Monday, January 17, 2011

Something to E-Self-Publish

The beginning of the work week resulted in my again considering whether I should e-self-publish or not. Over the weekend, I kind of forgot about it. I used the time to finish the Eudora Welty memoir I started in December and to blog about it. I did a little research for the Bible study To Exile and Back, which has turned out to be much more research-intensive than I first thought. I planned out a series of articles for Suite 101, and wrote the first one, which I hope to proof and publish tonight. I set up statistical spreadsheets for 2011. All in all, it was a profitable weekend for my writing career.

Now, back to consideration of e-self-publishing (I think I'll abbreviate that as eSP from here on out). As I read Joe Konrath's blog, and other testimonies and advice I find from following links I find on it, it seems I can't go wrong by choosing to eSP. It will take some time (as in man-hours), but probably less than following the traditional publishing route. Probably? Almost certainly. eSP will burn up less clock than will traditional publishing. You can tell I watched some football this weekend.

All that aside, to make sense to eSP I've got to have some completed work to eSP. It seems the people who are making the most success at this have multiple titles out there in the e-book world. The examples on Konrath's blog are all novelists, so I'd naturally be thinking novels. The only one I have available is Doctor Luke's Assistant, which is a good candidate. Unfortunately In Front of Fifty Thousand Screaming People is a long way from being finished, and my other novels are dreams and outlines at this point.

But in terms of non-fiction, I've got a couple of things close to being ready. Documenting America, which I first planned as a self-syndicated newspaper column, could easily be adapted to e-book format, probably 30,000 to 45,000 words. In fact, it might be better as an e-book. Some of the columns I wrote were squeezed into newspaper word limits, and I felt they were choppy. The ability to marginally lengthen those would be a good thing. If I dropped other writing projects, I could have one of those volumes ready to go in a month, including proof-reading. I think I could then produce one of those every three months or so, giving me multiple volumes within a year.

I also have a couple of Bible studies reasonably far along. Life on a Yo Yo, The Dynamic Duo, and Sacred Moments are candidates. Each of them could be fleshed out into a small book, say 20,000 to 30,000 words each, in a month or a little more. Is there a market for such as these? Only one way to find out. Related to Bible studies is my small group study guide to C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters, which I have tentatively titled, Screwtape's Good Advice. That one is fully planned, but only about 10 percent written. That would take a couple of months, or maybe three, to do a decent job on.

From what I've been able to gather from my study, poetry is difficult to eSP. Because the Kindle platform allows readers to increase or decrease text size, the fixed line breaks of poetry can easily be messed up. It's not impossible, but poetry will probably have to wait for the next round of e-book reader technology. So Father Daughter Day, fully finished and as polished as I know how to make it, is not a candidate right now. Of course, it's still not illustrated either.

So the answer to "Do I have anything ready to eSP?" is yes, but not a whole lot. Time to get busy writing, to put dreaming aside, to buckle down and find out what I can produce when under a deadline, even if self-imposed.

I'm edging closer, closer....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi David,

You should have a look at There you can upload your works for free and sell them on the Web. You set the price and get paid per download (70%).