I want to be a writer, so, why do I want to e-publish my novel?
Does it make me lazy, as author Sue Grafton was reported to have said recently?
Surely you’re not a proper writer until you have a novel published in hard copy, a novel that you can walk into a shop and buy?
I have to admit, I’ve always been a bit negative about the Kindle and other e-readers, because I love books. I love the feel of a brand new novel in my hands, the smell and texture of the pages, the sensation of leafing through them, being absorbed by an unfolding story. I enjoy looking at my bookshelves, at the colours on the spines of the novels brightening up the room. It’s great to have a pile of books just waiting to be read. For me, each book is a possession that I treasure, and I am very particular about not damaging them.
You just don’t get that with a gadget. And if you don’t have a physical copy of a book to become attached to, how can you really feel for the story, wouldn’t novels bought electronically be disposable in a way that a hard copy is not?
So having said all that, why have I decided to try and publish my own novel electronically?
I work in digital marketing and I love the internet and social media; there’s a whole world of information online that we would never be exposed to otherwise. E-publishing my novel will allow me a greater degree of control than traditional publishing. I can edit my own story in the way I choose; I don’t have to please someone else. I can design my own cover; choose my own photography and fonts. I can write my blurb. I can market the book myself. It’s a whole project that I can devote myself to. I am the only one who can make my novel a success.
It’s a terrifying thought, but it could also prove to be the most rewarding.
Of course I still dream about having my novels published the traditional way. I do want to hunt through the shelves in Waterstones until I find a book with my name on the cover. But we live in the modern world, and digital publishing brings its own challenges and possibilities, and I for one think they are worth exploring.