Saturday, 12 January 2013

I'm Back...Just.

Hello everyone, I'm finally feeling near normal and my head is clearer, so I can now concentrate to write and hopefully make sense...

I've done quite a bit of reading over the last two weeks, and have to say that my kobo e-reader has been a wonderful companion- thank goodness for the adjustable font size.

If you have your e-book/s on Smashwords then you'll also be likely to find it on the Kobo bookstore- so don't forget to tell your potential readers about it.
Yes, it will cost more than buying as a kindle book, but there are a lot of readers who don't have a Kindle- they want to avoid Amazon, but may instead have a Kobo, Sony or Nook e-reader, or one of the numerous types of tablet devices that you can read e-books on.

With e-books the first few chapters in a preview can make the difference in whether the  book becomes a purchase, or a potential reader is put off for ever.

Basically it's just like your first three chapters having to impress an editor or agent to make them want to read the rest of your manuscript...

I may have said this before, but I've found some of the previews I've downloaded sadly lacking, compared to others. And the lacking ones were not always the self-published e-books.

If the accompanying blurb (whatever the fiction genre) interests me, then I'll download the preview; if I like that, then I'll buy the book. Sadly I've found, in a dozen books so far this month, the blurb promised much, but the writing wasn't engaging- to me personally.

So here's a few of my recent purchases after reading the previews: 'The Real Katie Lavender' by Erica James; 'A Winter's Tale' by Trisha Ashley (I've bought a few of her previous Christmas tales and enjoyed them, but this was a little different ); and an Agatha Christie, Miss Marple short story, 'Strange Jest'.

I've also bought and read a few short stories and novellas by some of my favourite romance authors, and story collections by other blogging writers, and this is where e-books do come into their own.

Short stories, or collections of short stories, and novellas- which wouldn't have been considered by a print publisher unless you were a 'name', are now able to reach a wider (and appreciative) audience via e-books.

Writer Maggie Cobbett has just released her first collection of short stories on the theme of murder with a humorous edge- 'Anyone for Murder And Other Crime Stories' on Kindle. One reviewer said they were the sort of stories you could read in 5-8 minutes when you didn't have time for a full chapter of a book, and they do have a 'twist in the tale'.

Digital has giving writers opportunities that previously they could only dream about.

No, it isn't easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is...


Helen Baggott said...

Glad you're feeling better, Carol.

I've read Maggie's book and it's a perfect example of why writers should embrace the eBook process.

If you have a collection of short stories, why not consider publishing them yourself?

Carolb said...

I don't yet have enough, sadly.

But I do have some ideas for longer length historical romance short stories for which the e-book process would be ideal, Helen.

I'll be planning them out between getting on with the novella- these two stories share the same theme.

liz young said...

Glad you're better Carol. Been off colour myself and made a right mess of a FB post so it's probably a good idea not to blog in that state!

Patsy said...

So glad you're feeling better.

The preview feature with ebooks is good, I think. If I was buying a real book I would only read a page or so in the shop. Being able to read a few chapters really gives a good idea of the whole book and allows readers to buy (or not) with confidence.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Glad you're feeling better, Carol - at least you had plenty of raeding material to distract you!

Maria said...

Good to hear you're on the mend, and also have had the opportunity to read. Something I'm trying to do more of this year, I'm working through a huge reading pile!

Lots of writers are turning to the eBook process, which seems inevitable, there is however, an awful lot of very bad writing out there, as I'm sure many of us have found to our cost.

Rightly, or wrongly, I cringe when I hear someone has put their book on Kindle, not always for me as the reader, but also for them as the writer too. I'm increasingly coming across books that have skipped the whole editing process!

Reviews are also suspect, I certainly don't trust them after someone contacted me via Twitter, and asked me to give their book a good review, even though I hadn't read a word of their work! It is a minefield for the innocent reader who just wants to buy a good read!

All that said, I actually love reading collections of short stories on my Kindle. The poor old short story has taken a kicking over the years, and ePublishing has reinvented it, and given short stories a new lease of life.

I am very grateful, as I am now able to read collections of shorts on genres like crime, and horror which didn't have any chance in WH Smith before the revolution...

Happy reading ;-)

Carolb said...

Hope you're starting to feel better now, Lizy.

Thanks, Patsy. I've found that books I wouldn't have even picked up to browse in the book shop I'm now reading the previews of, and in some cases buying.
So previews work...

Thanks, Rosemary. Yes, I now have a long to be read list, but at least they don't take up physical space. :-)

You're right, Maria, there is sadly a lot of bad writing available, but that is something downloading a free preview does help the reader avoid.

Editing is a MUST if any writer intends to self-publish, whether it's an e-book or a paper book.

I do think the review issue will continue to be a problem, sadly.

Yes,e-books really are good for short story collections- either from individual writers, or groups of writers. :-)