Wednesday, May 7, 2014

We're Never Too Old

And here everyone thought the school term was about to come to an end until Fall.  For some, that may be true.  But for most of us, we keep learning.

Maybe we don't believe we continue to learn, but it happens.  We often simply don't realize that's what it is.

For me, learning is an ongoing thing, and I welcome it.  Recently the bulk of that learning has been about ebooks and especially about how to format a Word document for conversion to an ebook.  The learning curve isn't as steep as one might think.

The publishing world is changing faster than we can keep up.  This past week, HarperCollins (owned by NewsCorp) announced the upcoming aquisition of Harlequin.  It was like WHOA! for many of us.  Not even a whisper had leaked.  But it isn't just the shifting within traditional publishing that's happening, it's the world of publishing itself that's opening up for all of us.

Ebooks and self-published books have been around for what seems like forever, but it's been in the last decade that electronic has come into its own.  Thanks to Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and other online bookstores, the quality and availability of ebooks has risen.

It's true that anybody can publish a book.  What's also true is that there are poor quality books out there.  I downloaded a book from Amazon a few months ago.  I like to read an occasional YA, since it was originally what started me on the road to writing.  This particular book was cute and engaging.  I enjoyed the story.  But there were problems.  Not the formatting, but the writing.  Poor grammar and spelling and punctuation too often pulled me out of the story.  I still enjoyed the story, but not as much as I would have if the writing had been better.  I hope the author takes the time to either have someone professionally edit her books or educates herself on what is needed to write a fabulous book.

Writing isn't simply putting words on paper.  It takes time to learn what's needed to be a good writer.  For some, certain things come more naturally than others.  For some, it takes studying and learning the basics.  But no matter where a writer is, learning should always be a part of writing.

As we write, we grow.  With each new manuscript, we find new ways to write and tell a story a little better.  It takes time.  Don't give up!  The majority of published authors did not sell their first books.  They also didn't give up.  They kept learning and trying.  Yes, rejections are hard and often heart breaking.  We artsy people tend to let the negatives get us down.  But if you're really trying to be a better writer, wallow in a couple of hours of self-pity, then build on your determination to do better by continuing to write and learn.

I'm excited to learn the new things epublishing encompasses.  I've learned a lot by reading books and articles on what it takes to build an ebook, beyond the story.  My toe has been dipping in the water for some time, but I haven't yet made the plunge.  While I'd love to share what I've learned with others, I don't yet feel I know enough to do that.  But I can point to places and people who can help.

If you're thinking of self/epublshing a book, do your homework and start learning.  We've been blessed with access to just about anything anyone would want to know about.  All it takes is looking and asking.  And never give up. We're never too old to learn new things.
We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. ~ Walt Disney

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