Last week I updated the Kindle file of Monorama to match the exact version featured in the paperback edition, a disparity that had been bugging me since the book's release a month ago (!). What happened originally was CreateSpace's somewhat obsessive urging to put the Kindle file together, which became an issue when I kept going back to make changes in the paperback format together, and repeatedly coming across issues that I wanted to see go away for the most professional (ish) product possible. The original formatting didn't work as well as I thought it did, and neither did subsequent tweaks, until I broke down and just converted everything into the template CreateSpace has available. That's what the paperback got, but as I said, not the original Kindle eBook.
So that's all squared away, and I will hopefully cringe a little less about editorial concerns I still did not catch and will pop out at discerning readers like sore grammatical thumbs (which, as in gardening, are green) when buyers stumble across my book, no matter how they purchase it.
I'm still a little baffled by the eBook craze, especially among self-publishing writers, many of whom at least in my experience choose to go exclusively in that direction. From a certain point of view, it makes sense. Many of the readers for these things are also self-publishing writers, or at the very least do not have a lot of many to fling around, and so are more willing to buy the less expensive, technically nonexistent book than the real copy that might have to compete with a lot more than the convenience of something you can cart around in the same device that you tweet, text, groove, surf, and sometimes even speak with that can fit in most pockets.
(Yeah, I tend to write like that. I call it Byzantine thought, and it's my specialty.)
Anyway, the Shootout has somehow already reached the point of the second round where I am asked to read six more stories, and I did that earlier today. On the whole, they were better than the first round entries (it should be noted that I'm reading a different set of writers this time), and featured what might be considered an aberration from the Amateur Writer Archetype in that I could easily see myself reading it in a traditionally published book. My experience so far in the Shootout has tended to confirm my suspicions that most writers who participate in these things and publish self-published books aren't very good. Most publishers and agents believe the same thing, except it's worse when they do it, because they are far less likely to catch the ones who don't deserve to be thrown into the Amateur Writing pile. I'm seeing the same thing in WRiTE CLUB, by the way, so any stray Shootoutists here should not feel ashamed. It's what these things are really all about, supporting writers who are not aware that their writing is mediocre at best, but sometimes amazing, in all the right ways (not in the Overachieving sense, then).
It's funny, because movie critics are always judging movies in exactly the manner of my Amateur Writer Archetypes. But that's a subject for another blog.
Yes, it's with extreme hubris that I write dismissively of Amateur Writer Types while also admitting that my existing books are self-published. But some misguided publisher will someday change that...