I’ve gotten into Kindle in the past year. I think it’s great.
So what’s your point?
Glad you asked. Good question. Let me put it this way; I have no idea what the hell I’m talking about.
My Kindle books are published by Raven’s Call Press. Raven’s call is my granddaughter, Caitlin. For the record, she has a far more melifflous voice, plus a far greater knowledge of the business of electronic publishing. Consider that sentence: Knowledge of the business; AND electronic publishing. It’s not an easy game, friends. In fact, it’s no easier than traditional publishing. Sure, you can publish anything any time on Kindle or (insert your vehicle here), but the plain truth is, you’re still stuck with reaching the public.
Never doubt this: the first thing you need is luck. A good book helps; it’s not the absolute answer. A badly written book carries its own death warrant. Write one and find out. Your job, then is the best book you can produce. You don’t hold anything back for the next book. You give this one everything you’ve got. After that, you think about the next, better book.
What’s this have to do with electronic publishing? For one thing, you may think you can just jump in without good editorial input. Trust me; you can’t. Secondly, your novel is one of hundreds of thousands flooding Amazon or (insert here). You need something to attract attention. Covers, critiques, reviews, etc. They’re important. They help. What you really need is readership. You may strike gold and get that with a first novel. Spoiler alert – you may not. That means more, better books. Electronic or traditional, a readership comes with people who are convinced you can tell a story. What traditional publishing does is push you out there with a certain cachet – professional editors, publishers, pr people, etc. – have approved your work. If you believe that’s a can’t-miss prospect, hike down to the local bookstore and check out the remainder table. Those are the flunking grades of publishing.
If you want to publish independently, learn the business of preparing a manuscript for electronic production. (Or speak to my granddaughter.) I’m not offering you a course on how to break into e-publishing. I’m warning you that it’s another aspect of the writer’s craft. It opens new doors, but new doors require new keys. It offers new paths to success, but new paths require not just ambition, but an adventurous soul. And never forget that a good book is your major hope of becoming the successful writer you’re working so hard to become. There are no easy ways, there’s never a free lunch. It’s a simple matter of banging your head against the wall until the wall gives up. We’ve seen – and are seeing – a revolution in writing. As with most revolutions, the old order changes, but the old rules still apply. Learn your craft. Learn the techniques of fiction. Learn what the new e-world must have in order for you to succeed – then excel at it.