Kindle — it’s everywhere now, and writers need to step up to the plate, it seems, including myself. I’ve recently added a “Kindlesub” day to my “workweek” schedule. Today’s one of the challenging days, when I’m easily distracted, a little agitated, worried and starting to feel the hot weather. It feels like I’m racing against the clock on days like this; I know it’s going to be hot/muggy, and I also know I have to go somewhere IN that mugginess, and I know I’ll be either a little less-focused beforehand and/or afterward, when I’m tired out from the whole experience. Enter Kindle.
For me, publishing online was always a little controversial because I love hard-copy stuff. I do have some hard-copy pubs, yes. But I also have to be realistic. And, actually, if I take a good look at it, Amazon Kindle isn’t only convenient for readers — for writers, especially non-agented writers like myself who aren’t necessarily well-known — it’s VERY useful. Oh yes, hard-copy is a beautiful thing. I’m working up to POD at least (well, aren’t we all?) but especially on days like today, knowing I’ve sent something out there, and not having to deal with the editor runaround all the time, is a godsend. I’ve been writing and publishing since 1997, so I know how rough it can be out there in the slush piles of the writers’ world. Having a little bit of guaranteed publication is priceless. So then, on days like today, I can at least look at it and say to twitter or facebook: “hey, this is HERE.” No matter what my condition is on a certain day, I can still say that much. And at the same time, on days when I’m doing better than that, I can deal with the slush pile rigamarole. But so far, “Dave Pursues the Gryphon,” (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005NKFRQY) my first pub at Kindle, has done moderately well (I don’t tally that in dollar signs personally; I look at how many times people have downloaded it). I just put up my first ebook there, “The Third Red Light,” (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008RKRYYK) and am hoping it’ll do as well or better. I don’t know if it will; it’s a gamble in this strange new world, the newer way to epub. But it’s mildly exciting to think about. What do you think? Do those of you who are authors with disabilities also think of Kindle in this way? Do you think of it in a different sense? What do other authors in generl (both disabled and healthy) think? Is there a difference in how you consider this particular asppect of publishing?
The future is uncertain for us writers, that much is pretty clear. And I detest uncertainty. The new, the unusual — oh, I deal with it fine when I’ve created it in my head (most of the time) but when it’s reality, staring me in the face, quite frankly I go into panic mode. My mind, conditioned by lots of bad things over the years, tends to go to the darker side of things. So, dystopias. So we end up with worlds like the one Cherryn inhabits, where the internet’s gone a little too far and people are screwed when it is destroyed for a bit by a bad storm hit to one of its servers. Or then, there’s the Mars of “The Third Red Light”, where aliens have looked at humans and decided rape was the best way to scare them off of the planet. Oh yes, there’s a lot of dark fiction in my writing. Lighter, too, though; Kritter is kind of a melange of both light and dark; along with the piptids’ dangerous journey through man-eating plants there’s also Dave the painter on a trip of his own, during which he discovers he’s stronger than he thought he was. And Kindle’s helped me bring both of those to the general public. Even when I’m “a little out of it.”
I have an interesting problem, you see, one to which maybe some other authors can relate: people — I mean regular people — love the writing I do that’s readily available. I had a fanfic of Pern up at fanfiction.net http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5411726/1/bYarrows_b_bTale_b that I got a lot of positive feedback about. Not friends and relatives, regular people. I’ve also gotten this from the times I’ve published on sites that don’t pay, and that give people free access, like www.dotguy.net where Cherryn’s story still lives. Publishing at actual magazines — yes, I’ve found that to be possible as well for me, but at the same time it’s a ton more difficult, and if I look at info based on freer pubs, I wonder why exactly. I don’t think I’m the greatest writer in the world, but the disparity here confuses me. Maybe I’m naive, lol even by now. Or maybe not. There’s an unfortunate amount of elitism in publishing, that we do know about. I don’t know what it’s like in other genres, but it’s pretty severe in fantasy and sf. Is that the reason? Or is it something else, just that I’m not quite good enough? This is speculation, folks, not whining. Like I’ve said, I’m not necessarily in it for the money. If people like what I wrote, that’s a hell of a lot more important to me. I know someone who’s currently severely ill, for instance, and she has to lie down for a lot of the day due to pain, so having stuff to read is a damn good thing to her. I’m honored to be asked “where can I find your stuff?”
Where can you find my stuff if you want? Well, now I’ve added Kindle to the small resume of places I’ve published.