The Publishing Revolution Has Begun, But Will Mom Buy my E-Book?
I don’t trust revolutions. Yes, I’m benefitting from the results of the American Revolution, but I’m glad I wasn’t around when it happened. Revolutions usually lead to piles of innocent dead people and a tyrant that’s worse than the authority figure the revolution is replacing. I don’t mind change, but usually revolutions bring too much change too quickly.
Scottish author Denise Mina says that the publishing industry is going through a “revolution” because e-books are bringing such quick changes to the literary world. This author of the award winning book The End of the Wasp Season (I’d never heard of this book or the award it won) calls the growth of e-books a “revolution” because the working class will use digital novels to overcome the shackles that the publishing industry has always placed on them (almost all of that was paraphrased).
So, the revolution is that anybody can publish an e-book (including we “working class” folk). That’s great! But the bad news that comes with this is that anybody (even “working class” folk) can publish an e-book.
There will be (or already is?) a glut of e-books. So many people are writing e-books (or will write e-books) that there might be more writers than readers. And readers are very important to writers.
All of this is kind of deep for me. I work at a job that has little to do with reading and writing, so I don’t have time to think about all the implications of the revolutionary stuff that’s going on, even though it will affect what/how I read and write.
My only question in all of this is: when I write my e-book, will anybody (other than my mom) buy my book?
From what I understand, most e-books don’t get purchased (or read) much, except by Mom. That’s a lot of pressure to put on Mom. I feel sorry for the mom with five or more kids. They’re all going to write e-books, and she’ll have to spend all her time (and money) reading them. If each kid writes two or three books a year, she’ll never have time to catch up on the latest Janet Evanovich tale, Incredible Infinity (okay, I made that one up!).
FULL DISCLOSURE TIME
I’m writing an e-book. My mom says she is going to buy it. This is one of the few times in my life when I (kind of but not really) wish that I had been raised in an alternative lifestyle kind of family. That way I could have had two moms, and that might have doubled my e-book sales.
My wife has read parts of my soon-to-be e-book and has major issues with it. That’s the problem with marrying a literary girlfriend; she can’t just read something and say, “You used the wrong ‘it’s’ here.” She has to explain how my characters are one-dimensional, the motivations are lacking, and my humor is lame.
Yeah, I know all that, but I still want to know if she’ll buy my e-book.
Maybe I shouldn’t make fun of Janet Evanovich’s book titles. I’ve never read Explosive Eighteen, but the title just doesn’t sound right to me. Authors are supposed to read their words aloud to see if they sound the way the author meant for them to sound (probably a poor way for me to say that, which is ironic). I don’t always read everything I write aloud, but did Janet Evanovich ever read this book title out loud? Explosive Eighteen? That doesn’t sound good to me at all. It might look good on a cover, but Egg-splosive Ay-Teen?
Maybe a guy who is about to publish an e-book (that only Mom might buy) shouldn’t make fun of some other author’s (real) bestselling book title.