Writing Excuses 5.28: E-publishing

Recording in front of a live audience is a treat. Doing so while interviewing one of our heroes is a rare treat. Having two of them on stage with us at once is so rare as to be a unique delight.

Dave Wolverton (aka David Farland) and Tracy Hickman joined Dan and Howard in a lecture hall at Brigham Young University during Life, The Universe, and Everything XXIX, and we managed to capture the session on a handheld recorder.

Our topic? Ebooks and e-publishing. We talk about New York publishing, syndicated comics, and how electronic publishing has disrupted these markets. Dave and Tracy both offer insights from their long careers as professional writers.

We then talk about what all this means to you, the creator. We offer advice that can be applied equally well at the beginning of your writing career and during those happy, established, halcyon days. This isn’t the be-all, end-all, predict-the-future-of-publishing podcast that the industry is hungry for, but we’re not trying to predict the future of publishing. We’re trying to help you shape your future as a writer.

Audiobook Pick-of-the-Week: The Golden Queen: Book 1, by David Farland, narrated by Peter Ganim.

Writing Prompt: Write something. Oh, it may seem trite, it may seem like a joke we played on our guest, but it sprang from the mind of Tracy Hickman himself, so, you know, get on it.

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57 thoughts on “Writing Excuses 5.28: E-publishing”

  1. Something that I think hasn’t come to the for yet, that will, is long term storage and retrieval of books in electronic format. I read some books on Kindle, but I do not trust that I will have those books and be able to go back and read them in 10 years. Most books I read once, so that is OK. That makes the lower price point of electronic books attractive, basically replacing the mass market paperback. But if I love a book and want a copy for long term, I want it on paper. I work in computers, and I know that long term, I do not want any format between me and the text. Throw in DRM, and being able to read it 10 years from now is even more dicey. Give me paper for the books I want to keep.

  2. My question is this: why is Brandon Sanderson not e-publishing? It’s not an either-or situation: he could continue to publish with Tor as well as go through his backlog of short stories and e-publish those. Before I continue, I want to say that I’m asking this purely out of self-interest haha. Brandon Sanderson is one of my favorite authors and I’ve never read anything that he’s written that I didn’t enjoy. I’ve read a couple of his short stories that he has online for free, and I would’ve absolutely paid for those. They were good, I was entertained, and I would be more than willing to pay for that entertainment. So why not sell short stories online? He has a fan base already in place, is a prolific writer, and could pay someone a small fee for the formatting and cover if he doesn’t want to do that himself (because honestly e-publishing is not that much work, I have to disagree with your guest who said that it was a lot of work for the writers. I’ve done it and I’m not that smart either. haha). Plus, he has fans who follow his blog (so many, in fact, that his site crashed a while back). So, Mr. Sanderson, consider e-publishing some short stories! You’ll make $$$ and I’ll get to read some awesome, entertaining, well-written fiction. Everyone wins! 🙂

  3. Was this recorded before or after borders shut down and barnes and noble replaced half of their retail space with nook demonstration tables? Crazy how fast this disruption is happening. It makes me sad because I sure like browsing the aisles in a real book store 🙁

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