Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Reading Revolution

My DH is a dyed-in-the-wool traditionalist and has always insisted inde and small press publishing isn't 'real' and that I cannot regard myself a published author until one of the recognised publishers buys one of my novels - and that means offering a respectable advance.

It was with great reluctance he bought me an E-Reader for my birthday, saying he would never touch it as he hates the idea of 'reading from a screen' and nothing will replace proper paper books. He regarded the arrival of self-publishing as a vehicle by which those who cannot make the grade put their, mostly, raw and unedited work into the public arena.

He reads three/four books a week, and his favourite genre is something called cyber-punk' [Think, Blade Runner, The Matrix and the works of John Birmingham] Over the last few months, with bookshops cutting back on titles other than celebrity coffee table books and authors they know will sell, his supply of new titles has dried up. This situation frustrated him as reading is like breathing, and he was forced to revert to books he already owned.

For Christmas he asked for, and I bought him a Kindle, not because he had reconciled to screen-reading, but because he couldn't find anything new in our local bookshops and thought Amazon may have more choice. He downloaded a couple of books he had not seen before in his chosen genre and hasn't put the thing down since Christmas Day! He declared these titles surprisingly good for authors he had never heard of, and guess what? They are self published works!

His attitude has completely altered and he's now searching for unknown authors with no recognisable publisher name attached to them, willing to give their books a fair hearing - or reading.

He asked me last night, 'Have you thought of self-publishing your novels? [Wow!]
My answer? 'Not until my agent finally gives up on me!'

If this revolution is taking place in my home - it must be happening everywhere. And how long before traditional publishers have to take it seriously?


Lisa Yarde said...

Tell Clive I said, "Welcome to the new world." Indie authors will infiltrate the masses, one reader at a time. All part of our evil plan. (Evil laughter follows though you can't hear it)

Gillian Bagwell said...

That's great, Anita! Very funny. Cyber punk? Hmm.
I just got a Kindle and I love it. It's going to be great for research - marking passages and taking notes in the text, and being able to download books from Google Books and Project Gutenberg onto it.

I bought the complete works of Mark Twain for $1.79 and have been reading bits and pieces. What a treat!!