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to kindle or not to kindle…

Should I turn my old books and manuscripts into Kindle-ing?

Years and years ago, when I first became a published author, I was content to believe all I would ever do is write book after book, and attend signings, speaking engagements and Book Clubs.  A good life.  A very good life.  But then two things happened that changed everything:

1. A story came to me that begged to be turned into a play. It’s impossible to explain, other than to say that, instead of the characters wanting to be housed in a bookly habitat, they told me they would much prefer being brought to life.  So I wrote a play for the first time in many years and a local company decided to produce it.

And I added “play writing” to my daily list.

2. My publisher disappeared. Specifically, the Editor who loved, loved, loved my work and promised to publish everything I sent her changed jobs two months after my books came out.  And the new Editor was taking the company in a new direction and neatly rejected my next novel in the series. Well, more accurately he rejected the box it came in, because the envelope was never even opened.  I knew I should get my manuscripts out there to another publisher, but there was something about theatre.  Bringing those characters to life was amazing.  And I loved what actors brought to the table – an ever-changing dynamic. So I decided to take a break from the publishing world.

And I moved “play writing” to the top of my daily list.

Years later, I manage my own production company, Run Rabbit Run. I work with fabulous people, do speaking and teaching engagements once in a while, and submit plays for production or go ahead and produce them myself.   This is working well for me, but every once in a while I think about the characters in my unpublished books.  If you’re a writer, you understand.  They want to be heard, and sometimes they’ll whisper to you: “HEY, why don’t you trying getting PUBLISHED, again, JERK!”  Or something like that… I try not to listen.

Then along came eBooks.

In the last year a sea change in publishing has occurred. Amazon appears to be calling most of the shots, and their Kindle platform is definitely calling 75% of the eBook shots.  But still there’s that icky “self-publishing” thing, right? Well, apparently in the last year that’s changed too.  In fact, the publishing process is being reversed as we speak: eBooks that sell well are being picked up for “real” publishing by the majors.

Hmm… Suddenly I’m looking like a pretty good bet here, because I…

– design websites and love to learn new internet tricks. I am, in fact, a Net Geek;

– love creating video promos, graphics and taking great photos;

– dig every aspect of marketing (my focus during my Masters in Arts Management studies);

– have a group of previously published works with solid reviews;

– never stopped writing, and so have a stack of unpublished manuscripts to send out, as well.  Oh, and plays!  And nonfiction!  And…  heyyyyy, this could work!

But now for the reality check: the eBook formatting process isn’t easy (a lot of people opt to hire someone to do this for them, and, after mucking around, we’ve been tempted), but I thank heaven daily for my Software Engineering husband, and it’ll get easier after the first one.  Next problem: It’s true  99% of eBooks just don’t sell, but there’s no harm in trying, and I do appear to have better odds than some.  Besides in this day and age, $20 is $20, know what I’m sayin’?

Lastly and best-ly? I’m one of those people who have ever and always appreciated being my own boss, and eBooks are giving me the chance to manage my own publishing experience. How can I say no to that?

Thus, I have decided: I will Kindle.  And we will see.


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