e-Publishing Adventures, Part I

Since childhood I’ve been intrigued with The Twilight Zone, the TV series hosted by Rod Serling.  In it, sci-fi, fantasy, ghost story, and social commentary merged and blended, tossing the characters into a different dimension.

That’s how I’ve felt since late June, ever since I stepped through the door of the NYC Marriott Marquis.  It’s as if I’ve moved into Serling’s land “of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas.”  I feel as if I’ve just crossed over into a 21st century Twilight Zone.

E-publishing by author has been around for a few years.  Amazon launched the first generation e-reader in late 2007.  In 2008, Mark Coker launched Smashwords.

Writers began not only to write and edit their books, but also to format and self-publish them electronically, thus reaping the lion’s share of the royalties.  They began to shout out their success at conferences, workshops and on social media – blogs, FaceBook, Twitter.  Others took notice.  Over the past year, these matters in publishing have reached critical mass.

RWA’s 2011 National Conference in New York City buzzed with electric energy about e-publishing.  e-Energy I’ll call it.

Before the conference I mostly ignored it all.  Arrogantly.  Naively.  But I couldn’t ignore the buzz at this year’s RWA National.  Nor the stories of folks like Joe Konrath, Courtney Milan, and others.   Writer friends like Mary Stella (and others) have stepped up to self-publish their out-of-print books.   Multi-pub authors are turning down NY offers in favor of author e-publishing.  Eyes open, they launched books and are generously sharing their experiences.

After I came home I talked about the RWA e-Energy buzz with my family.  They encouraged me to go forward, to put some of my work out now, to learn about the process.  To keep the project a manageable size that could be accomplished quickly, I pulled a selection of favorite musing type essays from this blog, Stringing Beads, enriching and updating as needed.  I created my own cover, edited the small book and formatted it according to specifications.

And thus, Stringing Beads – Musings of A Romance Writer was conceived, and born.  This 15,800+ word e-book is the first child in what will be a large blended family.  If you are interested, the e-book is available on Amazon or Smashwords.  I’m keeping the initial price low.  If you don’t own an e-reader, did you know Amazon has a Kindle e-reader you can download on your PC – free?

In my next post I’ll write about the steps I’ve taken as an author e-pub, and what I’m learning along the way.  As others have before me, I’ll post regular updates of my progress.

Keep writing, dear friends, and keep reading.  Can’t have one without the other.   ♥

39 thoughts on “e-Publishing Adventures, Part I

  1. I’d love to know how you did your own cover. It looks very professional. Yes, I’m joining the Indie Published train. It seems the most logical step in my career, and I will have some control in the process.

    • Thanks so much for writing Pepper. So glad you’re boarding the Indie train! Control is important. I’ll be discussing the cover in my next post. Please watch for it. Thanks again for stopping in!

    • it’s a good way to breathe new life into your words, Janie, and to possibly reach people in a whole new way. For SB, I selected the musings posts because that was the focus I wanted. I edited, added to, and revised where needed. As long as the book isn’t too long, you can even add some photos. I have 7 or 8 in mine. If I can do this, so can you. Hope you’ll stay in touch.

  2. Hi Debra – Just snooping around your web site and see we have some things in common, esp. a love of Paris!! I just attended my first writers conference, the Chuckanut Writers Conference in Bellingham WA. It was an enlightening experience in so many ways. One thing that all the writers emphasised was having a blog and yours looks great!

    • Cat, congratulations on attending the conference. I LOVE conferences! Nothing like them for motivation and networking with others. Glad you like the blog. Yes, Paris – city of enchantment. Thank you for stopping in and hope you keep in touch.

  3. Congratulations on your entry into the e-world. Wonderful eye-catching cover. I have yet to make the move into the new world of e-pubbing but I’m following everyone’s adventures. Thanks for sharing.

    • What nice words, Patti! Thank you, and hope you join the Indie epub evolution soon. Writing the book is the hard part. E-pubbing is simple by comparison.

  4. Deb,

    I came home from National with a renewed sense of commitment to my work in progress as well as my completed yet-unpublished manuscripts and have been focusing on those. But in the back of my mind is the desire to join the e-pub bandwagon, though for awhile it may only be to do my own website. Thanks for taking this huge steps to my baby steps. I’ll be watching the path you take.

    Barb Kroon

    • Barb, every step forward is important. All good wishes in your writing and with your website. So good meeting you. Please keep in touch!

  5. Good luck with your self-published book, Deb. I’m sure you’ll have fun with it.

    I was one of those people at National talking up self-publishing because I’d self-published two sweet historical Westerns two months prior, and they were selling well. I wasn’t prepared for the explosion of sales after I returned from National. To date, I’ve sold 6437 books in July alone. Yesterday, I hit 10,000 in 13 weeks.

    If you know you have books that don’t fit the market (mine because they were sweet) you might find a niche with ebooks that is ignored or little serviced by traditional publishers.

    • Thanks so much for sharing your experience, Debra. I enjoyed talking with you in NYC. Finding your niche is important, and so is writing good books the public wnats. You’ve done both. Hope you’ll follow up the books with others. Continued success and please keep in touch.

  6. Fantastic!! You are an inspiration. I don’t have an e-reader; I’m one of those book lovers still holding out; worrying that we will turn around and there will no longer be any brick and mortar stores or libraries to go to! However, I am going to download a free e-reader just so I can read your book……way to go, Deb!

    • Rose, I was a hold out, too. But then I had a friend whose books were only available on e-readers so just before we left for Charleston, I bought one. I wasn’t sure how I’d like it. Now I find I’ve read more since May than I have in a year…both on my Kindle and paper/hardback. Love it. Thanks for following, and hope to hear soon about a book you’ve published. Keep writing!

  7. I was avoiding E – books, but now that I’ve got my free Kindle software on my Laptop (thanks to Deb’s hint,) I’ve bought Deb’s book and I’m enjoying some of the benefits of reading via Kindle software – automated bookmarks, highlighting, dictionary, etc.

    • I agree, Cat. And there are so many free and low price books out there that let you sample before committing. It’s a changing world and I’m glad to be a part of it. Thanks so much for your words.

    • Thanks, Misty! I get a lot of comments – here and email – about that cover. Covers are critical and I’m glad I didn’t blow it. More to come.

  8. Thanks for stopping by Morgan. I’ll be posting again in a few days with more info so please keep in touch. Been reading and writing…feel like I’m back in school.

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