Category Archives: Publishing

Beware the Iris!

Grape Kool-Aid Iris (at least that’s what I call it!)

I love the way these irises smell…just like their color. Grape Kool-Aid.

Their blooms blossom and fade quickly, two or three to a stem, but oh the heavenly scent while they are open and beckoning to the fat bumble bees that crawl into and out of them spreading pollen from plant to plant in that glorious symbiosis of nature. Sometimes the bee’s buzzing grows alarmed, higher-pitched, as she struggles to escape the perfumed interior of the flower.

Today, I crawled out of a similar enticing trap, and I’m hopeful I will make a clean getaway. A year or so ago, in order to enter a contest, I wrote a short-short story and published it on an e-publisher. What I didn’t consider at the time was that the story was “out there” forever. Published but not doing anything. Just sitting there. I couldn’t revise it and submit it anywhere, and the thing was, I wanted to revise it. I’d grown attached to the storyline and the character. It could have been so much more!

So, today I canceled my account with the e-publisher and tried to “retire” the story. It is still coming up when I type the title and my name into a search engine…the image for it anyway. The content is unavailable.

Now the question is…am I free to revise and resubmit? I don’t know. I think I will revise it for my own pleasure, and if it is worthy, I will send it out with full disclosure of its checkered, e-pubbed past.

Lesson? Be careful when you enter contests. Sometimes a contest isn’t a contest. Sometimes it is a marketing tool to lure potential “clients” close–like the sweet smell of the iris, luring bees into her velvety, purple petals for her own purposes.

It’s Electric!

Here is my question: Would you pay $.99 to download a short story to read? Would your decision depend on the length of the story? Or the reputation of the author? Would $.99 be a more likely price-point for a book-length piece?

I have never purchased an electronic document. I HAVE ordered a hardcover children’s book through lulu.com, and it wasn’t so different from ordering a book on Amazon.com or anywhere else. I don’t own an e-reader yet . . . but I’m getting closer. Even when I have finally snagged a Nook or a Kindle, I’m not sure how many short stories I would purchase–although, when you think about it, I pony up $4 for a latte on a fairly regular basis, so wouldn’t a dollar for a story be a bargain?

There are authors on some of my online writing lists who are self-publishing in this way and finding it rewarding. I’m undecided about whether or not to try it myself. I welcome your feedback.

What would entice YOU to pay .99 for a e-pubbed piece of literature–a snappy description, a known author, a good cover picture?

If you are a writer, have you or would you publish electronically? If so, what have been your experiences?

As we head off into this brave new world of electronic media, I find myself drawn to older things. Perhaps it is a way of keeping balance. Publish an electronic story in the morning and whip up a batch of blueberry jam in the afternoon. Watch a video-streamed movie Friday night and put on a pot of baked beans and knit up a dishcloth on Saturday. Today, I’m going to publish this blog post, and then put on a bandana and some Patsy Cline (click HERE to listen to “Crazy”) and start my spring cleaning.

Drop me a line . . . Outside the Box.