In the world of words and ideas the diminutive SMS (short message service) can be called the amoeba of new age text. When the god of technology created the virtual world, the SMS found the ideal forum for regeneration and reproduction. It gave birth to what we now know as tweets and blogs. It was only a matter of time before the e-book too was born.
One of my reasons for setting my latest romantic comedy within the publishing industry was to highlight some of its failings, both to readers and fellow authors (independent or otherwise). HarperCollins and Random House need not completely despair though.
I've kicked around the publishing game for a while. In the past decade I've had two books published by traditional publishers, and four by digital publishers. On the flip side, I've collected more rejections than I can count. I've experienced the high's and the low's, and now I'm going to share with you some of what I've learned...
My first published fiction work - sixteen compiled short stories - will begin its dust collection in February 2014. As the writer, I cannot stress enough the personal significance of the work being printed as a real, heavy, tactile book.
Because I am a published author and I have used both the traditional and self-publishing routes my friends often ask how they can get published and is it better to just self-publish immediately or spend a long time trying to find a traditional publisher willing to publish their work?
Crowdfunding, I thought, "what better than to try it myself?" In reality, there were few other options. I could throw away the book and get on with being a businessman; pay to publish it myself or put it on Amazon where it would get a digital sale and no one would really know if it was a success or not - in other words I could avoid losing face. But all three sounded cowardly.
Self-publishing is about staying in control of your destiny as a writer and having a say in how your book is packaged, produced, distributed and promoted. It is about making your own decisions, in collaboration with the experts (and in some cases, fans) to ensure that your work reaches readers in the way that is right for you.
Chris McVeigh-- he runs FourFiftyOne a digital publishing consultancy as well as seoforbooks--said, "SEO is a huge opportunity for Indie authors to become discoverable" adding "it is not a discoverability but a visibility problem for many authors."
As Winston Churchill famously said, 'Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end, but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.' We may well be 'at the end of the beginning' of of a period of change in publishing trends. Amazon et al have now made their mark in the direct publishing world, and if they haven't yet caused the industry to sit up and take note, they surely soon will.
If tweeting or blogging on fan fiction sites isn't your thing and you prefer the traditional medium of a book, you no longer need to wait for a contract from a traditional publisher to get your work out there thanks to ebook retailers like Amazon and Kobo who offer self-publishing platforms.
I've been writing as a hobby for many years - the challenge of creating a subject and turning this into a finished novel is thrilling. It's only now I'm retired, however, that I've been able to give it a real go. This is all down to self-publishing.
Big budget self-publishing may soon be on its way out, when the test ground for getting your words to see the light of the day can happen in fraction of an amount of the spending that typically happens while self-publishing.
I have been bowled over by the creativity, hardwork, generosity and kindness of the indie author community, who are so generous in working together for each other and demonstrate daily that self-publishing is the most creative and reader-centred route an author can take today.
If your own tastes run more to Henry James than E L James, you will find all this talk of tribes to be very far from your own understanding of the value of literature. If so, it's not all bad news.
I am in my late teens and I am dyslexic. When I was 10 years old I struggled to read and hated the books we studied in class as they were all so boring, but I loved the books my mum read to me and soon figured out that if I could read well enough I could read whatever I liked. Now I have a library of over 400 books on my iPod and read for an average of fourteen hours a week.
I've never met Chuck. I live in London, he lives somewhere in America. I'm a bit sketchy on the precise details of exactly where he claims to live, but that's okay and, regardless of this shocking lack of personal information, I recently decided I'd enjoy the opportunity to give Chuck some of my money.