What I had hoped was that I would find my readership and be able to talk with them. Being able to talk to authors has always given me a buzz but maybe that's just me. Even if it is I'm still going to tweet @neilgaiman!
One thing I do know about the site is that I am not going to hide behind a fiction. I'll save that for my stories, thank you very much. I have been upfront and honest about my medical conditions and as such I have no shame in telling you that my depression reared its head and mixed me quite badly for a few days.
I found myself in a bleak place, one I thought I had left behind for good. It just goes to show - if you're not vigilant, the black dog can bite.
I started pulling out of the gloom yesterday afternoon and by early evening I was looking through Duotrope for open anthologies that I could write something for. I found one that was to a first line prompt and began to write without an idea or plan as to what I was going to create.
It wasn't until I was about three paragraphs into the (as yet untitled) story that I realised what I was writing. I finished it off in about 45mins (only 1000 words) and it is currently in my 'cooling down' folder before I go back to correct/rewrite as necessary. I felt good - on a high. It has been some time since I have written to prompt and the feeling was both familiar and exciting.
Then I opened Facebook and things took a downward turn.
Lorrie Struiff (a fellow author - check her stuff out) had posted about a site that was offering to 'lend' eBooks for free. I decided to check to see if my material was available on the site and sure enough it was. I was angry to say the least.
I have made my books available to lend through Amazon. I am all for the lending of books and have been since the tender age of 8 when my Dad's friend entrusted his copies of Lord of the Rings trilogy to me while he was working abroad. So the concept of loaning a book out is very natural to me. What the site does, however, is circumvent Amazon's (and presumably Barnes&Noble's) lending system. This has several effects on me. I would hope to be able to turn writing into a full time career but the actions of sites like this one make that less likely.
There is a sense that if a book is available on a digital format it is somehow worth less than a paper copy of the same words. People cite the costs of producing a book as a justification for the higher price of a physical book and use that as an argument that electronic books should be very cheap or indeed free!
Does the author not deserve payment because of the chosen delivery medium? Does the proof reader not deserve a wage for going through the manuscript letter by letter? Does the publisher not deserve an income for taking the initial risk of putting the book out there in the first place? How about the cover artist? Do they have to draw for free?
Of course they do! is the only sensible answer. The manufacturing costs of a book reach far wider than the price of pulped wood and some ink.
Please support authors by buying from an outlet that does their part in supporting them (or go find a great second hand shop - I'm all for that too ;) )
But now the pirates are being handled, the black dog is in its kennel and I am back on an even keel I think I'll make a cuppa and put some words down on paper (well... LCD screen but you know what I mean!)
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