Thursday, December 29, 2011

E-book publishing? No thanks

I’ve pondered this issue for quite some time, set to write this entry, pondered it again and again and reached the same conclusion:

While I’m usually fairly quick about using new technology if I feel it can benefit me, I won’t this time. While my books will probably be published digitally eventually… it won’t be any time soon.

I feel that it is very much an inferior product. It is that simple, really.

Except for the much quicker distribution method, the reasons for staying with paper as the sole media are so much more significant. The paper book is so much better when it comes to the actual reading. My experience with proofreading has only confirmed this. It is easier spotting mistakes and the enjoyment is greater. While reading on a screen will always remain a muddled experience, at best, the words stand out clear and strong on white paper. I’m very encouraged that many teenagers have come to me and said they agree with this. Reading on a screen will always be unnatural. The paper book will always be right for reading. It doesn’t matter if you have read digitally from birth, like more and more children do. They will still feel more comfortable with a natural, «real» book.

I’m currently writing a novel set in New York City in 1979, a place I have only visited in passing. I did most of the research on the internet and did get a fairly good impression of the city, but it was when I borrowed a book from the local library that the learning process started in earnest. I read a novel digitally and didn’t like it. I reread a used, torn copy later, during a boring train journey and loved it. Suddenly, it was as if the story had been rewritten and the characters had suddenly been made interesting and inspiring.

There are several other more or less important reasons (me being disgusted with IPad, Kindle, Nook and all that shit among other things), but this is the gist of it.

Those I probably will publish digitally first are stories that are less fit to turn into real books, with a length between a short story and a novel, «novelettes», as coined by Stephen King. I have a few of those.

Or I might just publish them in an anthology, even though I usually hate those.

They say the publishing of new paper books will be a thing in the past by 2020. Goddess, I hope they’re wrong.

I should point out that until this point I’ve been at the forefront of the digital revolution. Self publishing would have been much harder, both in terms of financial and practical problems, if not for the fact that I have done everything with the books myself for ten years, content, cover and formatting, except the actual printing and inexpensive world-wide distribution handled by my printer Lighting Source. Of course that would E-book publishing take care of. That’s also why it remains tempting to me.

The day I can sell E-books directly from my computer or website without the current trappings and traps, I will probably do it, or the chances will be higher for me caving…

The day I or anybody could print inexpensive paper books in the living room would be even better. There are such machines in stores already.

It is strange. I wasn’t fully aware of how much contempt I truly felt for total digital publishing before I had written this and actually read what I had written. The intent was to write a fairly neutral piece.

I want the reading of my books to be an extraordinary experience. Only a story told on paper can make that a reality.

More about the art of a truly independent author/artist on Midnight Fire:

ShadowWalk - an alternative description
Final proof
Messy detours
Santa and his amazing helpers - nine online stories
Author's word - ShadowWalk
Author's words - Dreams Belong to the Night
Author's word - The Defenseless
True to life
For what it is worth
Poet's word
Sites supplementing my books
Making covers
True artistic freedom - Stage 1 to 4
Hysterical and fanatical grammar defenders
Doing it yourself - technical advice for self publishers
Kill the dog one of the very best advices when it comes to writing fiction...
True artistic freedom - stage 4
Author's word - Night on Earth
Author's word - The Slaves
Celebration mighty and true
Author's word - Your Own Fate
True artistic freedom - stage 3
True independence
Modern slavery
The Storyteller
True Artistic Freedom (II)
Reading it again
The chores of an independent author/artist
My fifty cents
True artistic freedom
Labeling and genre writing
Alarums of reality
The difficulties in describing a complex storyline

Other links:

Firewind - my stories, art and poems on the Web
My writer «CV»
The Janus Clan

Monday, December 26, 2011

ShadowWalk - an alternative description

About my novel (alternative blurb):

Jill comes from far away to seek a new life for herself. So do Stacy, Tamara, Jason, Kieron, Travis and Loeh. They all do. There is a yearning inside them, one they have suffered since the cradle, a need to understand, to know.

This is a tale about a gathering of witches, not the fluffy bunny kind, but those grounded in reality, in the real world. Magick has been lost or misplaced or dormant for years without number. Religious zealots have burned and brutalized and killed witches for centuries, but there are still more left. Witches are like the dandelion. Remove as many as you can. They will never disappear from the face of the Earth.

These are modern people. This is the twenty-first century. The young women and men meeting kindred souls in the small New England town of Northfield don’t know what they are, even though they have their suspicions. They don’t know what is lurking below the surface of their dreams and yearnings.

But they find out. They realize startled and downright stunned what they truly are under the civilized shell. The realization is slow and sudden. By the turn on a road, by the brushing aside of a veil they learn the truth about themselves and the world. As boiling passions and the townspeople’s hatred and ignorance reach a critical point, their senses open to the vast and unknown existence beyond their previous paltry knowledge.

Many centuries have passed since the last time there was such an assembly of forces on Earth. This isn’t just a gathering of witches, but the gathering, one to surpass anything before it.

Witches open up closed caskets, revealing everything locked inside. Beware everyone with a closed mind.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Spell of empowerment

I Free myself from the illusion
Of light and dark, good and evil
From wretched duality
I am free to further liberate myself
To embrace the rainbow
Of Fire and Life
The Shadow that is our eternal Self

Amos Keppler 2011-12-22

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A great shift in perspective

When I occasionally am denied or deny myself the expression of my creativity, like most of last week all kinds of random thoughts are roaming my mind.

I let that happen, gladly, and then, both deliberately and not I go through all my current stories in my head, expanding upon them in ways I may not usually be able to do.

It’s a great and beyond useful shift in perspective, expanding both my life and art.

Monday, December 12, 2011

A number of bad turns

Anything, anything we do within the confines of civilization requires a negative shift of consciousness, diminishing the great children of the wilderness we are.

Every time I return from that vast wilderness, in its countless variations is an inevitable, major downer.

The constant and overt destruction of the human spirit reveals itself in countless smaller and bigger ways, in a pervasive oppression and lack of freedom previously unheard of.

I’m happy that my shift is virtually the abyss it is, of course. That means I’m still very much a human being, not a creature aspiring to become yet another cog in the machine currently dominating human life.

Every invention beyond the spear the last ten thousand years has done humanity a grave disservice, removing us ever further from ourselves, lessening the quality of life, not in any way truly improving it, like civilization’s propaganda claims.

Yes, technological forums, the fake lion’s dens are the perfect spot to criticize the society created by advanced technology. Where else should we find the fake lion?

Would you know more?

True life of a Human Being
Beyond insane
Destroyers (III)
Just another oil spill
The vast and obvious dangers of modern existence
What's wrong with civilization?
Tailspin suicide run
Chemical cocktail
The World Grinder
Living in the wild
The technological glorification of technology
Not fit to sustain life
Any digging in your neighborhood?
Choices of Doom