Writing Tips by Gary Speer

Tips for writers, musing about writing and life

Dusting off manuscript, reworking for Kindle publication

I’m currently dusting off an old manuscript of mine (blowing off the virtual dust and debris from the shelf where it’s been shoved on my hard drive) and reworking it to publish on Kindle. This novel is one which I excerpted some years ago here on the website.

As I mentioned in that earlier article, I’ve always had a love for Westerns, and originally started that novel after a research trip I made long ago to Denver. My intention was to put the novel together and pitch it to some agents and editors at the Western Writers of America annual convention that year.

Alas, there was no interest from anyone at the time. I’ve since discovered that writing and selling Western novels — perhaps “historical novels set in the West” is a newer, kinder name for the genre — is both a lost art and a lost market. Well, nearly a lost market in traditional publishing.

Which brings me to the point of this little article: Kindle, Nook, and the other digital self-publishing platforms are reviving the Western. Not so much yet, but at least a bit.

And since I love the Old West (even have a site where I write about the Old West from time to time), and happen to have some fresh ideas for the manuscript, I’m going to give it a go. My intention is the have the manuscript ready for editing and ebook publishing within the next month or two. Then I will cast its fate upon the digital winds of chance and change to see what happens.

Indeed, I’m optimistic about my chances of getting at least a small readership for the book. I actually have some ideas for a few related stories. Who knows, maybe I’ll end up creating a series?

Which brings me to another point of this article: I have a Kindle ebook I would strongly recommend to those of you interested in the possibilities of independent self-publishing. (The code word for this currently is “indie publishing,” to distinguish it from more traditional “New York print publishing.”) The greatest thing about this little ebook is the motivational fun and encouragement editor/publisher Scott Nicholson offers. It’s titled “The Indie Journey: Secrets to Writing Success,” and at the time of this writing is selling for an amazing $2.99. I’ll bet that many of you reading this spend more than three bucks for your morning caffeine fix most days. Grab this ebook instead. In fact, Scott Nicholson has a bunch of really great Kindle novels you ought to check out if you’re interested in some really cheap (!), good examples of how to do indie publishing. (Another blatant plug for Scott’s stuff: Every writer needs to grab a copy of a freebie Kindle ebook he’s put together, “Write Good or Die.”

While I’m thinking about all these Kindle and indie publishing issues, have I explained how you can get free software to read Kindle ebooks on your computer if you don’t yet own a Kindle? Just go to the free Kindle apps page and download what you need. That page is designed primarily to install Kindle on a PC, but if you look further down the page you’ll find links to other platforms, including Macs, iPads, and a variety of smartphones.

Stick around and I’ll keep you updated on my indie publishing progress, as I make, uh, progress.

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