‘Mindbenders’ is a thriller with, I think, a fascinating central character and a fun-house mirror take on the absurd society we live in. It’s gotten raves from published authors and a few agents (Why didn’t they take me? No sensible reason and just as well…).
‘Green’ is a comic novel about love and friendship, sex and passion, Ireland, horses and the War in Iraq (!).
More details and excerpts from each can be found on their pages on this site.
I’ll have lots to say about them in coming weeks. Today, though, I want to talk about books. Old-fashioned books. Paper books.
Indie publishing is a wonderful step forward. I can sell an ebook at $2.99 and make the same money as a $25 hardcover. The indie ebook eliminates the middleman. No publisher, no agent, no gatekeeper. The downside of this, of course, is that people who shouldn’t write have books out. The upside is, there are an awful lot of good writers who aren’t producing blockbusters or seventeen genre books a year, which is all publishers have been interested in recently.
But the best thing about $2.99 is that it’s $2.99—for $2.99, most of us can afford to give a promising newcomer a chance.
So all of these factors tilt heavily in favor of the ebook. But…
Nothing prepared me for the experience the other day of opening a cardboard box from Amazon and finding evaluation copies of the paperback versions inside.
For ‘Mindbenders’ and ‘Green’, I’m doing a Print on Demand version. When they’re up (hopefully in the next week or ten days), you’ll be able to go to Amazon.com, order the trade paperback and have it shipped to you like any other book. Each copy is printed as it’s sold and Amazon ships directly to the purchaser. Unfortunately, the economics of paper and ink mean the trade (large-size) paperback retails at $14.99. So I can’t expect to sell as many of those—harder to take a $15 chance than a $3 one.
Nonetheless, there is something about a real book—the paper, the cover, the visual impact of print on a page—that gave me a chill up the spine. It was literally thrilling.
CreateSpace (Amazon’s Print on Demand subsidiary) does a wonderful job of executing the covers and insides—they actually look better (better paper, for one thing) than major publisher’s books. And, just holding the thing in my hand, I felt like a real author. As much as I’m indebted to the new technology, without which I’d still be begging agents for handouts, this was a book.
So here’s a suggestion for those of you who might be interested in my books but don’t have an e-reader: Kindle software can be downloaded free—there’s a link to the right of this page, just below the links for my books. There are versions for your smartphone, computer, tablet, etc. 25% of each of my books can be downloaded from Amazon for free. Give them a look on a Kindle reader and, if you like the writing—but you’re not comfortable reading on a screen—then buy the paperback.
And maybe even if you do have an e-reader—buy the paperback. Sometimes old technology is really cool.