Sunday, July 1, 2012

Testing the e-book revolution

It's been an interesting year.
Last year, around September, I started diving into the world of e-publishing by following what an American author Vincent Zandri, one of the very successful authors in the e-markets, had achieved. Some months later I wrote a story about him and the e-book markets in the big world for a newspaper in Finland.
After having browsed some sites for weeks, I realized I suddenly had a big light bulb flashing over my head. I figured out, why wouldn't I do the same thing. I had had two novels published in the past years, was working on new ones, editing old ones. I had recently finished a short story collection, which I had already partially translated from Finnish to English.
So I translated the rest of the book in only a period of 1,5 weeks, wrote three new stories directly in English to replace the ones I dismissed at this point. Sent the package to my wonderful editor Alisa. After the editing rounds were finished, cover designed, author pictures taken, the e-formatting done, the e-book was uploaded into distributors' meat grinders and sites. It was similar to those holy moments years before. Receiving the package with 12 or 20 author's copies of those just printed novels. Magical feeling of touching the book. Seeing it there. Finally. After all that creative work.
But this time it was different. Books were not waiting in the storage room of some warehouse, hoping someone would order them to their bookshops. Within minutes the e-book was for sale on distributor's website, soon also on Amazon US, UK, France, Italy, Germany, Spain... Then within weeks through other e-retailers such as Diesel, Kobo, Sony, Apple, Barnes & Noble, WHSmith...
In addition to jumping the language fence, it was to be a nice test to see how e-markets would go.
Little did I know where this would bring me. I still don't. The whole market is expanding and bringing new dimensions to it as months and years go by. E-book has a long run.
Somehow I feel it's little uncontrollable, but can bring many chances. There are free giveaways, contests, hooks authors are throwing out to get new readers.
The numbers of books available are enormous. But markets are more open than ever before. You can reach a person in the backlands of Australia in seconds, if they just have internet connection available. There is no need for thinking  if the editions will run out or if the book ordered via mail will arrive in a week, three weeks or ever. Or is it available anywhere anymore at all.
Earlier this week I noticed news about renowned author Margaret Atwood joining Wattpad with some of her texts. I followed Atwood's path and joined Wattpad and added the title story from my short story collection My Hometown Named Love to be read there for free. It can be read HERE. (Remember to vote!) If you liked the story or wish to read more, you will find the rest of the book with its other 19 stories as an e-version on sale HERE.

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