Any of you who have been reading this blog during the last few weeks knows that today is a big day for me (thank to Faith for letting me use her normal post spot this week). For one, it’s my birthday. Not just any birthday, either. This is one of the big ones. Four-Oh. Yup, I’m hitting 40 today and while I can’t afford a Porshe for a proper mid-life crisis (well, I’m really not a car guy, anyway, so that would be wasted on me), I figured I should do something to re-affirm that I still have life left in me. Which, as I’m a writer, quite naturally means publishing something. Since I also had planned to release 10 Bits of My Brain around this same time, the two seemed to call out for each other.
Which brings us to the other big part of today. Yes, my short-story collection, 10 Bits of My Brain is now officially released and available as an ebook for the Kindle or Nook. It has a wonderfully entertaining introduction by our own David B. Coe, seven previously published stories, and three all-new tales — and each story is concluded with a short thought or memory of writing or selling the piece.
This has been a fascinating experience so far — one that has been both frustrating and exhilarating at times. It has also brought with it a lot of emotion. Not just in myself but in the various talks I’ve had with different people. Many authors feel strongly for or against the whole ebook thing, worrying about how they’ll be seen in the writing community and whether this new form of self-publishing is akin to the old, dirty word form “self-published.”
But here’s the thing — I did it, and I’m still the same guy. My writing is no better or worse for having self-published. Because the real secret truth in publishing right now is that nothing has really changed as dramatically as we all seem to think. Don’t get me wrong. Change is afoot and the publishing world is reacting to it. But it all makes me think of any Democrat vs Republican story coming out of Washington. If you just listen to the politicians and those reporting the news, you’d think every American was ready to burn down his neighbor’s house over some minor issue. Of course, that’s not the case. While there are people who are very passionate and some who are very partisan, the majority of Americans run along the middle of the spectrum and understand the idea of compromise. So it is with publishing.
There are some who say you must go the traditional route to be considered a writer — anything less is worthless. There are some who think there is an ebook “revolution” happening that will topple the big publishers forever. But these are the extremes, and the extremes rarely, if ever, occur. People tend to push the other way when things go too far in one direction. Besides, the truth is that most writers simply want some validation, some money, and above all some readers. It will take awhile for the dust to settle with ebooks, but when it does, I think the typical writer’s career will include a little of everything — some ebooks, some small press, and for some, the big press. All are valid, if done right. All can bite you hard, if done wrong. So, here’s to hoping we do it right.
In the case of today’s release, I’ll get an answer quickly through direct feedback in terms of sales and reviews. And that, of course, is dependent on you all. So, if you want to give me a 40th birthday present, you know what to do (here are some links to make it easy — Kindle, Nook)! And after you’ve read the book, leaving a review is much appreciated. But even more than that, if you really want to help me — tell a friend or two about the book. Because whether your self-pubbed, small press pubbed, or big press pubbed, word-of-mouth is still the #1 way of getting books sold. And that goes for all of us. Telling your friends about the great works of David, Faith, Misty, AJ, and Edmund makes a huge difference — especially if you want us to keep writing for you. After all, the writer-reader relationship is symbiotic. We need each other! (told ya things hadn’t changed that much)