I started writing seriously just after I retired a few years ago. It is not that I did not write previously. Much of my career in radio involved writing. I wrote news and feature reports. I wrote lots of gimmicky promotional campaigns and even commercials now and then. For ten years I spent a good part of Sunday writing and compiling a weekly company newsletter.
It hasn’t been until recently that I have written longer-form material. I have three books I have published—two for children and one for adults. I have several other children’s manuscripts sitting in my files and I have a big, big idea for a nifty adult historical mystery novel sitting in my head…maybe that’s on my head. I have started the research for this book and I hope to begin writing a draft within the next few weeks.
Book writing is a lot different from my past efforts. Despite having retired, it’s almost as if I have embarked on an entirely new career. I suppose you could call me an upstart author. I’ll take that title…better than being a downstop one.
Then, too, I sense I got on this train just at the right time even though it had already begun leaving the station and I had to run faster than my knee replacement preferred. Traditional book publishing is undergoing incredible changes right now. Technology has finally affected publishers much like television did radio, FM did AM and word processors did the IBM Selectric. Competition, as they say, is always good
You have not only heard of, but you very well may own, a Kindle or a Nook or a whatever. Computer technology now offers publishing wherewithal to just about anyone who wants to put words on paper or electronic screen. Self-publishing, long viewed as the garbage end of the industry—a last resort for wannabe writers whose stack of rejection letters could stock a landfill—has turned the corner and is now becoming respectable. In fact, some traditionally established writers have begun going it on their own, finding self-publishing to be cost-effective and liberating. I read recently the more appropriate term is “independent publishing” and if you’re doing it you are simply known as an “indie.”
For indies like me, this new technology means I can have the thrill of having my book—my actual composite of thoughts and emotions—printed out professionally and marketable to an audience. True, finding, nurturing and growing that audience is a formidable task, but it is nice to have the challenge available. The big guns in publishing certainly aren’t willing to provide it except to a select few.
One of the bigger houses, Simon and Schuster, has partnered with self-publisher, Author Solutions, to establish a new self-publishing opportunity called Archway. Wow! This is pretty significant. Kudos to S&S for taking a leap of faith even it may have been motivated by a forward attitude of can’t beat ‘em/join ‘em. It at least adds to the new legitimacy coming to self-publishing
Now, I acknowledge there is still a mile-high pile of junk books you may have to sift through on your way to downloading a respectable new e-book, but hopefully the proverbial cream will rise to the top. With a little luck and a pair of those inflatable water wings, maybe I’ll be floating somewhere in that region. Hey, anyone jumping onboard a new career, after all, should be optimistic or why take the ride? It’s all good regardless. I don’t expect to one day be loaded. I just hope to be downloaded…and readers like what I write.
Marc Kuhn is the author of two children’s books: NEVER GOOSE A MOOSE…And a bunch of other things you should never do!; and ABOUT A FARM. Also, just published is an adult historical novel, THE POPE’S STONE.
All three books are available at amazon.com and each has its own .com website under its title.