Today, I would like to welcome Scott Nicholson to Curling Up By The Fire. If you've been following his tour, then you already know how important it is to read to the end of the post to find out how you can win a great prize.
You Are the Story
by Scott Nicholson
Without all of those things, I wouldn’t be here. My work would probably be sitting on my hard drive as I made one more push to sell a book the “old way.” No, I don’t want to rant about how New York doesn’t get my genius or publishing is dying. It’s not dying, it’s just changing, and the adaptable will survive and even thrive. I understand quite well the circumstances of the major publishing industry. And I better understand now that I am not in the publishing industry anymore, at least not as the main event.
I am in the Scott Nicholson industry.
It just so happens that my industry is currently built around ebooks, the Internet, and the Kindle. These are wonderful times for independence, and do-it-yourselfers, and even lazy dreamers like me.
But it’s not easy. Writing was never meant to be easy, and reading books is a minority habit. Two million writers are now pulling out moldering manuscripts from their bottom drawers and declaring themselves published. And they are. “Publishing” has no defined meaning anymore.
There’s a Chicken Little sector saying the sky is falling. It is issuing dire warnings about the threat to literature when just any old person with a keyboard and an Internet connection can be an author. Someone like me, who has spent 14 years at the craft and followed all the rules of the Old Way, even to the point of getting lucky and breaking in, should have a vested interest in defending the Ivory Tower because, heck, one day they may let me peel potatoes in the basement again, and at least I’d have some potato peels to eat.
But I rather like sitting in my one-room cottage industry. Sure, I am competing with two million other authors, and the competition will only grow. I expect the flat-text digital era has maybe a five-year lifespan before it will seem as antiquated as bookstores and paper sheaves bound in the skin of cows. I expect there will be 10 million e-books available in five years, if not two years. I expect everybody out there with wacky ideas, stories in their hearts, or insight into the world’s workings will find a way to share that idea in pixels.
And I think it’s wonderful.
I have a dyslexic friend who is writing a novel, and I am not sure he has ever read one. Young children, even kindergartners, are now publishing their own books. People in their 90s, who always wanted to be writers when they grew up, now have a golden chance to cultivate an audience.
I say “Do it.”
The Chicken Little crowd squawks, “Normal people can’t be trusted with something as important as deciding what is worth reading.”
I say each reader is far more brilliant than the finest New York minds in knowing what that reader wants.
To the Chicken Little crowd squawking about how impossible it will be to find quality literature, I’d point to all the millions, if not billions, of Web sites floating around in the ether. Are you bothered by all that content and those ideas? Do you have trouble finding only the information that interests you? Do you even know all that other stuff is out there?
A writer’s message may only appeal to half a dozen people. A book, no matter how badly written, may truly change one life or inspire one person. And doesn’t that give it value? Doesn’t that make it worth publishing, especially when the means is cheap or free?
More important than a writer’s being able to reach an audience, from 10 people to 10 million, is the reader’s right to seek out and share the stories and data and dreams they crave.
This era is not about the writers, editors, publishers, agents, or corporations at all, though 99 percent of all writers will surely benefit, at least for the near term.
This is the Era of the Reader.
You are the story.
Let the sky fall if it must.
If the sky was that small and fragile to begin with, a bigger, brave sky surely waits above it.
Scott Nicholson is author of The Skull Ring, Speed Dating with the Dead, Drummer Boy, and nine other novels, five story collections, four comics series, and six screenplays. A journalist and freelance editor in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, he often uses local legends in his work. This tour is sponsored by Amazon, Kindle Nation Daily, and Dellaster Design.
To be eligible for the Kindle DX, simply post a comment below with contact info. Feel free to debate and discuss the topic, but you will only be entered once per blog. Visit all the blogs on the tour and increase your odds. I’m also giving away a Kindle 3 through the tour newsletter and a Pandora’s Box of free ebooks to a follower of “hauntedcomputer” on Twitter. And, hey, buy my books and put me in the Top 100 and I’ll throw in another random Kindle 3 giveaway. Thanks for playing. Complete details at http://www.hauntedcomputer.com/blogtour.htm