Grace's Mosaic Moments

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Why I Love E-books 2

Grace Note:  Amazon has placed Rebel Princess on sale at $1.99 until June 24th.
For direct link to Rebel Princess, click here.


We saw very little of my daughter's close neighbor, Jeff Coffey, when our extended families cruised to the Bahamas a couple of weeks ago. At the time it was a big secret, but Jeff spent most of the cruise locked in his cabin studying 22 songs so he could become the temporary lead singer and bass guitarist for Chicago. That's right THE Chicago. At the time it wasn't absolutely certain he had the job, so until opening night - May 22nd - we all kept the secret. But now . . .

MAJOR CONGRATULATIONS to Jeff for a dream come true!

Here's a link to his opening night You Tube video. Jeff's the blond in the gray shirt.

For Jeff's debut, click here. 

Quote from The Metal Files review, Austin TX, May 27, 2016:

"Jeff Coffey was the highlight for me. For as good as Scheff is, Coffey was nailing Cetera's vocal and bass parts effortlessly. I was really blown away. I'd be ok if he became a permanent member." 

~ * ~

The Girl Scout Citrus Chorus sang at the Seminole Harley Davidson Memorial Day Event. Below, Susie and the girls with ???? 

WHY I LOVE E-BOOKS - the Big Picture

E-books now cover the complete gamut - from the latest work by best-selling print-published authors (think Nora Roberts & Tom Clancy) to books published by independent e-publishers, including Amazon itself. And from authors publishing their print backlists online to authors writing brand new works that have never caught a whiff of paper in their lives. 

What does this mean?

There are those who moan that indie-publishing is ruining the market, degrading the language, killing punctuation, and sponsoring unique spelling. And, yes, some of this is true. But as in all new things, there are always mistakes at the beginning. I've ranted on this blog about e-authors I would never read again as they clearly didn't care that they were kicking their readers in the teeth by presenting their meanderings without editing for content, grammar, or punctuation. (I hope they enjoyed the profits of their first books, because most of us would never buy from those authors again.) But, frankly, these days, ignorant authors are few and far between. I am constantly amazed at the incredible variety of work available. (I didn't even know Amazon invited publication of short stories and non-fiction until I recently looked it up for a friend.) 

Do some of the books run on too long? Do they need major editing? Well, sometimes I've thought so. But consider Harry Potter. So-called experts said those 700-page behemoths should be edited, but were readers paying any attention? I'm currently reading my way through a series so complex and detailed, a major-publisher editor would have struck down a good third of the book. And yes, sometimes I find myself skimming. But what a rich tapestry the author has woven. So fascinating that I've been neglecting all but my own writing to just keep reading. 

Indie-publishing has given people a way to present their visions as they see fit. The way their creativity says they should be. Does this mean, Write it, upload it, I create perfection on the first draft? Of course not! As I've said over and over, every work must be gone over with the proverbial fine tooth comb, licked into shape, polished to perfection, or whatever cliché strikes your fancy. But in the end, you, the author, are boss. This, above all, is why e-publishing matters to those of us who tend to write outside the box.

Among the many author-friendly sites out there, I particularly want to mention Smashwords. It's been there from the very beginning, and what would any of us have done with Mark Coker's incredibly clear Style Guide (how to e-publish), available free at He's the only techie I know who can write so ordinary people can understand his instructions. In my early days with Smashwords, he sometimes answered my questions in person. So three cheers for Smashwords. Amazon isn't the only e-publishing giant among us.

The possibilities for online self-expression are endless, absolutely stunning in the available variety and ease of Do-It-Yourself. Slightly (okay, some highly) off-beat books that had absolutely no chance of being published by New York print publishers now have an outlet. Accustomed to mostly browsing the Historical Romance section of my local bookstore, I found I suddenly had a way of discovering great new voices in Science Fiction, Mystery, Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, and yes, even Romance. I've read about worlds far in the future, plunged back to the Roman Empire in a brilliant historically accurate book not to be compared to a Roman-era book I once attempted to read, which was nothing but sex on every page. I've seen Australia and New Zealand through the eyes of early settlers. I've learned about magic. I've thrilled to adventures intended for Young Adults. And I, who can't stand fairies, found Fantasy series that took my breath way. Paranormal too, surprise, surprise. Grace, love a series about werewolves or ghosts? You've got to be kidding! 

And, of course, as mentioned last week, New York finally woke up and established their own e-departments, although they still can't seem to present their e-versions at anything less than exorbitant prices. Come on, New York, those of us who publish on KDP know how little it costs!

The major New York publishers also began to offer their print books online - oh happy day! It's so easy to find the latest work by favorite authors, and on my Kindle I can take them anywhere, any time. I flipped through my Kindle just now, and among the "experimental" downloads (affordable through Kindle Unlimited), I found on my "active" list (just push Select and there it is) books by the following print-published authors:  Mary Balogh, Jo Beverly, Janet Evanovich, Nora Roberts, Jayne Ann Krenty, Jayne Castle, Amanda Quick, Linda Castillo, Catherine Lloyd, Rhys Bowen, Victoria Laurie, Julie Jyzy, Tasha Alexander, Randy Wayne White, Jack Higgins, Robert Galbraith, and on and on. (And that's not counting what's available through my Kindle archives.) 

 So, again, what does this surge of e-publishing mean? Most importantly, I believe, it means e-publishing has sent a strong wind of fresh air through the publishing industry. It's given an outlet for something more than same-old, same-old. It's encouraged individual creativity in a time when it sometimes feels as if mass communication is smoothing the edges of our "differences," making us too much the same. DIY publishing, in particular, is giving voice to people with wonderful tales that never could have been told without the modern marvel of e-publishing. 

Do we have to do it well? Do we have a responsibility to our readers? Absolutely! That's pretty much what Mosaic Moments has been emphasizing since January 2011. That doesn't mean our manuscripts will be one hundred percent perfect. Even New York never manages that. But we have an obligation to turn out the most perfect manuscripts we can. An obligation to go over each one line by line until it's the best we can make it. To add, subtract, clarify, identify, fix grammar and punctuation until we can't stand the sight of the darn thing another moment.

 Way, way back, somewhere around 2001, I wrote an article about the Internet and E-publishing. Here are a few excerpts:
    Thirty years ago when Gene Roddenberry created the world of Star Trek, he envisioned a future where all information was retrieved from computers.  Whether displayed on a monitor screen, a hand-held device, or spoken aloud, information on paper had become obsolete.  Classic printed books were treasured artifacts.    Viewers watched; imaginations caught fire.  A generation weaned on Star Trek set about making Roddenberry’s vision a reality.  Yet I doubt if anyone expected the changeover to all-electronic information to gain a serious foothold in our lifetime.

    But it’s happening.  Here and now in the earliest days of the twenty-first century.

    Bill Gates, in his 1995 book The Road Ahead, declared that the Internet--the Information Highway, as he called it–would become a dominant force in our lives.  Not in the negative sense of Big Brother, but as a connector to a vast world of information, services, and communication.   If you’re reading this article, you are “online.”  You are already part of the Information Highway, the World Wide Web–the Internet.  Would you give it up?   Lose your ability to have instant communication with distant children, parents, your old school buddies?  Lose your instant ability to check the sports scores, research clothing in Medieval Times, print a map, order a gift basket for Aunt Tillie, download a book to read, chat with someone in New Zealand, even Antarctica?

    In 1997 a group of experts got together to predict the dollar amount which would be generated by the Internet in 1998.  They decided on a figure of eight billion ($8,000,000,000).   When the numbers were totaled at the end of 1998, the actual figure was one hundred two billion ($102,000,000,000).  In other words, the experts missed it by a mile.  And the Net continues to grow at an ever-increasing speed.

. . . .

Will the Star Trek world come true?   Yes, I think so–but it is still very much in the future.  At the moment we are in the Interim period, the very beginning of the changeover to a world where print books will have become precious artifacts to be treasured in museums.  We are in the difficult period where we must all learn to adapt to the new concept of electronic information.  To quote Bill Gates once again:

We are watching something historic happen, and it will affect the world seismically, rocking us the same way the discovery of the scientific method, the invention of printing, and the arrival of the Industrial Age did. . . .  Some people will seize upon the setbacks and proclaim that the [information] highway never really was more than hype.  But on the highway, the early failures will just be learning experiences.  The highway is going to happen.

Grace Note: I think we can now safely  say, "It's happened."

~ * ~ 

Thanks for stopping by,


For Grace's website, listing all books as Blair Bancroft, click here.

For a brochure for Grace's editing service, Best Foot Forward, click here.  


No comments:

Post a Comment