There is a revolution in the literary world. Publishing companies are very nervous, indeed. With the advent of e-readers like the Kindle, self publishing has become all the rage. Every Tom, Dick and Harry has a story to tell, it seems, and now there are absolutely no barriers to keep them from spilling their guts. I know, because I have a Kindle.
It all seemed to catch fire when an unknown young woman who worked in an assisted living facility self published a series of young adult vampire books. Amanda Hocking, who was a very good writer, was shocked when her books went to the top of the bestseller lists, and “real” publishers began to vie for her talent.
This unleashed a tidal wave of writers. Suddenly housewives like me, taxi drivers, masseuses, plumbers and cocktail waitresses felt they just had to share their wisdom with the world. My Kindle store filled up with hundreds of books by people just like me! Most of these books seem to be either murder mysteries or vampire stories. Or both.
I applaud these people. Who wants to be like Ernest Hemingway, anyway, and toil away at a craft for years, honing one’s skill and learning from the masters? Why not just sit down at a laptop and start typing away? Good grief, I know that many great writers of the past barely made a living at it, and now, movies are being made from eBooks about nannies, people with shopping fetishes, and bachelor parties gone awry. Millions of dollars await the self publisher who hits it just right with a great story about murder, lost love, or vampires—as long as there are good sex scenes.
Everybody also knows about that young guy who tweeted about his father, and the end result was a bestselling book and a TV series starring William Shatner. We live in a world of opportunity! For those of us not good looking enough or young enough to be on a reality television show, there is now the chance that we can pen a bestseller in our spare time.
Does this sound just a little bit like sour grapes on my part? It does? Am I bitter, envious, or just a little bit in awe of people with the guts to try writing a book? I have considered this, and as I read about the millions of dollars that Amanda Hocking has made so far, I have made a decision. I, too, can write a book. Now I just have to choose the topic. So far I have narrowed it down to two titles: “Zombies in the Produce Section,” or “The Zumba Murders.” Wish me luck.