I’ve been hinting in my blogs lately about plans I might have that I’m unsure of (there’s a lot of certainty in that sentence, isn’t there?). Some of you have probably guessed, or you know because I’ve talked to you privately, but I have to admit, I still don’t know what I want to do. There’s been a lot of discussion lately on blogs and writing sites about the sudden surge in popularity of e-books and I’ve been thinking about jumping onto the wave…seriously thinking about it.
I have three completed novels. The first, an adult fantasy, has been sitting on my computer for the last three or four years. I’ve done nothing with it, telling myself that I don’t really know where to send it. The truth is that it’s my favourite ‘baby’, the one closest to my heart. I didn’t feel ready for anyone to reject it. That’s the one I started my other blog about.
The second is a young adult fantasy. It’s still in need of a good polish, so I don’t feel guilty about not sending that out yet. It’s not going anywhere till it’s as shiny as it can be.
The third, a children’s fantasy has been ‘doing the rounds’ for the past two years. Twice it has been read as a full manuscript by a mainstream publisher. Twice it has returned after many, many months with a polite ‘thanks, but no thanks’. It’s frustrating, but is that frustration good enough reason to throw in the towel and head to Kindle land? Not with my children’s novel maybe, but with one or both of the others?
I know there are authors, such as Amanda Hocking, who have sold thousands, hundreds of thousands, of their books as e-books. The catch cry seems to be ‘you, too, can make your fortune’. I have two problems with this. Firstly, I don’t write because I want to make a fortune. I write because I have to. When I got another rejection the other day, my first reaction was “I give up, what’s the point?” But I can’t give up. If I stopped writing, I’d go mad. These characters inside my head would keep screaming to get out until I wrote or I turned into a jabbering mess. Giving up is not an option.
I don’t want to be rich. I just want to be read!
My second problem with the e-book ‘thing’ is that I’m not good at self-publicity and all the social networking that’s involved in getting an e-book out there. I’ve joined places like the Kindle Boards, I’m on Facebook and I Twitter, but would that be enough? The last thing I want is to put my book out as an e-book to see it sitting there, doing nothing. ‘The good books will rise to the top’ they say, but there are so many ‘not good’ books coming out, I don’t know if I have the energy to make mine swim.
My reasoning so far has been that if I put a book onto Kindle and it flops, I’ve lost it. It will never have the opportunity to be ‘published’ in the traditional way. If, however, it’s picked up by a publisher, it will more than likely come out as an e-book as well anyway. There's no doubt that e-books are the future. But that 'if' is so BIG!
Oh, it would be so much easier if I could just give up writing!