To kindle or not…

I’m toying with the idea of going over to the dark side and publishing my junior fantasy as a kindle on Amazon. (I know! I never thought that day would come.) You see, I really think it’s a worthwhile story and I’ve done a good job with it. If I was reviewing it, I’d give it at least three and a half stars. (Rosanne Hawke suggested four!) But, I can’t find a publisher willing to take it. I’ve tried. I’ve been patient. I’ve been polite. Most of them couldn’t be bothered to even send a form letter/ e-mail reply. How hard is it to type, “Sorry. No.” and hit Send? I’ve spent nearly three years waiting…waiting…waiting… I can see why many authors, even those who’ve previously had books printed by traditional publishers, now choose to go the self-publishing route. It’s the sheer frustration of it all.

I’ve never been a big fan of self-publishing. It doesn’t have a good reputation. Unfortunately, anyone with enough cash can get their book printed, regardless of whether it has any literary merit. Too many times I’ve seen work that hasn’t been within coo-ee of an editor, written by someone who needs to revisit the basics of grammar, spelling and telling a story so that it makes sense. And, sadly, every self-published book is tarred with the same brush.

(I know there are some wonderful self-published books. Some of them have been written by friends of mine. I’m not disparaging their work and I hope they realise that.)

The other problem is that to use print on demand, or to do co-publishing, or even to simply pay a printer to put your opus together, you have to pay people. I remember how much it cost just to get three copies of my Masters’ thesis into print. I don’t know how people do it, but I guess having a day job is a big help. Unfortunately, I don’t have a job and I don’t have any money to spare. Any loose change goes towards doctors’ bills and medication. (Yes, I edit, but it’s sporadic work for little gain.)

Then there is the distribution of the things. I’m just not physically up to loading my car boot with boxes of books; driving across the country-side; lugging said boxes out of the car, into a shop and back again, ย to flog them off one or two books at a time.

BUT the beauty of kindle or e-books is that it’s all done on the net. No lifting boxes. No storing leftover tomes in my shed. No driving miles across desert wastelands.

The cringe factor is still there. Anyone with a bit of technical know how (I’m learning) can upload their stuff. And with e-books, with some companies, there isn’t even the filter of needing enough money! But, these are desperate times.

I posted a manuscript (YA historical novel) to a publisher this week, so I’m still giving the traditional publishing world a chance, but my fantasy adventure about two boys forced to become child soldiers, may well be coming to a kindle near you.

If the traditional publishers don’t do a major rethink, there may come a day when everyone will by-pass them completely. With PCs, i-Pads and smart phones, the technology is already here. (But, I still love and prefer a paper book!)

Anyhoo, watch this space.


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    Jul 10, 2013

    Be not afraid of sudden terror and panic, nor of the stormy blast

  2. Sau Lipner
    Jul 9, 2013

    I quite like reading through a post that can make people think. Also, many thanks for allowing me to comment!

  3. coupon codes
    Jul 9, 2013

    Hmm it looks like your blog ate my first comment (it was extremely
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    I too am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any tips for first-time blog writers? I’d
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    • Wendy Noble
      Jul 9, 2013

      1. Write about the things that matter to you. 2. Don’t make it too long. 3. Stick to a regular posting routine. It doesn’t have to be every day; I write once a week and I know of some who do it once a month. The key is consistency. 4. The rest is up to you. I’m still learning as I go.

    Jul 6, 2013

    Keep this going please, great job!

  5. Kathie
    Jul 4, 2013

    great points altogether, you just won a new reader.
    What may you suggest in regards to your post that you made a few days
    ago? Any certain?

    • Wendy Noble
      Jul 5, 2013

      Thanks, Kathie. At the moment the plan is to still submit to traditional publishers but if I have no success, then I’ll e-publish. I can’t afford to co-publish or self-publish print books.

  6. Ken Rolph
    Jun 26, 2013

    I miss the smell of fresh printers ink when you open that first box of your books. I also pondered the idea of a book launch, but that seemed not suitable. Everything about ebooks ends up being digital, one way or another. You need to think of ebook publishing as a thing in itself. It is its own discipline with its own practices. I suspect it only works if you have a constant presence online in some manner.

    There is some excitement when you first get a sales rank on Amazon. That means someone had bought the book. But then you get to watch your sales rank pass 875,000 and sink by the day. As usual the read problem is connecting with potential readers.

    Remember that the whole clutter of publishers, editors, publicists, booksellers are either a gate or a bridge between you and the readers.

    • Wendy Noble
      Jun 26, 2013

      I hear you, Ken, and bow to your wise advice gained from experience in both the print and online world. So far the clutter of gates and bridges have remained solidly opposed to facilitating communication with potential readers. I’d go the self-pub route but I have no (and I really mean, no) money. Oh to have a decent day job!

  7. Paula Vince
    Jun 24, 2013

    I think we should be making the most of the time in which we live, and as it includes such an unprecedented opportunity for authors, I say go for it too. I’d like to read your book.

    • Wendy Noble
      Jun 26, 2013

      Thanks, Paula. I’m doing some research on it so I’ll let you know what happens.

  8. Sue Jeffrey
    Jun 22, 2013

    I have had been pondering similar issues (as you know). I think the Amazon option is good but there are so many books being published in that way that the tricky thing is getting your book noticed. Marketing is important so it would be wise to talk to people who have done this successfully. If you hear of anything happening at the Writers Centre along those lines please let me know ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Wendy Noble
      Jun 23, 2013

      I’ll let you know, Sue. I think they recently had a workshop on e-publishing but I couldn’t go. There is a fairly new publisher on the scene here in Oz, called Hague Publishers. (Google them) They specialise in e-books and do some print versions as well. I’ve been considering submitting to them, as well. See what you think. I figure I’d promote my book via this blog and facebook. I wonder, do you have a book launch for e-books and if so, how would that work?

  9. Joan
    Jun 22, 2013

    I say “go for it” Wendy! Xxx

  10. Elle Carter Neal
    Jun 22, 2013

    “Use the Force, Luke.” I mean, Wendy ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Thing is, the traditional publishers are also slipping – there are many books that have supposedly been through the wringer of the various departments of the publisher, yet there errors, plot inconsistencies, and even poorly-designed covers and shoddily typeset interiors even amongst the books that come from the Big 5. There used to be stories of amazing editors working for the Trad Pubs, who nurtured their authors into bestsellers – you don’t hear that anymore; now you hear stories of authors getting an acceptance, followed by little to no editorial review before it goes to print.

    There are Indies and self-pubbers who make a real effort, and who might actually be going a mile further than the Trads out of principle. Hopefully the waters will settle, and the silt will sink to the bottom, and good books will rise to the surface on merit, no matter who publishes them.

    • Elle Carter Neal
      Jun 22, 2013

      “…yet there ARE errors…” ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Wendy Noble
      Jun 23, 2013

      I’ve certainly seen plenty of traditionally printed books that fit your description, Elle. To cut costs, publishers fired their editors and now expect the author to sort that out. I think that’s one of the reasons they insist on people submitting via an agent, because they know that good agents will edit the work. As for what gets a work accepted and another rejected…it’s a complete mystery!

  11. Howard
    Jun 22, 2013

    P.S Do I over use colons?

    • Wendy Noble
      Jun 22, 2013

      You don’t over-use them, but you do use them incorrectly. However, I’m not such a stickler when it comes to blog comments, so you’re ok.

  12. Howard
    Jun 22, 2013

    When I was in grade 6 in 1969 I told my teacher Mrs Cook, I wanted to be an author. I have often reflected on that statement to her because all my life I have written prose and “bush” journalism for want of a better adjective.
    I have often been encouraged to write some of my outback stories down, I.E. “You should write a book”, yet I dare not betray the good (and bad) folk who have made me richer by undressing their times to others all these years after I have lived with them.
    However, I find that being the writer that I……. AM, I like the opportunity to share my prose with people like you who know me; because that is a part of me who likes sharing with others. If others, who I don’t know, like what I write, well that is a bonus, however that relates to something else: I don’t write anything that is contrary to what I would say the private domain. Kerry does not necessarily feel comfortable with that aspect of me but we sort do get around it by me demarcating my extrovert ness so that it does not impinge on her need to be private.
    So my advice Wendy is to e book with a view to your existing following of readership; and if it goes to,a wider audience, you are still to your own self being true (I should work that line. It sounds profound and classic) You get your hair cut regularly, you write regularly: tell me when I can read one of your ebooks. I.E. particularly the one about the innocent convicted murderer.

    • Wendy Noble
      Jun 22, 2013

      I appreciate your thoughts on this, Howard. I certainly want my stories read. That’s the main purpose in writing them. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Michael Wishart
    Jun 22, 2013

    Go for it, Wendy. ๐Ÿ™‚ In my limited experience the best way to advertise books on Kindle is by word of mouth, and through social media. So, you will have a head start there.

    It is not really about being ‘successful’, or making lots of money, but about sharing your story with others. Kindle let’s you do that. It’s a good media to use to have something you can share with those who ask.

    So, I say go for it. I’ll certainly be looking up ‘Wendy Noble’ on my Kindle list. ๐Ÿ™‚ Unless you use a pseudonym, of course. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Wendy Noble
      Jun 22, 2013

      Thanks, Michael. I appreciate your encouragement and smiley faces. ๐Ÿ™‚

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