E-pub and Your Personal Quest
Probably the best piece of advice I read was from JA Konrath who said that you have to know why you are writing, as in “what is your goal?” Without knowing your goal, you can subject yourself to an inordinate amount of wasted time and effort and amass an incredible amount of frustration and expense. Although writing often goes hand in hand with the desire to publish, even then you have to know what is the “publishing goal”. With starry eyes, things can go off track despite that first innocent goal. Let’s examine for a moment what might be a typical scenario.
I don’t think it matters why you started writing. You had a story idea, you’ve always written, you want to be rich, the stuff out there is mostly junk. So you write and maybe keep writing and your goal begins to change. Today the writing flows. You just re-read the first chapter of your last novel, having left it aside for some time, as advised by many, and yee gods! but it is good! Better than a lot of the drivel out there. And with e-pub you can get it on the market with no trouble at all and it won’t cost you a cent. And so I suspect, for many, it begins. The Quest.
Nothing wrong with the quest. Is the goal now fame and fortune? Going on the book signing, television show circuit? Those potentially new goals are fine. If you recognize the new goal and its demands, and are driven, go for it with all the energy and commitment you have, but be aware, that with e-pub, (viewed as a kind of magic cure for getting published, and is in some cases) there are no guarantees that putting it on line is going to make your fortune or fame. This ain’t no 45 second u-tube video. Unless you already have a following developed over the years with published books, the odds are that it will take years of on-line savvy marketing of your work to succeed in your quest. Did I also mention great writing?
My point? Make sure, if your goal changes that you stay aware of that and the new demands. It can become very easy to get swept up in today’s e-pub rush. Very easy to become distracted from a realistic enjoyable pastime. Does the joy of writing become a job? Does an inexpensive hobby become money draining? Is there no time left for other activities that are an important part of your life? Of balance?
I have travelled the arc, back and forth more than a few times. Without going into a lot of detail, (I’ll save that for another day) e-pub is now a route I wish to pursue. I think my stories are worth reading, I would like to have a copy of my book(s) for my kids, get the pleasure of seeing it in print myself, and maybe make a dollar to two. It’s my hobby, and as long as it fulfills the goals I set out, I’ll keep doing it.
So, although e-pub can be a door to fame and fortune, be aware of the realities in achieving it. It is not a quick fix. Do your research. Then, if you stay focused, and keep the e-pub goal clearly defined, whatever it is, it can be the answer to your own personal quest.