Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Everyone Needs One!!

Saw the Kindle 3 in person for the first time last night. Do yourself a favor - click the link above (for the the 6" version) or the link below (for the 9.7" version) and buy one today. Right now. Unbelievable difference in contrast and this is coming from someone who absolutely LOVES his Kindle 2. The feel, the look, the responsiveness - this is truly the product that is rocking the publishing world!!

UPDATE: I could not wait!! After ordering from Amazon the morning after I saw the Kindle 3 for the first time - they were backordered for 8 to 9 business days (as of last week - now they show "In Stock" again.) - I went out and found it at a local Target. LOVE the new Kindle 3 - much better contrast - faster - smaller - more storage. Great product Amazon!!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Technology and Irony

Technology is a wonderful thing.  New gadgets are arriving every day and for someone like myself who works in the computer industry for a living - the parade of new "toys" is fascinating and entertaining.

Recent developments have raised interesting questions in my mind however.

Have technological advances contributed to the downfall of arts and literature?

Has the immediacy of communication through email created an atmosphere where formal rules of language have been relegated to a thing of the past?

When is the last time you got an email from a colleague, friend, respected member of the literary community, or family member and found yourself taken aback at the misspellings and grammar mistakes?

I would venture a guess that it was fairly recently, and yet I am sure you did not necessarily "judge" this person for these mistakes, as that was probably not reflective of their true intelligence.

The informal nature of email has somehow made it acceptable to fire off ill formed thoughts and ideas.

Intelligent and well-versed individuals have no idea what impression they are making when they choose speed and convenience over editing and spell-check.

I would even propose that it is quite possible the quality of writing has suffered as technology has enabled the quantity to increase exponentially.

The irony comes into play of course because I certainly hope to take advantage of these advances in technology (namely the Kindle and the ability to self-publish) in order to finally put the proverbial pen to paper.  Technological advances - namely the Internet - will enable me to take advantage of marketing opportunities as well.

Does it make me a "hypocrite" to at once look forward to embracing the technology - and yet part of me is wistful for the simpler times of the past?

Thursday, December 30, 2010

My Bright Idea

Welcome to my first attempt at blogging.  (wait - don't go - it gets better - theoretically ...)

Here is the "bright idea":

I am going to chronicle the journey as I write a novel from scratch, self-publish it on Amazon's Kindle platform, market and advertise it, and report the sales results, lessons learned, etc.

I got the inspiration for this idea from reading this excellent post from J.A. Konrath about self publishing.

Not only his postings on the subject, but the comments his posting garnered, have generated some very interesting discussions and ideas.

Does it make more sense for a new writer to hold out and go the traditional brick and mortar publishing house route?

Is there a "stigma" associated with not truly being "published" in the conventional sense of the word?

Can a new author create success for their books without any previous publishing experience?

Many new authors may hold out - hoping for that traditional publishing deal - book advances - book tours and signings - etc., etc. - solely so they can feel that satisfaction of walking into a bookstore or library and pulling their novel off of a shelf.

One of the phrases that really caught my attention was "do the math".  Royalty models in traditional publishing MAY indeed end up with the author earning less - in some cases MUCH less - than self publishing through something like Amazon's Kindle DTP or Smashwords.   Mr. Konrath makes some very good points here with regards to it actually "costing" many thousands in lost income potential - while a new novel might make its way through publishing houses, agents, etc., etc.

The ebook reader market is exploding.  Literally and figuratively.  Sales are through the roof and Amazon (among others) have traditional publishing houses shaking in their collective boots.

Check out this article from yesterday's L.A. Times - an interview with Amazon executive Russ Grandinetti.,0,3286073.story

Technology can be a wonderful thing - but it certainly is changing the face of many businesses - and those who do not recognize this are destined to be left behind.

Should be a very interesting year for bookstores, publishing houses, Amazon, e-readers, etc.

I hope to make it an interesting (and profitable) year for this want-to-be author as well.