Friday, May 11, 2012

Writing Better Ebooks

The success of ebooks to date is unquestioned. Original talents like Amanda Hocking have gained attention and fame through their Do-It-Yourself efforts. They didn’t wait to be discovered by the conglomerates. They promoted themselves.

A few individuals like myself believe that ebooks are an avenue through which to break the monopolistic dominance of publishing’s “Big Six.” Those eager to compete with the Bigs see the economic advantage of having no overhead. Economics isn’t enough. New publishing entrepreneurs need a better product.

This means: better writing. It means going beyond the insubstantial. Creating works which are readable and popular, sure, but which also contain meaning and art. Works which awaken the reader’s brain and stir that person’s soul. It means presenting writing not lost in fantasy, but relevant to our time, because it depicts America now. Writing should be more than selling books to a static, pre-built audience. The writer’s task is to answer our deepest questions—to explain our world, our systems, our people. To present a coherent picture of the world and make it understandable to everyone.

Forever this has been literature’s goal.

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