, American samurai, and alternate dimensions. Along the way, she also discovered a passion for teaching other creative professionals how to use technology to make life easier. Through video instruction or one-on-one coaching, she teaches software, blogging, basic graphic design, and many other useful skills that help creative entrepreneurs get stuff done minus the frustration.

This Post Has 0 Comments

  1. Congrats on the publication.

    And I say definitely keep self-publishing as an option. If the agents or publishers don’t bite, then you could still do just as well or better by the self-pub route!

  2. If you’re seriously considering epublishing, you should also look into Smashwords. They distribute to other retailers, and are an excellent supplement to Amazon. By using only Amazon, you would limit your sales to people with Kindles. Smashwords formats their books for several different readers, plus PDF, and the mobi version (Amazon’s proprietary format) can be downloaded to the Kindle. If you do decide that you want as wide a distribution as possible, and decide to use Amazon, *don’t* sign up for their Select program, since you won’t be allowed to have your books appear anywhere else, not even on your own website, should you go in that direction. The general consensus among indie writers, is that Select isn’t a good choice for an unknown writer with only one or two books. There’s a lot to learn about self-publishing. Don’t rush into it.

    1. That’s good to know. Thank you! I’ve been reading into self-publishing for a long time, but e-publishing is something that I’ve just started researching. Gotta’ love all that fine print. =)

      1. Oh yeah, there’s a ton of fine print. Just don’t let yourself be overwhelmed. Take it a little at a time, and keep writing. It may take a while to work out what’s best for you in the long run, but it’s worth it. I just had another sale of one of my fairly obscure books, and it’s still a thrill. There’s no way in the world that any publisher would have accepted my two novels, so self-publishing them as ebooks is working very well for me.

  3. You echo my sentiments about e-publishing. There is an increasing frustration when it comes to going the traditional route. I’m kind of waiting for the dust to settle about the whole publishing world. I know e-readers are the way to go, yet there is nothing quite like a real book in hand.

  4. Self-publishing is a great option open to us all now. Conventional should always be the first choice but it is easier to have a fall back now. Best of luck with it.

Leave a Reply

Close Menu
%d bloggers like this: