Awhile back I took a class from an editor who explained the ins and outs of digital publishing, compared digital to traditional, and explained the advantages and disadvantages of both. It was a great course–very informative and encouraging. I learned a lot and I’m still mulling over things she told us.
She said, “I highly recommend that while you’re writing stories for the Big 6 to consider, that you schedule a block of time to write something you can digitally publish. Shoot for a novella. Why? Because you aren’t sitting and waiting, letting perfectly viable opportunities slip past you.”
So Jess, my advice in a nutshell: Get yourself in a small, respectable e-house, and continue to work the traditional end. Keep fresh titles out in the e-house, but don’t shrug off traditional in favor of digital. You need them both. There may come a time when that’s not true, but today, you need the marketing that traditional printing does for an author, simply by nature of the beast.
Do you purchase digital books? Do you read their reviews? I do and today I came across a reviewer who complained that a character in the book I was purchasing was packing lots of film and flashbulbs into a bag. The reviewer said, “I can remember them from way back but then I’m not that young … This must be a VERY old story. Just hope she doesn’t pull out a cell phone.”
Do you think old novels should be updated before digitally publishing? If a character ducks into a phone booth, are you yanked out of the story? Should authors label with a specific year or can your imagination transport you to pre-cell phone/pre-digital camera days? I have to admit I’m a little hesitant about putting my 1996 Silhouette Romance out there when it was a little out-dated in 1996 since it’s about Elvis look-alikes and fanatics. The reader will absolutely have to let her imagination shake, rattle and roll with the story.