Especially for those who create stories and want readers to have easy access to them.
Like many authors I viewed the arrival of e-readers with interest and some concern. However unlike most other authors I had taught computing science for seventeen years. I had seen the world change before and remember when that Eureka moment first happened for me.
I was living in the wilds of northern Nigeria where my husband was an irrigation engineer. His company imported a micro computer (an Apple II) to run a piece of specialist engineering software. Since I was the only person on site who had a degree that included computing they brought me in to look at this amazing computer thing.
The Apple II also came with a software package called Visicalc (nowadays most people use Excel as their spreadsheet). Seeing a spreadsheet for the first time was my Eureka moment. The engineering software from the USA wasn’t working for West African soil conditions , so I rewrote the whole thing in Visicalc. I was gobsmacked at the mathematical power of it.
I had a similar sensation when I first read a book on Kindle (and nothing to do with Maths). I was appearing at Scarborough Literary Festival and had been bought a Kindle for my birthday, which I’d avoided using up to that point. I was appearing with Michele Roberts talking about short stories. I downloaded a collection by Daphne du Maurier, whose work has influenced my own, to read en route to the festival. By the end of my train journey I was in love ... with my Kindle.
Since then I’ve bought books on Kindle that I already have in paper copy, because I love reading them that way. I was chairing at Bristol Crimefest recently and downloaded the four author books in preparation. It was so easy and I didn’t have to carry the 'paper' books with me. Lots of people from the USA come to Crimefest, and the first thing many asked me after my own event was ‘Can we get your books on Kindle?’
My own Kindle success story
My first three books featuring forensic scientist Dr Rhona MacLeod were published by Luath Press. After that I moved to Hodder, who bought the rights for the first three for mass market paperback, and rights to the next three in the series. I later signed for another two ‘Rhona’ books with Hodder (The Reborn out now, and Picture Her Dead in August). Recently I realised I had retained eBook rights to the first three, and set myself the challenge of publishing them as eBooks.
Although my background helps, you definitely don’t need to be a computing person to do this. Driftnet, which launched the series came first, then I followed with Torch, then Deadly Code. They are selling loads, and they are introducing thousands of new readers to the series. The review from Amazon below is typical of what is happening:-.
5.0 out of 5 stars Series gets better and better, 20 April 2011
This review is from: The Reborn (Rhona Macleod 7) (Kindle Edition)
Looking for a new author, I downloaded my first Lin Anderson book a week ago - I was not expecting anything great, but wow... What a series. I read them all in sequence apart from the first one (which I still haven’t read yet - why? well from book two I was captivated by the characters, the storyline and by the time I got to The Reborn, I was desperate to find out where the storyline was going.
There are a few excellent authors in this genre, especially UK crime drama, Val McDermid, Mark Billingham etc. Lin Anderson is up there with them.
What can I say about this book? If they had more stars I would rate this higher, I can't wait for the next book.
Next time:- How you publish your book online, and why you really really should.