Will DIY e-Publishing Kill the Book?

Great e-publishing article showing some pros and cons by Ewan Morrison and successful DIY e-publisher Amanda Hocking:

Amanda Hocking needed to raise $300 to travel to a Muppets exhibition in Chicago. With seventeen unpublished paranormal romance novels on her laptop and a shoebox full of publisher rejection letters, she decided to sell them on Amazon to raise the money. She had six months; when her self-imposed deadline came, she’d raised over $20,000 and sold 150,000 copies. In twenty months, she’d made $2.5 million dollars – and sold 1.5 million books.

Guest Post: I Don’t Miss My Massive Walkman by Adam Charles (Writer, Director of iWriteReadRate)

Adam asked me if he could guest post this article – of course!

I Dont Miss My Massive Walkman

By Adam Charles (Writer, Director of iWriteReadRate)

One of my prized possessions as a child was a cumbersome, stealth black, Walkman. It gave me hours of joy, listening to low fidelity recordings from the radio through uncomfortable, angular, foam earphones. Even with the clunky, jumpy, and enraging cassettes I still adored the damned thing.

The world of music has advanced since through digitalisation to be so integrated with my life, so simple to find and incredibly accessible anywhere I happen to find myself. I always have my music with me, comfortably in my pocket. It’s ready for action whenever needed.

Now don’t get me wrong, I was a little resistant to begin with, predominantly as a result of my first MP3 being an ugly, hard to use, glorified USB stick. This, and I’d invested in CD’s; which could be delightfully displayed in my living room to illustrate my musical education and eclectic tastes.

Fast forward 10 years and I’m fully digital. I buy all my music sat in comfort with my feet up. In fact I actually buy more music as a result; it’s the convenience, the control, and the ability to sample before I press the button to buy.

Let’s not forget that back in 1997 the music industry tried to stop the sale of MP3 players. Sites offering downloadable digital music disrupted the traditional status quo, and they panicked; rocking back and forth in denial of the inevitable revolution.

The music industry insisted on Digital Rights Management (DRM) with their hands held up to their proverbial ears, intent on forcing the consumer to accept their all seeing control over something we had paid good money for. They cited concerns about piracy as a reason to limit paying customers – a paradox that should have made time fold back on itself.

Since then digital music has flourished, it has revolutionised our experience and access to auditory stimulation. The industry hasn’t become extinct, the meteorite of digital hasn’t thrown up enough dust to block out the sun for the music industry. If anything music has become more integrated with people’s lives. Being easier to make a purchase can only be a good thing for everyone.

In 2007 EMI was the first major record label to agree to sell DRM-free music on iTunes; everyone else had followed by 2009.

Digital is more convenient, more accessible, more democratic, more searchable, more competitive, more social, more, more, more.

As a consumer, a writer, and a human being I’m often amazed about the parallels between the digitalisation of music and that of my first love, books. In an article I read recently they called the iPod ’The Box That Saved Music’. It is ever more obvious that eReaders and eBook Apps, with all the benefits they bring, will do exactly the same for literature.

Whilst I have fond memories of my massive Walkman, I certainly don’t miss it. I’m sure the same will be true of books ten years down the line of digitalisation.

Connect with Adam directly on Twitter. Connect with iWriteReadRate on Twitter

How to Land (and Keep) a Literary Agent by Noah Lukeman

This looks like it could be a useful resource to anyone trying to find a literary agent: How to Land (and Keep) a Literary Agent by Noah Lukeman.

Great reviews (see below) and cheap too!

“HOW TO LAND A LITERARY AGENT was extremely helpful in figuring out the process. This week I landed my first choice agent (within a month of starting the querying process), and I am beyond thrilled about it! Reading the book really did help me figure out the questions to ask my prospective agents and what to look for in the contract before I made my final decision. Thanks so much once again!”
–Elisa H.

“Noah Lukeman, one of the top literary agents in New York, gave writers a great gift.”
–James Frey (regarding The Plot Thickens)

“This will certainly help writers of any kind defeat rejection and possibly score.”
–Writers.com (regarding The First Five Pages)

“Lukeman’s advice is practical—and often entails multiple, time-consuming steps—
without a hint of the flakiness that creeps into many writing guides.”
–Publishers Weekly (regarding The Plot Thickens)

“Lukeman has stared at thousands of manuscripts, and he can pick out poor ones with a glance….
Lukeman has done a great service to the writing community by providing this glimpse into the abyss.”
–InscriptionsMagazine.com (regarding The First Five Pages)

“I never tire of reading Noah Lukeman’s work because his voice is eloquent, insightful,
practical, original, and sincere. There is information in Noah Lukeman’s books
I have not read elsewhere. The man has respect for literature and it shows.”
–Prairieden.com

“Noah Lukeman has great insight into what it takes to keep an editor
reading your manuscript. Writers will definitely benefit from a thorough study
of Lukeman’s many suggestions which can help them get past the first hurdle to getting published.”
–WritersWrite.com (regarding The First Five Pages)

“If every novelist and short story writer in this country had Lukeman as an editor,
we’d have a lot more readable prose out there.… Should be on every writer’s shelf.
This is the real thing.”
–Barnes & Noble Writers Workshop (regarding The Plot Thickens)

“If you aren’t lucky enough to have Lukeman for your agent,
he offers this book as a kind of ‘gift.’ Treat yourself to his superbly written reference guide.”
–NetAuthor.Org (regarding The First Five Pages)

You can go here to buy your copy of How to Land (and Keep) a Literary Agent by Noah Lukeman.

“Getting Published” by Harry Bingham is a Must Own Reality Check about the Publishing Industry!

Getting Published by Harry BinghamI wasn’t going to read Getting Published from cover to cover. The author even states that’s not necessary. Chapter 2 – Planet Agent, the bit about literary agents (obviously my thing!) seemed like a good start. I had a good-enough-for-now idea of how the publishing industry works. Or did I?

In the end I started with Chapter 1 – Getting Ready – it did have a small section about literary agents after all – and from the first page I was engrossed. You get the feeling this is what it’s really like. This is the way the publishing industry works really works.

This is no-nonsense stuff, and politely warning you to think very hard before choosing to go down the long, lonely, hard road of becoming an author. This book kicks you in the guts and tells you like it is.

If however you’re after words of “Become A Millionaire Author in 30 Days!” style encouragement, think your agent and publisher will gush over your every word and everybody will just love you forever… – well, you’ll be disappointed. Bingham’s healthy industry experience (five novels/two non-fiction) tells the current market how it is, and it’s low advances, low royalties, low chance of strong publisher support, low chance of agents being by your side through thick and thin…., low chance of just about everything happening the same way you have always dreamed in your uninformed pre-published fantasy ideal.

I will keep this book by my side as a reality check reference guide. If I ever snag an agent and then publishing contract, I’ll keep it even closer. This has been the most interesting, informative, eye-opening jolt about the realities of the publishing industry I have ever come across. Anyone even remotely interested in how this industry works should go and buy this straight away.

Just don’t get too disappointed with the reality of it all.