Friday, July 15, 2011

Publishing to Kindle

I have, as of today, finally fulfilled my new year's resolution.   It's a month or two after I'd projected, but hey.  It's still done.  

That resolution was to e-publish a short kid's novel I wrote waaaaay back in my fourth year at the University of Virginia.

For the last month or two, I've finished up the laborious task of retyping it, after OCR scanning proved a bit too unreliable.  

It's edited...well, edited-ish.  I'm hardly the world's most amazingly detail-oriented editor, as my modus readerani is to inhale text for meaning rather than to notice errant apostrophes.  

But it's better than it was when I first pitched the manuscripts to publishers back in 1990 and 1991.  A few nips and tucks and continuity patches, and it was ready to go.

And now, with pretty much no fanfare whatsoever, Wickersnides is available on Kindle, yours for the low low price of three ninety nine.

I was impressed with just how easy it was getting onto Kindle...really no harder than setting up a blog.  Establishing the copyright claim was considerably more challenging, although I'm not entirely sure how necessary it was in retrospect.  Amazon's crack legal review team seems to have missed that my copyright page legal language included prohibitions against not just republication without permission, but also against "excreting" the book and "throwing it at passing aircraft."  

One of the small pleasures of self-publishing, I guess.

Having re-read it during the process of retyping it, I can safely say that it's not the great American novel.  It tends to be a bit talky at times, a bit silly at others, and is pretty darned short by the standards of modern publishing.  

But then again, neither is it mediocre.  It's an entertaining bit of whimsy, one hundred and twenty entirely readable pages.  For a work written in 1990, the core themes of corporate greed, consumerism and the use of interactive media to manipulate the desires of human beings still holds up pretty well, even while masked by a pretty kid-friendly premise.  A spoonful of sugar, as they say.  

So...if you're looking for a quick summer read for yourself or the kids, yours for the price of a grande mocha frappatappalino, well...look no further.  

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