people have asked me what I think the new Millennium
holds for writers. I'm not psychic but I know
that the glass is no longer half empty for authors
who have the talent and the drive to pursue alternative
publishing opportunities. E-books, e-publishing,
e-readers and print-on-demand are moving along at
a look back at 1999's headlines, all predictions
for the future seem very rosy indeed.
March, Publisher's Weekly reviewed its first e-book.
The Mozart Code by Dick Adler, published
by Hard Shell Word Factory. Jeff Zaleski of PW said:
"Our commitment is to review the books that our
readers need to know about. As e-books become more
relevant, we'll be reviewing more of them."
March, my own novel Lip Service, originally
rejected by traditional publishers, was discovered
online and became the first self published novel
to become a Featured Alternate Selection at both
the Doubleday Book Club and The Literary Guild.
It was released as a hard cover via Pocket Books
in September of '99.
September, iUniverse.com, after selling 49% of its
company to Barnes & Nobel, announced it would release
20,000 Print on Demand titles in the year 2000.
Barnes & Nobel will offer these titles through kiosks
in their bricks and mortar stores.
October, The first e-book was sold to Hollywood.
Indie Gal Productions bought Pauline Jones'
I love Luci when I don't want to kill her. Jones
had never been published traditionally.
October, Microscoft announced the Frankfurt e-Book
Festival promising to give out over $100,000 in
November, David Saperstein, best-selling author
of Cocoon put his new novel, Dark Again,
up on the net instead of releasing it through
a print publisher.
November, Publisher's Weekly used a Rocket Reader
and e-gallery instead of an advanced reading copy
December, ForeWord Magazine instituted
an e-book review column. "We're open for business
for e-publishers," said editor in chief Mardi Link.
December, Simon and Schuster, along with Recipricol.com,
offered an unprecedented online fundraiser for Literacy
Partners. Customers were able to download chapters
from upcoming novels from such best-selling authors
as Mary Higgens Clark, Stephen Ambrose, Steven King
and Jackie Collins.
December, Leta Nolan Childers, whose books cross
too many genres to be published by a traditional
house, became the best-selling e-author in 1999
when her book The Best Laid Plans published
by DiskUs Publishing sold over 6000 copies. (www.diskuspublishing.com).
In October, Childers formed Cooperative Resources
for Electronic Author Members (CREAM).
are hundreds of other headlines the media hasn't
picked up on that are no less important to anyone
who wants to understand the power of the Internet
on publishing. Here are just two.
Votolo, a blind and partially disabled writer who
can no longer type or read Braille, but uses a voice
activated computer, discovered e-books in February
of '99. In late 2000 he will publish his first e-book
through Gemini Press. He says, "Because of the evolution
of technology, we who are blind are now able to
write, edit, spellcheck, use a thesaurus and hear
our own written words spoken back to us as we work.
And we can read other's books via e-technology."
McIntosh, a successful freelance journalist and
author who works from home because of a chronic
illness, sold 1,000 e-books the first two months
after publishing her first title. Her e-publisher,
BookLocker.com, pays an unprecedented 70% royalty.
"If I had published off-line in print only, I never
would have had this success," said McIntosh. "The
Internet opens up marketing, promotions and sales
vistas for authors who find they can do more for
themselves online than many commercial print publishers
would ever do for them off-line."
© 2000 M.J. Rose All Rights Reserved
Rose is the author of Lip Service, PocketBooks Sept
1999. Lip Service is also available as a Featured
Alternate Selection of the Literary Guild and Doubleday
Book Club - Aug/Sept (www.readLipService.com)
MJ Rose is the author.