01 May 2010


This is a great time in which to be a writer. There are more options than ever for publishing, and I've taken advantage of some of these options, including ebooks, which I both purchase and write.

Ebooks are the future of publishing. Period. Let's not waste time protesting or lamenting the loss of paper-printed books. While I'm not willing to make any predictions about when tree books will disappear, we're in the midst of a major sea change in how books are produced and consumed. The arrival of Carina Press, a digital division of Harlequin, is a landmark in romance publishing, and I foresee a highly successful future for them.

One great advantage of ebooks is flexibility in length. This means that short stories, novellas and short novels--notoriously difficult to turn a profit on in traditional publishing--are now feasible to write and publish. Tree-book publishing has long privileged novel-length works of at least 80,000 words or so.

And I have slogged through such writing projects. But I find them painful. And boring to write after about 50,000 words. This is due to a congenital inability to focus on a single topic for an extended period of time. I couldn't write a Diana Gabaldon-length novel if my life depended on it. I'm happy to read long novels, but I can't write them. At this stage in my career, I'm happier working at around 30,000 to 40,000 words--roughly 100 manuscript pages.

Shorter lengths allow me to pursue a new idea, spend some time with it, and then move on. Ebook publishing makes this sort of writing economically feasible. And allows me to avoid that killer of creativity, boredom.

No comments:

Post a Comment