Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Joining the eBook Revolution

by Julie Coulter Bellon

So this past week I’ve decided to take the plunge and put my first three novels out as ebooks. (Thank you librispro for helping me make clean beautiful ebooks. If you want a company to help you do this, they are the ones to have. Click here if you want to see their price list and website.) The first thing I did to join this ebook revolution, was get out the old manuscripts and take a look at them. I hadn’t read my first manuscript for five or six years now and what I found when I opened up that file both thrilled and frightened me.

It frightened me because I discovered I had once been a head hopper.

I never would have guessed that about myself. I’ve always been pretty firm as an editor and a writer that head-hopping throughout a chapter is a no-no. But here it was in my own manuscript! How had I missed it? And how had it been published with my missing it?

The part that thrilled me as I was reading along, was that it was a solid story. I had forgotten details and characters and found myself really enjoying the plot. It was sort of like reading something new, since I hadn’t read it for so long, and I thought to myself, hmmm…this is pretty good if I do say so myself. So, yay me!

I’ve now finished spiffing up the first one, Through Love’s Trials, and I’m moving on to my next one, On the Edge. Hopefully I have the same experience there and it will only need a few spiffs, and possibly some smoothed out POV edges. But I really hope I don’t find any head-hopping in there or I’m going to wonder what kind of a rookie author I really was, since I never dreamed I’d make that kind of mistake and I did. Hopefully it’s a one-time thing, but even if it isn’t, you know what else I discovered reading my old manuscript? I’ve come a long way in my writing. I think my first three books were good, I loved the characters and plots, but my writing now seems more layered, and I do a better job of telling the story. Which is also nice since I can go back with these first three manuscripts now, before they go out in ebook form, and fix a few things with the skills I’ve developed in the years since those books were published. I would hope that all writers would improve over time and it’s kind of nice to realize that it’s happened in my case. It’s been a fun ebook prep process so far, and I’ll definitely let you guys know when my ebooks are out and ready.

Anyway, I’m really excited about the idea of having ebooks out with my name on them and part of that excitement is because I’m about to buy a Kindle. I’ve been researching this for a while, brands, types, etc., and I’ve finally decided to get a Kindle 3. Did you know it can hold 3500 books? The thought of that many books makes me feel a little giddy because at the moment, my bookshelves are full. I couldn’t even squeeze one more in which makes me sad because there are a lot more I want to add to my collection. So, to have the possibility of 3500 books at my fingertips, well, my reading loving heart is in heaven at the thought. Although I’m sure my pocketbook might be taking a few hits as I “collect” these ebooks, I’m glad to see that most books seem to be priced to sell. This is going to be really fun.

Have any of you tried ebooks? Do you love your Kindle, Nook, iPad, whatever it is you have? Does anyone have any ebook secrets (as an author or a reader) that they’d like to share as I am new at all of this and anxious to learn?

(Just as an aside, Rob Wells does a podcast now with Sarah Eden and Marion Jensen. The one they did this week addressed ebooks and how they are changing the industry which was pretty interesting. You can listen to it here.)


At 2/17/2011 11:01 AM, Anonymous Abel said...

Yay! I like ebooks. Looking forward to reading them.

At 2/17/2011 11:08 AM, Anonymous Malibujane said...

My husband had a b&w nook and he loves it. He is making his way through the Baen Free Library (which has tons of free sci-fi fantasy that has been out of print).

I've got an iPad that I bought to use as an ereader, but I prefer the epaper of the nook- I find it easier on my eyes for longer periods of time, and the iPad is substantially heavier- it makes my hands fall asleep!

That, coupled with Apple's recent shenanigans about not allowing merchants to sell books through their apps (like Amazon and Barnes and Noble), makes me wish I had bought a 140$ nook instead of a 600$ iPad!

I am looking forward to reading your ebooks!

At 2/17/2011 11:52 AM, Blogger Karlene said...

I've been in love with my Kindle since I first saw it on Oprah. I have the original but want to upgrade before too long. I have a Nook and a Sony too. Any e-reader is better than carrying around a ton of books in your purse! But of them all, Kindle is still my first and deepest love. :)

At 2/17/2011 12:05 PM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

I love how my Kindle is so portable. I just tuck in in my purse, and if I get stuck in line at the store or anywhere, no problem! I can just pull it out and read. I love how I can get LDS fiction instantly, even though I don't live in Utah.

And I hear you about your pocketbook taking hits--that's the one problem with this; it's SO easy to buy a book with just a click of a mouse, and before you know it, you've spent another ten bucks . . .

That's so cool that's you're putting your earlier books out as ebooks! I'd love to go back through and edit my first book with what I've learned since then.

At 2/17/2011 1:53 PM, Blogger Tamera Westhoff said...

I use Kindle for PC and I love it! I'm able to get books fast! So, if I need an LDS fix, it's easy enough to take care of! I also love that Amazon has books for free or cheap, so I'm able to get some good ones to read in between bad budget times.

At 2/17/2011 2:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post. Congrats on the e-books. I've sworn off Rob Wells ever since he swore (literally) off the frog blog. Traitor!

At 2/17/2011 5:14 PM, Blogger Jordan McCollum said...

You used to be a headhopper? *shakes head* Tsk tsk.

It's okay. I dug up some stuff I wrote like 12 years ago and discovered I wrote in omniscient, something I didn't remember doing, either!

I like my Kindle more every time I use it. The last thing I read on it was my own manuscript.

At 2/17/2011 11:51 PM, Blogger Jordan McCollum said...

Hm... I was just thinking about this post, and wondering if an LDS ebook publisher could have a chance. Hm...

(wv: craig. Hi there, dude.)


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