In June I will launch two e-books on Kindle Direct Publishing: Dear Cynthia, an epistolary novel, and “The Fight of the Century”, a long boxing story. More books and stories will follow in the months to come. This will make a change in this blog; the essays I have written to sustain the blog will come at longer intervals as I concentrate my attention on selling e-books online.

I will open a new page, Books, where these books and stories will be listed with their covers, and I will contribute blog entries related to this experience. Eventually, I intend to publish some of the essays on the blog into a book. The first books will not be new writing but manuscripts I have attempted to publish previously that now set unprofitably in my filing cabinet.

Dear Cynthia, which I began in 1977, is currently 27,000 words in length, and has been at that length for most of its existence. Many times when I sent the manuscript or portions thereof to publishers and agents, I was told it was too short. I tried to point out that books of that length had been published, to no avail. A book is too short to publish if the title on the spine cannot be read at arm’s length on the shelf of a bookstore. That would not have been so with Dear Cynthia. I was also told that one could not mix science fiction with literary fiction. That was back then.

One of the major differences between e-publishing and paper publishing is the e-reader itself. It makes no difference to the Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iPad, or other device, what the length of the fiction or non-fiction is—the e-reader stays the same. It’s weight and dimensions remain the same. So, it doesn’t matter if your script is a 1,000 words or 100,000 words. This means, there is no such thing as a story or novel too short or too long. The e-publishing experience is open to writing of virtually any length, which is just fine with me.

Something else. The whole independent publishing experience is more open than the requirements and constraints of commercial book publishing. I can list my novel as both literary and science fiction when I upload it to Kindle Direct Publishing. It’s the traditional publishers who are now on the defensive. Their world is changing as authors jump on the e-pub bandwagon. Bookstores are going out of business; the Borders chain went bankrupt recently. The paper book will not disappear any time soon, if ever. You can order e-books in paper form through print-on-demand publishing.

Nor do I wish traditional publishers, who rejected my stories, novels and novellas through the years, ill. I am no longer limited to them. And that is a very good feeling, you betcha.

By Hudson Owen. All Rights Reserved.