Recently I said, in a comment left on Joe Konrath’s blog…
The train just lurched forward. Are you on it? Or are you waiting to see what happens?
Up until this point, I’ve seen myself as standing on the train platform and watching various trains go by… thinking, that one isn’t it. That’s not it. Not that one.
When Amazon introduced the new Kindle e-readers with great prices a couple days ago – one of them at $79, two of them at $99 (one new + one old model), and then the new 7″ Kindle Fire color version for a very low $199 – I knew, this is it. My train is just now leaving the station.
Up until this point, I’ve been writing when I felt like it. Over the past four years, I’ve cranked out 22 books. I did not write 22 novel length books – I’m not superhuman. I just wrote books on topics that I knew something about – and wanted to share with other people. Probably the shortest book I wrote was 20 pages. The strategy – if you can call it that, I call it “testing the waters”, worked to some degree and I’ve seen sales that are in line with what I was making in yearly income in 1988 working in NYC doing custom color slide development and duplication. It’s not enough – not by far, but I see the path this train is taking.
While I’ve not exhausted subjects I know something about, my future e-books will be fiction novels… novelettes maybe. For e-books I don’t see the need to write much beyond 150 pages per book. A story can be told in that time, great stories can be told in 150 pages. Hell, I can tell good stories verbally in 10 minutes if anybody cared to listen. That might amount to 40 pages or so.
I have a few fiction books started – and I’m trying to come up with a great story for this next book. The one book I’ve started has potential, and yet I have to figure out how to twist the story a bit and give me all I want out of it. I’d hate to see 50-60 pages go wasted.
Anyway, just wanted to make this formal announcement that I’m going full bore into writing fiction, and the rest of my projects can wait. I don’t have the tolerance to read any more comments on Joe’s blog where new authors proclaim,
“Oh, I just sold 80,000 books in the last couple of months on Amazon – I never would have done it without having tried.”
I’ve sampled about 60 of the top selling fiction books on the Kindle – and I must say I didn’t see any amazing writing yet.
Does that mean that I’ve learned something in four years of writing? Does it mean I know what the hell good writing is?
Not sure about any of that.
I just know – the train lurched forward, fueled by the latest Amazon ereader news, and I’m on this one.
I’m all over this one…
In one year, as I look out the back car from the Amazon eBooks Train going warp speed, I fully expect to see this…
Are you on this ebook train – writers?
[Photos – train by oimax, warped tracks by kevin dooley, fookers screaming by kalleboo – all at flickr.com. Used with attribution license. Some images modified.]