New World of ePublishing
My son, a talented writer as well as a psychiatrist, has been frustrated by the endless cycle of submitting manuscripts to literary agents and having them rejected. For the past few months, I’ve been urging him to consider publishing online in order to get his works into the public eye. At first he rejected my suggestion, but with trade publications like Library Journal and Publisher’s Weekly carrying articles on self-publishing, he relented and has made the big leap.
For other aspiring writers who may be thinking about this avenue of action, I can tell you that it is a fairly painless procedure! If you have a manuscript in MS Word format, you may submit it to sites such as Amazon or Smashwords. My son chose to have a professional artist do his cover art, but for a small fee, Amazon will do it for you. You then choose whether or not to have DRM (Digital Rights Management) put into the e-book, and put a price on how much each copy will cost. Once submitted, the e-book is reviewed by Amazon and, presto – it shows up on their web site the next day. This morning I was able to search their site for A Farewell to Curves by Dr. Patrick Gresham and with one click, I downloaded the Kindle version to my iPad. Once this e-book is on Smashwords.com, other versions will be available for downloading. (By the way, this is NOT a medical book, but rather a work of fiction about a woman’s struggle for self-worth as an oppressive government runs amuck in its battle to combat obesity. I’d call it chick-lit if it wouldn’t offend my son.)
This easy path to artistic self-expression has opened up a new world of books to the ever-growing population of e-reader owners. For little or no money, first-time authors will have their writings made popular by “sharing” files between devices or simple word of mouth. My son and I are now contemplating the problem of marketing. He’s already started a blog – another suggestion from his librarian mom- and we’ll use social network sites to announce this to our friends and family. I am anxious to see if e-publishing will work in practice as well as in theory!
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