Wednesday, March 9, 2011

E-publishing hopes (the thing with feathers)

Okay, so last Wednesday we talked a little about our fears.

Now to balance things out, let's talk about the things we hope will happen.

We're talking hope, so I'm thinking Emily Dickinson:
“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -
(For the rest of the poem -- in the public domain -- go to the Poetry Foundation's website here.)

Here are the e-publishing hopes that have alighted somewhere in me:
  • (Pelican-sized -- heavier, weightier) I've been published by three different publishers. But an e-reader doesn't make such distinctions. I'm hoping to finally have a backlist -- that people buying one book will see that 'why yes, Amy has published a couple other books...'
  • (Black and White Warbler -- beautiful, migratory, and black and white like print) I hope that book creators will finally be able to make money from their book -- a living wage. At least by publishing their out-of-print titles as ebooks.
  • I hope that we'll all discover that we're stronger than we thought, that we can do more tech than we thought, and that we'll be able to share our knowledge with one another and thereby build a better community of book creators. (I think we'll all discover that we're stronger than we thought, so I'll call that hope a Sandhill Crane. As for a community? Well, isn't that what we're doing here? So a pair of cranes!)
  • I hope that the new forms that emerge in print-on-demand, ebooks and apps suggest kinds of projects we hadn't considered before -- that new ideas will be born from the technology and the forms. (Cardinal -- because I think this will happen. It'll be bright red, and have a piercing call.)
  • (Hummingbird -- small but startling) Books that would only have a limited audience? Hey, we can print them ourselves and reach those people! Why not?
That's quick. But that's my list. Honestly, I'm kind of excited by the idea of making a few odd and quirky books. Dreaming them up right now as a matter of fact... So what are your hopes for this new e-publishing world? As an author? As a reader? As an educator? As a librarian?

And what bird are they?

Tell all!

-- Amy Timberlake

[Photo is mine of a European Robin.]


  1. What ever birds my books are, I hope they are migratory and fly all over the world. Really nice post, Amy!

  2. The bird metaphors are really starting to take off...!

    One idea I've been making lists about is creating educational materials to support my print books. For example, an ebook of classroom activities for my math books. Guess that would be a wise old owl.

  3. Love the post, love your site, and I'm following you guys now. I just posted on trade authors who ePub their own out-of-print and hard to place titles, and I mentioned some excellent sites talking about ePubbing, including yours! Here's the link, should you want to check it out. Catherine

  4. Thanks for this, Amy. I'm most hopeful about being able to maintain my backlist, I think. I'm also hopeful about being able to publish some of the quirkier and/or quieter books I have in mind, or those that don't quite fit with the books I've published previously. (Not sure what bird this last would be. A blue-footed booby?)

    And welcome, Catherine!

  5. Yeah, the educational support materials! I agree -- that does seem like a good thing. And simply being able to do my odd projects I've thought about for awhile now. Why not just put them out there.

    Welcome Catherine! Good to have you here!

  6. Re the odd projects... it’s liberating to NOT have to fit into some pre-conceived pigeonhole* for every project. This is the century of mash-ups, time to have a talking, animated, mobile app-e-book that cleans windows, too!

    *hee hee

  7. My birds (aka ideas for ebooks) right now are overwhelming and scary, kind of like in Hitchcock's Birds! Too many of them to focus and worrisome that they'll take over before I can tame one!

  8. Ah yes, how to make sure they're tame . . . Tell me if you figure that one out -- I'll want to hear!

  9. Beautiful, Amy.
    Uplifting too, since I've been in ostrich mode (when it comes to pecking at the technology). Feeling overwhelmed.