In April of this year, I wrote about the revolution occurring in the publishing world and its effect on both readers and writers. I marveled at how completely my attitude had changed toward ebooks and self-publishing in one year. Now, less than half a year after that, change continues.
A bit of history on where I fit into the mix: The four books in my Jennie Connors series were published by Avalon Books as hardbacks. I was (and am) incredibly proud of them. I loved writing for Avalon. They were a New York publisher, yet they were small enough that when I called, I didn’t have to go through a voicemail jungle; the phone was answered by a real person. I knew most of the people there by name – first name – and when I told them my name, they knew who I was and the title of my latest book. I never felt like a pawn being shoved around by a giant hand connected to a body I would never see. Avalon sold mainly to libraries so my books were in my favorite places. In short, I had achieved an important goal. Was I content? Kind of. Why only kind of? Anybody remember the old Peggy Lee song, Is That All There Is? That pretty much sums it up. Human beings are rarely content when they get what they think they want. They’re always looking toward the next hill, wondering what’s on the other side.
For me, the brave new world of epublishing was the next hill. I wanted an ebook and I wanted to publish it myself. I had to know if I could climb the hill all by myself. I did a couple of test runs with short stories, then self-published a full length novel, Love and Not Destroy. It was easier than I thought it would be. I had a foot in both worlds and was pretty proud of myself. Again, I had achieved my goal.
This time I didn’t have to go looking for the next hill. It found me. In June, Avalon Books was bought out by Amazon. My two worlds merged. Was this good or bad or a bit of both? So far, I’m happy to say the changes have been good. The first thing Amazon did was reduce the price of the books, making them accessible to more people. Definitely good. In addition, they plan to release the former Avalon titles in paperback and ebook formats. Wonderful. Even more accessibility. The next big question is: when? I don’t know how long it will take to finish the conversion, but it’s already begun. My first Jennie Connors book, Put Out the Light, was released in the new formats a little over a month ago, a change that has given new life to a book published in 2005.
I can’t say how long I’ll be content, but the moment, I couldn’t be more pleased. To mark the occasion, I’m giving away a hardcover copy of Put Out the Light to one commenter, chosen at random. I’ll announce the winner on this blog next Tuesday, Oct. 16. So, readers and writers, please leave a comment and let us know how you feel about what’s going on in the world of books.