By Earl Staggs
I haven’t written a word for three weeks. And it’s painful.
When you’ve been writing fiction as long as I have, it becomes normal to create something new on a regular basis. There are so many story ideas floating around between the ears, there’s an irresistible urge – make that a need – to crank them out and see how they fly.
But for the past three weeks, all my available time has been spent wedging my way into the ebook evolution. With traditional publishing on its way to who-knows-where, I feel every writer should explore digital self-publishing. With what has happened Kindle-wise, Nook-wise and otherwise with incredible speed over the last two, three years, it’s like the world is passing you by. I’m tired of reading all the success stories of authors who have digitally published their work and are selling them with ease.
Well, not exactly with ease. I’m also reading about how much time and work are required to let the new world of readers know you’re out there. It’s not as if all you have to do is publish an ebook and the world will beat a path to your door.
But that’s the next stage. The initial stage is to format and publish something in digital media, and that’s what has devoured all my time and energy for the past three weeks.
I decided to enter the new world with a collection of some of my published short mystery stories. It wasn’t hard to find instructions on how to publish via Kindle and Smashwords. Amazon’s Kindle, of course, is the Godzilla in the field, selling more than ninety percent of ebooks worldwide. Smashwords sets up your book for ebook readers other than Kindle. Smashwords advertises it also puts you on Amazon for Kindle owners, but that’s not true at the present time.
So I dug in. Getting a manuscript ready for digital publishing is probably easy for those well-versed in computer lingo. I’m not one of those. I felt as if I’d moved to an alien planet where they speak a strange language. It was a step-by-frustrating-step process for me.
But I hung in somehow, and I’m happy to say my collection, cleverly titled, SHORT STORIES OF EARL STAGGS, is now live on Kindle and Smashwords.
My next project will be to tackle CreateSpace, which will make my collection also available as a print book for those who do not have an ereader. I have no idea how difficult that will be or how long it will take, but I’m going for it.
My biggest hope is that all those story ideas screaming to be written will be patient and not fade away. I want to get back to writing. I miss it. A lot.
"The Day I Almost Became a Great Writer," a short story good for a few laughs at earlwstaggs.wordpress.com