Thursday, October 8, 2009

E-publishing.

Have you heard the news that US publishers aren't interested in novels either set outside the US, or that don't have a main character that speaks in an American accent??

Shock, horror, gasp.

Sorry that was my sarcasm coming out. After all, it's not like this is a new thing is it? No. Americans want books written about America and with American characters.

Is this going to change in the near future? Probably not. I say probably, because with God all things are possible.

Personally I don't care where the setting is, just give me some stellar writing. Unfortunately that doesn't always happen. Especially in Inspirational novels.

Do I hate America and all it stands for? No. In fact we've discussed moving there for a couple of years. Nothing whatsoever to do with writing. Rather, because we've all got one life to live. So why not live it? I would also like to live for a year in France and also Wales.

I'm getting off track.

I had an interesting discussion with an Australian author today, about this very subject, who managed to put things back into perspective. In a big way.

Let me share her wisdom with you.

She writes historical romance. Historical romance just happens to be the only subject Americans don't mind being set on foreign soil. And it's one that a lot of romance writers and readers put down.

An historical, according to The Wild Rose Press, is anything written from 1492 through to 1992 (which is the end of the first Gulf War).

Pretty much leaves that field w-i-d-e open, doesn't it? I know of a few authors who bemoan the fact they can't get published, yet their writing falls in that category.

I have one sitting here about a local POW camp and the second world war. And yes, I'll be submitting that one when I feel it's ready.

I asked my author friend why she chose to e-publish. After all she writes some great stuff. Not Inspirational, but then neither did Debbie Macomber early in her career.

This was her response.

Traditional publishers both in the UK and US are very hard to crack. It's becoming an industry that unless you know someone who knows someone, you're just not going to get in.

The majority of publishing houses want you to have an agent, and most agents want you to be published. There are a couple of agents who will take unpublished authors, but only a couple.

This particular author wanted to maintain Australian characters and settings. Her books also include England and France but mainly Australia.

In her words, she didn't want to 'prostitute' her books. She wasn't about to compromise what she wanted to write simply to get published.

Because of this she decided to go down the e-publishing route. She chose two different publishers and has submitted to both. Her novels were accepted and published both in e-format and print.

Her following of readers is slowly growing and she hopes to be picked up by a 'big' publisher soon.

But that wasn't what made me think.

What did was her following question to me...

'Lee, why do you write?'

Well...because...ummm...

Now I could be very hyper-spiritual here and say because God called me to. That would be 100% correct but there's more to it.

If I truly wanted to believe it was only because God wanted me to, then I've accomplished His purpose. To write.

But none of us is happy with just that. Are we? We all want to see our name on the cover of a book. We want to have friends and family congratulate us, earn mega-bucks and have people recognise our works.

Honesty hurts, doesn't it?

But what if God calls us to write and no one ever reads it?

He didn't say anyone else would read it. He just said write.

What if, like my friend, He's called you to e-publish your work?

Huh? But then I wouldn't be a real writer with my books in stores.

You mean like Robin Shope and Loree Lough? They both e-publish.

Ouch.

In fact, a lot of authors are selling their books in e-format.

My friend's goal was to read a train while reading a book that she wrote. She accomplished that goal. The income is small and no one recognises her picture.

And she wouldn't have it any other way.

So let me ask you the same question, and please be honest.

Why do you write?

And if God called you to e-publish, would you?

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