Publishing ebooks to share a story

July 19th, 2011 § 0 comments

Several newspapers in South Africa ran an article this week that I had written about e-publishing. Click here for the original article in Afrikaans. Below is the gist, in English:

Ebooks give authors the means to produce and distribute their own books. This is the good news and the bad news about this phenomenon that’s changing the face of the book industry worldwide.

It’s good news, because it makes the publication of unusual books possible – the kind of books that make traditional publishers fear for their budget. The production cost is low and the distribution almost free.

The bad news is that any idiot who can string a 100 or 100,000 words together can publish an ebook. This makes it harder for readers to find good books. You don’t have a bookshop to trawl through and not necessarily a respected publisher’s recommendation that the book is worth reading.

Random House New Zealand published my Nobody Dies in 2004. It gained good reviews, but I struggled to find a South African or other international publisher. In the end, I decided to publish it as an ebook.

The chances of making a significant amount of money are very slim. But this is not why I write. By publishing ebooks, I get to share my work with others without first having to convince a businessman that there’s money to be made. As a writer, this is the best news of all.

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