Fiction with an edge

Sunday, 22 January 2012

The future is e-range

I've been invited to give a talk (Feb 9th) during the opening week of our superb new library - rebuilt after the original burned down a few years ago. Myself, Emma Tofi, children's author and illustrator: ( and  Tom MacKenzie, blogger, Herald columnist, author  ( will present on our chosen subjects (in my case Kindle Publishing) and then answer questions from attendees. 
It's interesting that in excess of 11,000 libraries in the US are embracing Kindle. It seems too that some forward-thinking libraries here are looking to do the same. People will always have differing opinions about technology and its effect on the world, and I am not suggesting that books are approaching the end of their particular road, rather, that the e-reader performs a function which, for an increasing number of readers, of all ages, fits their particular need. And, in the case of the new writer, for whom the task of obtaining an agent can be a lengthy, difficult and frustrating process, the e-publishing element of such as Kindle is an opportunity not to be missed. Having said that, the facility to publish at will does not  improve stories which have poor plots, characters who are flat and writing that doesn't flow - and it's important that, before attempting e-publishing, the new writer investigates the possibility of whether that was why the agent(s) declined to represent them. Therefore, the ability to stand back, accept critique, not be defensive and be willing to learn are critical to the success of the serious writer. E-publishing, however, is not a shortcut to success - it is a alternative path for those writers who have proven that their book is ready in all respects. Why is this so important? Because Amazon reader reviewers are not known for pulling punches - and neither should they be, e-books are a product for which the customer pays - it's a business transaction!