Friday 25 February 2011

Starting the fire with kindling

My wonderful dad bought me a kindle last week. I'd been toying with the idea since well before Christmas, but hadn't been able to justify the expense. Wow. I didn't realise how much I wanted one until I got one.

So there's the fact that it's an e-reader. Straight away I bought a couple of books from Amazon's kindle site (Burn, Baby, Burn and Impeding Justice if you're interested - both thrillers and I can recommend them). So easy - one click on the kindle and two minutes later I have them. Where I live, there isn't a bookshop other than WH Smiths within 15 miles and a lot of the best stuff is no longer commercial enough for the big publishers to touch, so the only way we get to read these gems is via kindle anyway. Since I'm not interested in celebrity memoirs or chick lit, I'd far rather be able to read what I want, rather than what some arbitrary gatekeeper decides I can have. So I'm convinced. I love my kindle and I look forward to a long and fulfilling relationship.

Then there's the writing angle. Last week I had an epiphany of sorts. I've spent many many years trying to interest commercial publishers in my writing. And the key word here is commercial. I've been told I can write by people whose opinions count (friends and industry professionals). I've had some great reviews. But I'm not commercial enough. Publishing is a business, and in these days of recession, if you can't make guaranteed megabucks, you don't stand a chance. Only established authors and celebrities are sure wins; nobody can afford to take chances on unknowns, unless of course you are really good and commercial - like my friend Ellie whose debut fantasy novel is due out from Gollancz in June. Which is where kindle comes in. What have I got to lose? Readers will decide if they want to pay for my books - if they like them then hopefully they'll leave some good reviews and tell their friends. If they don't, well I'm no worse off than I was before, am I?

Watch this space...


Anne Brooke said...

Excellent! The sooner your books are on Kindle the better - can't wait! I love my Kindle too :))


Debbie Bennett said...

Hi Anne. Yep, I've finally decided to go for it - I think my sex-and-drugs thriller is way too controversial for a "real" publisher to take on! Just waiting on cover art now.

Dorte H said...

Writes well but is not commercial enough - sounds much like my own experience with publishers :(

To some extent I have done the same as you by publishing a collection of flash fiction via Smashwords a few weeks ago. Right now I regard it as ´flying a kite´, but who knows, when I have had enough rejections from agents & publishers, I may also self-publish my cosy mystery.

Best of luck to you from a Danish writer & lover of crime fiction.