1) Readers want books that publishers have ignored for years.
2) I can make more money on e-pubbing my backlist than I made when I first sold the books.
3) If publishers don’t intend to keep a book in the store or sell it on-line, then they should automatically revert those rights to the authors so the authors can put the books out there for readers to find. To do otherwise is just plain rude.
4) Social media is a time suck and I’m bad at it, but readers are beautiful and respond when I stutter abominably.
5) All those geeks who declared that information just wants to be free are now driving Lamborghinis and wearing Rolexes by selling advertising.
Really, I tried to be useful when I started this list but I can see where it’s going. I love the freedom of e-publishing, of seeing good books take on new life, of controlling my own destiny. And I really like making more money than I did when publishers paid me.
But I miss so much of the old publishing world! I liked receiving big boxes of books every time a new book comes out—although I no longer have room to store them. I liked seeing my books on bookstore shelves—but there isn’t a book store within ten miles of me. I loved when the publishers did my publicity, but I’ve been doing it for them (by way of the geek gurus in Rolexes) for so long that I know the old order is long gone.
So now instead of the lively dinners at conferences when editors wined and dined us, I meet with my friends at the bar and we form social media groups so we can talk and meet every day on-line. My new books are gorgeous trade size with covers I choose and cover copy that makes sense and get the characters’ names and hair color right. Book tours are done on-line in my pajamas instead of from limos that whisk me to radio stations at five in the morning while wearing high heels and stockings. Trade-offs for the better, once I accept that change is necessary.
And isn’t that what life is about—accepting that we can’t be five-years-old with daddies who take care of everything for us forever? Every day of our lives, we should be learning something new, discovering greater potential, growing and reaching out to different people and ideas.So maybe that's what e-publishing has taught me best.
Yes, change can be difficult and painful, but would you really want to be a teenager again? What changes are you having to deal with these days?