In the last few weeks, there have been a few news items that are positive for independent publishers. First, the number oe-book readers is dramatically increasing and shows no signs of slowing. Amazon announced four new versions of their Kindle family of e-book readers, at price points below the existing Amazon e-book reader products.Their competitors are expected to announce new products or lower prices on the existing ones. This should drive up demand for e-books which are independent-publisher-friendly. The print-on-demand giant Lulu.com now has a very powerful service you can use for free through their website to convert RTF and Microsoft Word documents to ePub format. I used the Lulu converter ePub for several books that had been problematic in other conversion programs, and in seconds had a file that was exactly what I wanted.
Lulu also offers authors and publishers the ability to sell those freshly-converted ePub documents through Lulu and potentially through other e-tailers in partnership with Lulu.
I mentioned patience earlier, and by that I mean that by simply giving the e-book reader device market time to mature, it has started the exploding sales ramp that many companies expected would be triggered from their devices years ago. Likewise the e-book conversion tools have become better and more available, thanks to the early pioneers that suffered the glitches, crashes, and document disasters that the earlier programs brought to the table.
Patience has been rewarding in another few ways for me personally. More than two years ago I lost my job as an electrical engineer and was forced to find engineering jobs here and there, earning little or nothing, and working only a few hours or days before completing the finite tasks offered to me. While this was going on, I was growing my publishing business and searching for another long-term engineering job. In the last few weeks, I’ve seen one of the authors my company publishes sell several orders of magnitude more books than in a normal month. During those same weeks, I was offered a long-term “termporary” job that may even become a full-time permanent job if the stars align correctly.
As a writer, a father, and recently a grandfather, I’ve learned patience. That patience has been tested in recent years, but I am pleased to say that for now, and in my case, it has paid off. If you, the reader, find yourself in a test of your courage or patience, take heart. Push forward. Keep trying. Nothing is hopeless, so long as you make an effort and you recognize the opportunities that present themselves.
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