Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ebooks Don't Scare Me.

I embrace technology. It paid the bills in my 30 year career in the workforce, so I don’t have a negative bias toward ebooks. In fact, I placed my five novels on Kindle the first week it was available. Where the rub came in was dealing with early attempts of Amazon to painlessly upload the book-copy. Their guidelines were directed at mainstream programmers rather than authors. But, to my surprise the ebooks started selling and have ever since, not in major numbers, but more than I can sell on my own of the paper version. The latest version of Kindle’s upload software is very easy to use and the book-copy goes in nicely. I recently lowered the price to see if the volume would increase. It’s all good. You, the author, can manipulate all the factors that provide your work to the public including discount coupons, pricing, and version corrections. I don’t know anyone that’s written a book that hasn’t been embarrassed by typos. Ebooks allow you to edit those errors out and republish a new version in minutes. No publisher will do that without a major brouhaha. No library will accept a revision of a novel. It just isn’t done - not until now. Lately, you can even increase your royalty amount from 35% to 70% of the sale price! When has that ever happened in your writing career or even received 35% in the first place from the middleman? The way I look at it, one should publish a paper version in the off chance the book will gain recognition on a grand scale. There will be those that will want to own a paper version. Reserve that privilege for those that will purchase an autographed copy directly from you. The scarcity and the mystic of the author’s signature just add to the allure. The fact that ebooks allow you to be read by every educated person on the planet, even at $5 a pop or less, is much more relevant than a book signing where five people show up. I say hurray for ebooks. They can only make authors more accessible and open many new ways to reach readers. After all that’s the point, reach readers, not by what medium.

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