The digital era has given birth to a brave new world for publishing, but who cares about them, what we really care about here are the authors. Some of us are doing great, and a great many of us are, well, wondering what it might take to sell a few books, maybe even quit that detested day job. This thing, which is given many collective names, including E-books, E-publishing, Kindle, Nook, iBook, and so forth, seems to herald a world of new opportunities for some of us writers who have so far not hit The Big Pay Day.
Let’s not get too cynical just yet. Some e-authors out there have tasted success, but it’s still a tough business to get a break in. Even with the help of Twitter, where e-authors can Tweet “Buy my new Kindle novel on Amazon for free…” every five minutes. Or more. I rarely tweet anything like, for example, “Buy the fabulous Blues Deluxe Edition of GRAVE DIGGER BLUES for iPad on iTunes now, or you’re a hopeless nerd” or “Buy GRAVE DIGGER BLUES on Kindle, with its super-weird novella + more than 100 great, sexy photos & graphics right now or DIE,” more than two, maybe three times a day.
Back on December 27, Lois alerted me to this story on NPR that might help me get a leg up on the e-book world market. She heard Margaret Atwood, the Canadian author of best-selling novels The Handmaid’s Tale, The Blind Assassin, and others, being interviewed about her new novel, Postitron, which is being serialized on byliner.com. By logging onto Byliner, which is free, readers can download new short stories and chapters of serial novels to their digital nightstand to read later, and can also read blogs from various big-name authors and other literary news. Margaret has embraced the new model with a bear-hug, it seems. She’s also got a project on Wattpad called Happy Zombie Sunrise Home, written collaboratively with Naomi Alderman.
And during this interview, Margaret said that she even retweets authors who send her the URL of their own novels. I found this hard to believe, but Lois assured me that that’s what Margaret said. I found the interview, listened again, and sure enough, that’s what she said. So I tweeted Margaret Atwood, who happens to have 367,000+ followers (and I have a somewhat smaller number) and she did it. She retweeted my tweet.
Thank you, Margaret. She is pretty hip, after all. I mean, check out this graphic on her Twitter page.
Bearing that in mind, I thought I should up my game and try to return the favor, so I created the graphic collage that appears at the top of this post, showing the great World War I courtesan and suspected spy Mata Hari meeting Margaret Atwood, the best-selling Canadian author who retweeted my tweet about Grave Digger Blues, which, by the way, you can try a free sample and then perhaps buy (complete with 100+ photos & graphics, a blues soundtrack, select audio chapters + some video) for your iPad on the iTunes/iBookstore, or for Kindle and oodles of other devices on Amazon (novella + 100+ photos & graphics), or the $.99 Bare Bones version (text only, no photos or music) at Smashwords.
So I figured it would be the gentlemanly thing to go ahead and show my appreciation by creating this modest and admittedly rather crude (I don’t have Photoshop, just Apple Preview) collage of two real interesting women. I tweeted the image to Margaret a couple of weeks ago, so I should be hearing from her soon, hopefully around the same time I get the new sales reports showing just how much her retweet did for sales of GRAVE DIGGER BLUES…. the hippest hardboiled apocalyptic detective and jazz novella that’s ever challenged you to… dig it.
Have I mentioned that we’ll be plugging this baby with an E-Book Meet Up at SXSW 2013?