“The future is now.” Nam June Paik
One of the big shocks I got as a new writer was learning how little the author, creator of the product being bought and sold, controls in the whole process. I mean outside the writing of the book. Some authors might even argue that we have to struggle for that once the editor makes comments. But that’s a whole other subject, the editioral process that is. Back to the future- I’ve been interested lately in a few developments that appear on the surface to be possible changes in how much the author controls. Recently I read about the new Amazon e-reader Kindle. Now Amazon has a new avenue for authors- you can directly make your book available for sale in Kindle format and get 35% of the sale price. In fact, you set the sale price and control other aspects of your book. Now I’m not saying this beats getting a big contract, loads of publisher support, etc. Fact is it’s a new twist on self-publishing. But without all the expense of printing and so on and so forth. You can choose to publish your story as a serial, load artwork with your text and lots of cool stuff.
I recently read another article about a writer who is creating a network of authors who are publishing stories in blogs. Naturally this caught my eye since I’m doing that right now with my serial mystery A Darker Shade of Midnight The downside is I haven’t been able to post installments as often as I like because I’m working on a mystery. However, the fun part has been writing the story exactly the way I want to, no rules just writing. Another downside- I simply haven’t had time to create an entire online world using Second Life, Facebook, MySpace, etc. as suggested by Alison Norrington, a chicklit author from Ireland. Booksquare has a great post talking about Alison’s innovative approach. I love the title of the post- even if I did get that old Janet Jackson song stuck in my head for a good twenty-four hours.
Anyway, I love imagining the future, especially one that gives me choices and control, and yet another Janet tune will now clang in my brain for hours
Again, obviously not going the traditional route takes some mind stretching guts, even entrepreneurial spirit. But this appeals to me. Consider the number of authors and books available these days. We all know the odds are against more than a handful hitting the big time of bestseller lists, serious bucks, glitz and glamor awards, etc.
Once I stripped away all those dreams and faced reality, what did I have left? My love of creating- writing, finding the images to match and stretching outside the box others try to shove me into against my will. If I had the time I would take LaShaun Rousselle and create her on Second Life. Then I’d build the little town of Beau Chene, Louisiana and happily populate it with the charcters from my serial. Alas, I only have so many hours in the day. But it’s great to dream about it. As it is I created the blog with fun links and story related facts. I’d love to add music files for readers to sample and more.
I love the future. I can imagine all kinds of cool changes. But what a lovely surprise to discover that the future is now!
Postscript: I’m working on the new episodes of my online serial. For any of you reading A Darker Shade of Midnight I apologize for slowing down, but this mystery novel I’m writing must be obeyed. However, I will be posting the two new episodes soon.
Next week I’m off to Sleuthfest. I’m excited since this will be my first mystery authors conference. See you later!