Thursday, September 26, 2013

The new future

It used to be that an aspiring author would write a novel and then painstakingly send out SASE’s (remember them) hoping to land an agent. If the author did land an agent, then the author would hope for a publishing contract. If by miracle of miracles the agent actually sold the book, then eighteen months later it came out in the bookstore (remember those) and the author started doing a grueling schedule of signings hoping to recoup more money in sales than the advance received, thus making everyone involved a little dough.

The indie ebook revolution has changed all that. Sure, there are plenty of people publishing crappy books that are typed out in a few afternoons and then called a completed story. Some of these literary messes may even sell a few copies. But readers are wary of junk writers and thankfully Amazon allows samples to see how the book flows and if it hooks you.

My samples hook the reader and have them wanting to read more (I hope). Especially my novel, DROP OUT which just received its eighteenth five star review.   But just providing samples may not be enough to grab an audience. You still need a great cover and an even greater blurb to get noticed. And that’s just the beginning.

There are book trailers that need to be made and then uploaded to every video site on the internet (I have yet to make a trailer, but know I should). There is Pinterest, and Facebook, and Yahoo groups, and blogs to be written, and sites to upload samples and links. It takes a lot of time to get noticed as a writer these days. And therein lay the secret of success.

Writers quick to publish their amateurish works are usually people who want the instant gratification of saying they wrote a book without the months or years it takes to write a really good novel (with the exception a few genius writers). These same writers don’t have the tenacity and patience it takes to slowly build up a readership. These quick-to-publish writers will grow bored of the daunting process of getting their book noticed and eventually their books will fade from view. It’s almost like a natural selection (only the strong survive) for stories.

Bad books will be weeded out leaving the good. Readers may have to take a little more time finding the gems amidst the dirt instead of relying on large, faceless, publishing conglomerates to tell them what to read, but they will. The birth of indie publishing will change the very core of what a reader can expect in a book. Stories won’t be sweetened up, or toned down, or made politically correct to sell more copies. Good novels will become true works of art and writing will blossom to a new degree of freedom and creativity. Good books will rise to the top and get the attention they deserve. And we will all benefit from that.

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