Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Great (Hopefully) Kindle Publishing Experiment

The (Very) Basics
If you're not familiar with it, let me tell you a little about the Kindle, made by Amazon. It's this little electronic device, pictured below, that allows you to read e-books (books in electronic form). Why would you do this, reading e-books instead of picking up a good old-fashioned book? Well, there are lots of reasons. Maybe one of the best ones is that the Kindle can store hundreds, potentially thousands, of books. You'd have all those books right there at your fingertips. With a Kindle you can also read newspapers and magazines, even blogs and short stories.

Also, the reader can change the size of the text on the Kindle's screen. So, if you don't have the best eyesight in the world, you can just bump up the Kindle text until you can see it better.

There are many more reasons to own a Kindle, but I won't go into all of them here. I will add that currently there are three types of Kindle: the original, the Kindle 2 and the Kindle DX. The DX is a larger version Kindle, making it easier to read newspapers and other documents with larger pages.

Now, don't get to thinking the Kindle is just another portal to the Internet. It's not at all. Right now anyway, the Kindle doesn't link to the Internet. It may down the road some ways, but not yet. If you own a Kindle, you can only read the works of those who have decided to publish their material through the Kindle. Which doesn't sound like many, right? Wrong. More and more every day, books and newspapers and stories and novels and all kinds of publications are finding their way to the Kindle.
Which Is Where I Come In
I'm trying an experiment. After years and years of going through editors and publishers, I've decided to publish some of my own works on the Kindle.

I'm not planning on getting rich over this. At this point I'm more interested in just seeing what will happen. Will readers still be able to find my works? Will they still enjoy my stuff? Can I sell my material through Kindle? Without having to go through a publisher and editor?

The answers will slowly reveal themselves to me over time, but I can make some educated guess right now. For one, for the foreseeable future, I don't thinking the Kindle nor other e-book readers will be replacing the traditional publishing venues. That might happen eventually, but it's probably years away, if it ever happens. So, editors and publishers will still have a big role to play.

But the Kindle does open up opportunities for writers.

My Kindle Publications
At this moment, I have three books up for sale on the Kindle.

Preludes: four stories of the fantastic

The first of my Kindle books is a collection of four fantasy or fantasy-related short stories. This book is called Preludes: four stories of the fantastic. The cover is below. As of right now, it's selling for only 99 cents.
SEVER: five tales of horror

The second of my Kindle books is a collection of five horror short stories. This book is titled SEVER: five tales of horror. Its cover is below and it can be bought for the Kindle at a price of 99 cents.

City of Rogues: Book I of The Kobalos Trilogy

Last, but far from least, I've decided to release on of my novels to the Kindle. It's an epic fantasy novel, the first part of a trilogy. The book is titled City of Rogues. The cover is below. City of Rogues is available for $1 on the Kindle.

What's Next?
So, what's to be learned from this experiment of mine? Can a writer conceivably make it professionally without editors and publishers? To be honest, probably not. At least not yet. But the future is here, and it's changing things quickly.

And even if I could get by without an editor, I wouldn't necessarily want to. Book editors and publishers and even agents do so many things to help a book be better. They offer advice and suggestions, often worth listening to and implementing.

As for what I'll be publishing next on the Kindle, I have a few things in the works. I've got an old screenplay, a mix of horror and science fiction, I've never been able to sell; I'm working on it at the moment, though it's taking a ton of coding to get it formatted for the Kindle. Depending upon how well City of Rogues is accepted on the Kindle, I might release the second and third books of the trilogy onto the Kindle. Again, time will tell. Until then, good reading to you.

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