Sunday, February 28, 2010

Random thoughts on independent publishing and e-books

Recently at my day job, a local reporter and columnist, I have been interviewing quite a few locals who have been self publishing. The world is opening so that everyone with the dream to have their words heard can do just that. Whether it is publishing with one of the dozen new e-book publishers on the net, self publishing, publishing with vanity press or sending their books to a more traditional publishing company.

If I've learned anything doing this blog, it is that just because an author chooses to self publish or go the e-book route it doesn't automatically mean the book is bad or terribly written. It also doesn't mean the books are all erotic, which I heard stated more than a few times.

Just last week I interviewed a woman from my home town that couldn't get a romance book published -- not because it was written poorly, she had dozens of letters from publishers asking her to contact them again at a later date-- because her book was a Christian historical taking place in WWII and the market didn't call for that kind of book at the time. She waited nine years before the book was published, through a US based Christian publisher and already it is a great success for her.

Some people don't want to wait that long. They want to get recognition for doing something they love. I found it is stated best in the front pages of Jordan Castillo Price's recent book, Spanish Fly Guy, where she wrote a letter to her readers that I thought I would share.

"Dear reader,
We are witnessing the start of a huge shift in the publishing industry. Before 2003, if I wrote a story that wasn’t corporate America’s idea of What Deserves to be Published, the best I could have put together was a photocopied ‘zine that I distributed at whatever comic shops could be coerced into keeping a few copies on consignment.

The advent of epublishing and print-on-demand has changed that. Big time. We’re on the cusp of a meritocracy of ideas, where books sink or swim based on what readers want, rather than what corporate marketing folks think will sell. Every time you choose to buy from a small, independent publisher or self-published author, you’re shaping the availability of future books.

By saying “yes” to the indies, you become a patron of the arts, and you ensure the author has a paid mortgage, food on the table, a decent internet short, you’re contributing directly to that author’s paycheck and making sure he or she can keep writing!

If you enjoy this book, you can make even more of a difference. Blog about it, tweet about it, post reviews, and tell your friends. The more you spread the word about the indie works you enjoy, the more support you’ll funnel our way.

Thank you very much for buying an independent book. It does make a difference.
-Jordan Castillo Price

Here are the details for Jordan's book:
Spanish Fly Guy
Author: Jordan Castillo Price
Series: Petit Morts #5
ISBN: 978-1-935540-04-5

JP McMahon cruises into the small, oceanside town of Brightside hoping to score a bed for the night and a few dollars to fill the Miata’s gas tank. He discovers that cell phones and Internet are non-existent, and that without access to matchmaker sites and Craigslist, the local newspaper's personal ads are booming.

He cooks up an unlikely scam, a foul novelty concoction called Spanish Fly. He also finds an unlikely accomplice in Ryan, the quiet local kid at the copy shop with a flair for designing irresistible labels.

Spanish Fly proves popular—almost too popular—and JP suspects his luck is about to turn. But that “little voice” inside tells him to stick around Brightside just a tiny bit longer….

For more of Jordan's books check out her website at:

You may not like Jordan's book or the next e-book or self published book you pick up. On the other hand you may not like the next big publishing house book you pick up either. However, there are some great writers out there that for one reason or another just haven't been picked up by the big houses. It can't hurt to give them a try. You might find you have another favorite author on your list.

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