Thursday, January 8, 2009

E-Book publishing

I spoke on Wednesday night at a writers forum about E-Books and I found the conversation that came within my presentation from the group was very robust. It highlighted to me the interest that exists with writers in this approach to getting their work out into the big wide world for others to read, and the internet is a very big, wide world indeed.
Whilst the discussion was mainly focused on the process of getting an E-Book created and whether or not it was something a writer should do it themselves I did find myself taking a different path along the way to get a few important points across. I will come back on another day to discuss the process but today I thought I would make those same important points here.
Statistics are quoted often regarding the sales of E-Books and the way they are increasing but one important point to remember when looking at those figures is that they start from a low base and there are now so many E-Books being created. The sales do not mean each book, or any book is selling really well, it may mean that millions of books are selling a couple of copies each.
The real issue for me is the quality of the work however, as it always should be with an author. Yes you can get your book out inot the E-Book world without as much editing and without having to jump through as many hoops and many of you will do that with pride and ensure the work is at its best, but some see this as an easy path and a shortcut.
Remember, if you put inferior work out there it is there for all to see. That includes publishers and agents who you might want to convince at a later date that you are someone they should have in their stable.
It would be nice if we could separate the good from the bad but we are a long way off so E-Books will get the reputation that writers and authors allow them too, at least for now.
One last point on quality, the best way to sell your E-Book, should you go down that path, is to allow the first chapter or so to be read free online, thereby tempting readers into buying the book through the interest you have generated. This means that with this medium, as with traditional publishing, your first page and your first chapter have to be as close to perfect as you can get them.
Good luck to all those going down this path, I think the perfect scenario for all authors would be to have everything you ever wrote published both traditionally and in E-Book format as this reaches maximum audience so do not discount this form, but use it wisely.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Writing and publishing eBooks

On Wednesday night I will be attending my local Fact and Fiction forum and will be giving a talk on Ebooks. My fellow writers in this group, like most of us, are looking at all the possible mediums for getting their work published and this is a realistic way to go for some people. It really depends on what you hope to gain and it certainly is a starting point for those finding it difficult to get a foothold.

Over the coming weeks I will cover a few of the major points in blogs here so feel free to come by and have a look or to send me your thoughts. We might all benefit from this exercise.

Tomorrow I will swing by and discuss the wonderful and soulful world of poetry. I might even share a purpose written one for all those interested.


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Where the Novels began

At last I have the chance to continue discussing my writing history, the journey that was. I had success with a few short stories and got great feedback about my writing from those who would never have said it any other way. It was time to move on and I chose novels.


Because I had no idea how to go about writing film scripts of course. One could argue I had no idea about novels either but that discussion is for another day.

I sat and pondered what I would write about as unlike many writers I did not have a book that I had always wanted to write (I now have somewhere close to thirteen I have a burning ambition to write but I;m older now). I scratched my head for a week or so and then read the Saturday morning newspaper and two stories caught my imagination. I was so excited I didn't even plot (much) or do characterisations (much), I just sat at the keyboard and began typing. Three months later there on my desk sat Arlington Reef.

Yes, I have skipped a bit of the process of what went on during the writing process but they will be blogs for later days when people ask me questions about aspects of the books or the agony I went through.

Some of you who have taken an interest in my career thus far will now be saying you thought Room 22 was my first book and so it was. The first one to be published that is, not the first written.

I tried the same process for Room 22, that is I read the newspapers looking for inspiration. I had some pretty nifty characters (some would say evil, weird etc) but they needed a few stories to be happening around them as they fought out their battle for ultimate supremacy (forget I said that). I lived in Cairns at the time and nobody did anything spectacular for weeks so finally in desperation I put four of my short stories together and that was the first few chapters. It kinda grew from there and I am about to write the third book in the series which will be the culmination of this epic battle.

I have learned so much in the years follow my decision to write novels (the first was in 2000/2001) but the one thing I think stands out above all else is that their is so much to write and so little time.

Writers block is not an option (but plotting helps a lot when the block tries to stalk you).

As usual I have written much and said little but there is many more blogs to come.

I would love to hear from some of you re your experiences too, particularly if they fit somehow with what I am talking about.

Until tomorrow...


And the winner is...

The competition to win a copy of Room 22 is over and we have a winner. BRIAN.

Congratulations Brian, I'll get the book out to you as soon as I can (its an ebook so it shouldn't take long)

For all those who missed out (and for Brian) there will be another chance to win a book beginning in the next week or so and this time you will have the choice between the two ebooks I have published and if the winner really prefers I can make it a paperback.