Monday, June 20, 2005

ePublishing and Eating Words

I admit it. I was a snob. My nose was so far in the air, I'm sure it was slated to be listed as having an antennae that rivaled that of the Empire State Building. Thankfully--I think--that condition has had some altering. Having your nose put out of joint takes on new meaning.

How did this miracle happen? What changed my mind on being a fool when I was so good at it?

Well, believe it or not, it started because my CP has little to no compunction about telling me where to stick it.

You see, it began long ago when I started writing for publication and ePubs were more like ePups. The only ePubs out at the time were embryonic at best--and, well, porn, at worst. So, while I never want to say that prejudice of any kind is justified, well, I thought I had reason. But that was nearly eight years ago and things have changed. Drastically.

People I knew--and many I didn't--were suddenly selling left and right to ePubs. Some I knew and had some serious doubts concerning the readiness of their writing for publication (hey, I'm not that much of a bitch, honest, but the gratiutous use of "Deep sapphire orbs, glowing in the misty, suffocating blackness of night" in a contemporary can't help but leave one to wonder what the hell is going on.), so I didn't give their pubs a whole lot of mental creedence.

I hold the very strong belief that if a person is happy, then I'm happy for them, be it relationships, jobs or personal choices. You want a ham and cheese when you can get a hot pastrami dip? Well, good for you, I'm glad you're happy. I applied this form of thinking to ePubs, especially when people of a higher calibre started selling to them. I didn't begrudge them another route to the gold hoop of publishing--hell, they were getting paid while I, sadly, was not. (I have not yet decided if a person can laugh all the way to the bank if the person with the dubious thinking of their job was not displeased for them.)

As more friends and acquaintances found their way to ePubs, I wondered a bit, but only loosened my brain's stronghold on my "standards" enough to say, "Well, if I ever need the money, I'll give it a go." I really should have considered the fact that I always need money--and still, did not submit or even consider approaching an ePub.

So, there I walk in my haze, when yet another rejection lands in my mailbox. I lament said form letter ("Oh woe is me, my first form letter in years! I have been WRONGED!", in case you were wondering how it went.) to earlier mentioned CP, who innocently mentioned I could send it to an ePub. This should have been a clue that she'd been sharpening her pointy-toed high heels for just this opportunity, as my CP is the least innocent person I know (which is why I like her so much.).

I began with my standard, "Uh, no, thanks."

She parried with, "What could you lose?"

Dignity came to mind. Pride followed quickly thereafter. There was also the fact that I work for a paper publisher...isn't that like...treason? I rationally mentioned all of this.

She had three direct responses. "Since when have you had dignity? Girl, I've seen you walk around a party with your nips out like peperoni on fresh delivery because you didn't have your dress on right. And have you never heard of a pen name?"

Obviously, the discussion was getting out of my neurotic control. Very long story made only moderately shorter, she talked me into submitting. I admit, I was suprised to find there were stories of strong interest there and so I submitted my rejected proposal and as fate would have it, am still waiting semi-impatiently for them to let me know what they think. (And hoping they let me change my name--word to the wise, don't let your hubby help you with your pen name unless he's familliar with reading in general because as sweet and helpful as he was...I still like my first idea better, lol).

But that wasn't what made me change my mind. No, that was only the first step toward admitting ePubs might have something to offer. Then came the recent RWA fluffup. I honestly don't care who reads this, but sorry, that whole thing was censorship, and worse, required others to be censors themselves. I'm sure there's an exponential equation for how wrong that is, but since I suck at math, I'll leave that to the extremely bored. I'm just glad that for that time being, I neither pay dues to RWA or have to worry about that particular law because it's been temporarily repealed (at my last informal check).

My CP--extremely busy woman, as you can probably tell by now--is very good at research and began a long journey of blogs and articles that led with itty bitty bread crumbs to the attitude toward ePubs within the writing community. Basically, that of golden elders toward the red headed stepchild that looks rather like your Uncle Peety's acne'd ass. It also led to some really good ePubs providing quality reading. I was shocked. I was appalled. I was even shamed. (Please note the pepperoni comment up there, because that didn't inspire shame.) I had been making uneducated generalizations.

The ePubs have definitely grown out of overeager puppy stage. Sure, a few of them will still try to hump your leg if you don't hop away fast enough, but I'm sure that's true of paper publishing too. The facts simply are that they aren't going any where and if you're a smart writer, you'll find a way to be part of both worlds.

Don't worry folks, though, because even my little pride falling ode to ePubs does have a happy ending. Remember my brilliant CP? Well, not a few nights later, she got the same innocent discussion from her hubby. So, while it's not pepperoni for all, lol, it's not a bad sense of revenge, either.


THIS! Christine said...

Yeah, yeah... oh and-
"Deep sapphire orbs, glowing in the misty, suffocating blackness of night",
-can I use this? It's soooo purple it's perfect.


Jaye said...

LOL. As I said before, good luck with the latest submission(s). Years, ago your bias would have been justified, but as you've found out, there are some epubs putting out some good stuff.

Shannon Stacey said...

Feel the power of the Dark Side.

*Darth Insidious chuckle*

(I hope you're a Star Wars fan, or you're just sitting there thinking 'WTF is she talking about?')

Amie Stuart said...

Dee good luck!!! the dark side is actually kinda cool *g*

Lyn Cash said...

just now reading this one and must say welcome to that dark, insidious side of writing that by all accounts pays well. i dunno for sure because i haven't received my 1st royalty check - lol. but as for where you came from? been there, done that. and it was The Dame who made me realize...hey. i'm her CP. there's nothing wrong with this manuscript AT ALL - it just wasn't picked up by who she (and i) thought and hoped it would be.


Shesawriter said...

Great post, Dee. I think we've all come a long way in our e-pub perspectives. I know mine have changed, big time.