Fifth stop on my international blog tour, Indiana. Thanks so much to Tressa Green for hosting me; it’s good to be here.
Now, a little about publishing.
Some 700 years ago, Johannes Gutenberg put together several new
technologies to create a new type of type of printing press. Before this
time, all books were either written by hand or printed after a piece of
wood had been carved for each page.
Somewhere around 150 years ago, Samuel Clemens is credited with being
the first author to turn a manuscript in to his editor which had been
written on a typewriter. Before that, all manuscripts were written out
by hand. In fact, the very word manuscript means hand-written.
Some five years ago, ebooks became very popular with the invention of
the Kindle. Ebooks had been around before that, but people like to carry
their books around with them, and not have to sit at their desk to read
them. The Kindle made the carrying-around part easy. Suddenly readers
had the ability to go on vacation and take all of their favorite books
with them. They would never run out of things to read.
However, because mainstream publishers were slow to make their books
available in electronic format, readers became frustrated. At the same
time, writers who for one reason or another were unable or unwilling to
publish via mainstream companies were frustrated at the inability to get
their books in front of willing readers. Self-publishing a book at that
time cost a small fortune. By making ebook publishing affordable and
available to all, readers and authors both found a cure for their
frustration. Authors could afford to self-publish. Readers had more
novels to choose from. Self-published ebooks made everyone happy except
for the main-stream publishing companies who didn’t dare try the new
Various inventions have changed the face of publishing over the years.
The art and science of novel-writing has changed very little, however.
An author still needs a hero, his goal, and a bunch of obstacles
standing between the two. A good story is a good story, no matter how
it’s produced, and it will continue to delight readers for many years to
come. The method of its delivery to a reader’s eager eyes and hands is
largely irrelevant to the writing process.
Instead of stories being written and revised and copied out by hand on
voluminous amounts of paper, an ebook can be produced entirely with a
computer and use no paper at all, yet still be totally engrossing to the
reader. Thanks to my e-reader, I have just discovered a “new” favorite
author...H. G. Wells.
Over the thirteen years I worked on Tanella’s Flight, I used a lot of
paper. Many of the chapters were written in longhand, then typed into
the computer. The manuscript was printed out, double spaced, at nearly a
ream of paper per copy, for each revision. Ten copies were printed and
sent to beta-readers. By contrast, The Siege of Kwennjurat was never on
paper at all until the proof copy was printed. No paper! If you buy an
e-copy, then between us we have used no trees in the production of an
excellent novel. If you want a print copy, then the tree-consumption is
still kept at a minimum, because only copies that are ordered get
printed. There is no pile of paper books sitting in a warehouse
someplace gathering dust.
The publishing process of both books was different, but the writing
followed roughly the same path. I have a hero...and a goal...and a whole
pile of obstacles standing in his path.
Books available from A M Jenner:
About the author:
A M Jenner lives in Gilbert, Arizona, with her family, a car named
Babycakes, several quirky computers, and around 5,000 books. A
self-professed hermit, she loves to interact with her readers online.
Her books are available at www.am-jenner.com,
as well as most major online retailers.