Fiction Writing and Other Oddities

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

2008 Starts on a High Note

Today my editor at The Wild Rose Press sent me the final edits for my new book, I Bid One American. I'm hoping to get through the manuscript this week and get it back to her, which means they will soon fit it into their publication schedule and give me a release date. I am so incredibly excited about this.

I Bid One American is a romantic mystery set in the Regency period, set in London around 1818. I had such fun writing this story and I was privileged to sign with a wonderful agent on the strength of this manuscript. I literally can't wait until I have a release date. But I'm trying to control my excitement and do due diligence to the editing—I don't want to rush through at this point and botch the job.

One of the things that has stuck in my mind at this point is what I owe my readers. Jen Crusie and Bob Mayer recently went through an entire year of knowledge-transfer to help other writers learn the craft. And one of the points they made during their concluding remarks was how much writers owe their readers. After all, if someone spends money on your work, and then devotes several hours to reading it, you should give them the best product possible. I totally agree with this and don't want to mess up the story now.

Of course it seems virtually impossible to eradicate all errors. No matter how many times I read something, the next time through, I inevitably find something wrong. And that's true of other writer's published material—I'm not sure I've ever read anything that didn't have an error or two. But we do our best and hope the readers will forgive us.

So, hopefully, within a month or two, I will have a release date—and even more incredible, my book will be available in the Amazon Kindle store for all those gadget-lovers who have gone out and bought the latest in e-book readers. This is so exciting! I'm dying to get my hands on a Kindle. I've always loved electronic gizmos and one of the coolest things about e-books and e-book readers in general is that they are green.

E-books don't require paper and therefore, don't cause massive numbers of trees to be pulped for paper. I don't think most folks realize how wasteful the whole print industry is. When bookstores stock books, they only have them on the shelves for a set period of time. Then they have to make room for new books. And when this happens, they strip the covers off the old books they didn't sell, and send them back to the publisher for reimbursement. And the publisher disposes of the stripped books.

Totally not green.

And while I love printed books too and buy dozens, I'm having severe bookshelf overflow problems. So I'm now thinking of seriously developing my e-book library. No shelf space required. No trees cut down. No waste, no fuss, no muss. And with an e-book reader, I can carry around a small library wherever I travel.

The change has been coming for some time. I know that as a computer geek, I've gradually moved away from computer books to online material, because I don't have the shelf-space or time to thumb through dozens of books that get outdated in a year or two. I'd rather search my desktop and the web for the references I need to work. And now, after working this way for a while, I've started buying my historical reference material for my novels in e-book format.

I'm ready to go green. I'm ready to start a green library and invest in an e-book reader.

And don't think I'm an e-book snob only interested in the Kindle. I like that particular product for my very own, specific reasons, but I totally see the value of other readers. I'm not plugging the Kindle over others—I just happen to be interested in it because it fits what I want to do.

I want to be able to download books when my computer is not available. This is sort of critical for me, because when I travel, I have two choices:

  1. Have personal devices that don't require a laptop or computer to support their functions
  2. Or carry TWO laptops with me

Because you see, my "day job" will not allow me to use my company laptop for non-work activities. And in fact, they've applied security to it to ensure I can't plug anything into it, like USB devices. And I simply refuse to carry two laptops with me when I travel.

So any personal devices like e-book readers need to operate independently. Hence my interest in the Kindle.

And…TADA! My new book, I Bid One American will be available in the Kindle store, so there is a weird sort of synchronicity to it. And all sorts of other books from The Wild Rose Press are already available through the Kindle store (just search for The Wild Rose Press) so it is extremely exciting.

Well, I've got to stop for the evening and get back to the serious task of editing.

Enjoy and have a wonderful week!

1 comment:

Sonja Foust said...

Hooray, congrats! :) I'll have to do some research on eBook readers. I still don't have one because I'm hoping I can make my iPhone be one. Heehee.