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E-books And Me

I have to admit to some guilt in putting one of my books up on Amazon as an e-book. I’m one of those who has always cherished the feel of a book in my hands. I worry for the future of bookstores and and publishers and libraries. I resisted buying a Kindle despite the stories of ease and convenience told by my friends. I have no particular love for the publishing world, and yet it had done fairly well by me.  Now they’re scrambling like frightened children.

A friend finally pointed out to me that my second book, “Once Upon A Time,” has essentially been abandoned by the publishers. It was no longer in print. Only used used hard covers and paperbacks traded on Amazon, none of which inured to the benefit of the author. I always believed that the book had a much larger audience than it had found. It was a true crime book, but it was much more than a true crime book.  As an e-book it would have a new life, eternal life, so to speak.

And I found that Amazon only takes a 30% royalty, as opposed to the 92% publishers take on paperbacks. My concern for the publisher vanished. I approached Harper Collins for the rights, and they gracefully relinquished them to me. I was lucky; rather than having to go through the scanning and formatting and cover design process, crime writer Gregg Olsen stepped forward and offered to handle those processes and put the book on his new true crime publishing site,  It looks good up there. I’m pleased that it’s now available. I actually feel a little lost pride in it.

As for what happens with the next non-fiction book, where I work as an undercover guard in a max security prison in Delaware, I’m not sure. A draft of the book is finished, but it has not been sold.. It’s tempting to go it alone in cyber world and print on demand. J. K. Rowlings is now doing it. It’s a dilemma many authors are facing. Do we really need publishers any more? I’m slowly getting used to the feel of the Kindle in my hands.

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