Monday, March 29, 2010

The I-Pad...Woo-Hoo!

So, I'm turning the big 4-0 soon. Like, in less than 3o days. And my awesome mom and dad, who know how much I'm dying for an I-Pad, have offered to get me one for said 40th birthday! Wow, how cool is that? Parents rock.

What I plan to do with the I-Pad (besides waste incredible amounts of time on Facebook or surfing the web or looking at YouTube) is to READ. Yep, I'm gonna try it. Digital books. I'm so curious to see whether I'll warm to books online, reading words on a screen instead of a page. Weird. But I'm willing to try.

Today, I read about a possibility for writers, using the I-Pad, involving self-publishing. Now, I'm not a huge advocate of self-publishing. I think it's fine for some, and I'm not trying to tell anyone what to do. But for every uber-success story with self-publishing, I've heard about 1,000 negative ones. The process is expensive, the books don't get sold, the marketing rests solely on the writer's head (which makes it difficult, keeping a job and trying to sell your own books), etc. Time-consuming and expensive, with no guarantee of real pay-off (i.e., masses of people reading your work).

Well, this article talks about how "easy" and "inexpensive" it is for a writer - any writer - simply to go through the channels and post his/her OWN BOOK on I-Pad, for the world to read. Honestly, it sounds too easy to me. Surely, there's a catch. Maybe I'm jaded. Maybe the years of trying to get a literary agent have affected my brain. But then again - maybe this is the wave of the future. I just have my doubts. Anything that's that easy is, well, honestly, too easy.

I'm going to hold out a little longer in the hopes of getting an agent (by the way, the one who asked for re-writes months ago is getting thisclose to reading it and responding - *fingers still crossed*). But if nothing happens, if I just can't get the break I want/need, then yes, I'm actually quite tempted to give this e-book self-publishing a try. The appeal of it is that it's digital - see, with the I-Pad as an audience, I don't picture myself trudging from small bookstore to small bookstore, town to town, trying to peddle hundreds of hard copies of my self-published books from the trunk of my car. Wayyy too hard. But -- having my work be available at the click of an I-Pad, with so little work on my end? An interesting prospect. (But again, one that sounds too easy).

So, I throw these questions out to you, readers: have you ever had your own work self-published? Ever considered it? If so, how did things turn out? And if not, what are your reasons for going the more traditional (agent/publisher) route? I'd love to hear from you!


  1. I wonder if I would read more with some form of e-reader. I can't wait to hear your reviews of the iPad.

    I was going to ask for a Kindle or a Nook.

    I am now shifting my desires more towards a new sewing machine. Mine is a ginormous piece of junk. I don't do clothes or anything. Mostly crafty stuff. (And minor mending of damaged clothes.) I need something better and I'm about to unleash the sweet talking with Mr. B.

    Why all the information? To tell you that I am tabling my request for an e-reader for now.

    I'm rambling.

    Let me know how you like it.

  2. Ah, self-publishing. The bane of the serious writer.

    I say this not because of people like you, Traci. I think you are an excellent writer. And the fact that an agent asked for and is looking at re-writes proves it. But there are far too many out there who aren't good enough. Then they turn to self-publishing. Not all self-published books fall under this umbrella of course, but the ones that do bring down the rest of us. And honestly, how can anyone without a recognized name make it?

    A few months ago I met Michael Grant, co-author of the Animorphs series and author of the Gone series. He had an interesting take on self publishing. He pointed out that through a publisher, he gets paid, on average, about one dollar per book sold. If he were to self-publish, exclusively digitally, he could charge $3 or more. He makes more and the reader saves a lot of money.

    Here is the kicker for you and me. Michael Grant has sold 30 million books. People know his name. It might work for us, but it would take a lot more work.

    I prefer the traditional route, and if I can't make it, it may be that I'm not supposed to.

  3. LOL - I love your rambling, Becky. Oh, you meant my I-pad review. lol - yeah, I'll definitely let you know! I'm giddy about it, actually. I hope it lives up to the hype.

    Matt - I really do agree with you, and know deep down that I'm too chicken to try self-publishing. There would always be that nagging "what if I'd just been more patient and held out for an agent" question. Because my biggest concern (which I forgot to voice in my entry) is that I'd self-publish, not be very successful, then try AGAIN to get an agent, but this time, have that "mini-failure" under my belt. And, with a series of books, having the first book self-published would not be a good thing, if I'm seeking an agent for the whole series.

    *sigh* Thanks for the reality check. Truly, I needed it. *braces self for more waiting on agents*

  4. I'm not a fan of 'self-publishing'. Would much prefer to go the route of agent or directly submitting to a publisher. Even if that means many rejections. To me, self publishing may give the impression that the author doesn't believe in herself, doesn't have the patience to stick it out until someone out there LOVES her work, and the author doesn't have a connection to a good publishing company that's been around producing many titles THAT SELL.
    Many, many renowned authors today were rejected over and over (maybe more than a dozen times!) before he/she makes THAT CONNECTION.