Authors, rejoice! You have nothing to lose but your unpublished manuscripts! Ebooks, Ereaders and Epublishing are the great levelers. You got the same 100% chance of getting published as Stephen King. You no longer have to send your book to half-a-hundred publishers hoping for an acceptance before you finally bite the bullet and spend a small fortune going the Vanity Press route.
You can, for example, upload your book to the Amazon.com Kindle Store for absolutely no fee and enjoy a royalty rate of between 35% and 70% on every book sold; that’s a better rate than any first-time writer is apt to get from the brick-and-mortar publishers.
No longer will you be forced to push your book on friends and family in a desperate attempt to win back some of your squandered fortune. If you’re not content with the 70% royalty rate from Amazon or Smashwords.com (Smashwords supplies Barnes & Noble, Sony, and a bunch more), you can set up your own website and charge for downloads.
If you don’t care whether people pay you or not so long as they read your book, you can print the whole thing on your own website and spend the money you saved on publishing by advertising on Google and Bing for readers. Giving it away online won’t cheapen it; hell, you can download War and Peace for free!
Who knows? If you’re lucky and your book catches on, maybe the big publishers will come looking for you like they did my fellow Minnesotan Amanda Hocking. She couldn’t get her novel published the old way so she went to the Kindle Store and sold nearly two million downloaded copies. Recently she received a six-figure offer for her newest novel from publishers who wouldn’t talk to her before.
So if you think you have a book in you, get on with it! If you think you have something to say, say it in zeros and ones! Digital publishing is there for anyone with the courage to use it.
As should be made obvious by the accompanying photo, Mike Nardine (aka Cheap Mike) is plain vanilla and old as dirt. He is Secret Laboratory’s Technology Editor and has been writing since before the invention of the electric typewriter. His first computer was a 1kb Sinclair; his love-affair with computers began with a Kaypro. He has sold short stories to women’s magazines and has published several books, which are available in Amazon’s Kindle Store. Mr. Nardine has also written a whole slug of book reviews, play reviews, news articles, and consumer-tech stuff for various ezines and The Reader Weekly of Duluth, Minnesota. He presently lives in Rochester, Minnesota with his wife of many years and a fifteen-year-old Jack Russel Terrier named Chloe. Still writing as he circles the drain, he also sells domains and web hosting at CheapMikes.com.
Email Mr. Nardine at firstname.lastname@example.org.