When I was a kid, I have a vivid memory of my grandma asking me if I wanted to hear a story.
I set down my Nintendo Gameboy and said, ‘Sure.’ She sat down next to me and pulled out “The Song of Hiawatha” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
“By the shores of Gitche Gumee, by the shining Big-Sea Water…”
Yeah, about this point in the poem, my grandma had lost me.
Sitting through an entire recital of Hiawatha was torture for a 8 year old when there were more exciting things to do.
I remember her suddenly stopping and asking me straight up, “Do you want to finish this later?”
“Yes,” I said as I ran back upstairs. She never finished the poem and personally I’ve never read more than that first line.
Poetry recitals are not going to capture the imagination of most people anymore. We live in a society of instant gratification. We want what we want, and we want it now.
Nothing could excite me more!
That’s right, this is not a blog bemoaning the bygone days of yesteryear when men were men and women were women. No such nostalgia here! Our world has changed and we are all struggling to keep up. Forget the past. Unless a nuclear winter sends us all to hiding in caves for another Ice Age, the digital world is here to stay. Why does this excite me? Because as a writer in 5 years my market will be this:
Instant Gratification for a digital e-reader means a consumer browsing online and checks her facebook which has an update about a book her friend says is ‘way cool’ and three clicks later, the book is instantly downloaded to an Iphone, Android, IPad, Nook, or Kindle.
We will see what that means for traditional publishers of paper books. I’m not Nostradamus and I can’t see into the future. I know that 80% of all sales of books are still bought in the traditional ways which goes somethign like this: Getting in the car, driving to Barnes ‘N Noble, searching for a book, getting frustrated and finally asking for help to find said title, then standing in line and waiting to check out.
I don’t have to have a magic mirror with images of the future to show me that just like our society rejected selecting movies like this from Blockbuster, consumers will soon begin to reject purchasing books like this as well.
I’m not saying anything that most of us have not heard for the past few years.
But here is something I didn’t know. My dream of having Barnes ‘N Noble carry my book is just a few downloads away RIGHT NOW. Powered by Nook, Barnes ‘N Noble has begun releasing self published titles. That means your book that is linked on your blog and facebook can be stored in the Megamemory of some super-duper Barnes ‘N Noble database and downloaded as your followers check out your blog.
Check out: www.pubit.com
Amazon already has this feature and others are close behind.
The ebookstore is here and our consumers are looking for instant links to download. If we can provide the quality product and control our own marketing, suddenly or futures are no longer solely in the hands of traditional gatekeepers of disseminating printed information.
Our careers will rise or fall on our own merits alone. If our material is quality and we have connected with our followers in a personable way, we have a chance to succeed. That is all I ask for. Just give me a chance and don’t bury my query letter under a pile and some agent’s “To Do” list.
Now, before I jump off the deep end and download my book tomorrow, I want to do this right. It’s one thing to impulsively open a blog and just start banging out posts. Its another to make sure that the jewel I’ve been working on for several years is READY to be downloaded by readers. This is where the quality comes in. I want my work to be worth more than the download price Amazon or Barnes ‘N Noble charge. I want my readers to know that to the best of my ability, everything I offer is the best I can make it and has been reviewed by a professional team of editors and revised until it is ready for the general market. Please take the same professional care with your work. I do not mean this blog to sound like a “Get Published Quick” scheme. But when your book is ready, there are other options to consider.
Keep in mind, self-publishing is not as easy as copying your .PDF and pasting it in some window linked to Barnes ‘N Noble. Get your suit and tie on, because we are about to start our own business! (Without the Monday morning board meetings) If we publish ourselves, we will be responsible to register an ISBN number, collect sales taxes and manage our business. We will be responsible for the editing of the book and the cover art that will be associated with it. Remember that saying, “Don’t judge a book by its’ cover.”? Forget about it. Our cover art DOES matter. Not only that, but getting our stories in the proper format for each outlet takes a knowledge of typesetting and code that I for one do not know. Each ebook seller has their own process for uploading self-published works which is something else I don’t know much about. I’m just a writer with a dream.
But this is America and for every dream, there is a business to help you achieve it. Check out: www.fastpencil.com
“FastPencil” is book publishing without the pain.” Or so their website says. It is an exciting tool that will connect us to a network of people who’s business it is to help us get our material ready to upload to the ebook outlets. We can network with reviewers, editors and collaborate with other authors from one site. When we are ready, they will help us release our work to EVERY distributer available to us, including all ebook distributors! Now, that’s what I”m talking about, baby!
Check it out. I want to hear from you and if you have any experience with this particular site, or if you know of any others that are similar.
Welcome to a brave new world!