When EDGE accepted Cyan for publication, I was less than enthused about publishing in eBook format. I’ve changed my mind.
It wasn’t the notion that science fiction authors should embrace technology that got to me. It was who responded to my website.
Building a website has been a learning experience, and I sometimes feel I’ve only begun. At first, no one was reading, but I expected that. Eventually, views began. Even later, likes began. I kept writing. I knew that gaining readership is a long-haul process.
I found it addictive to view the websites of the people who responded to me. One of the most surprising things I found was the number of respondents who were clearly from somewhere in the world other than America.
I regularly put out eight posts a week, many of which require research, and I have a life to live. That doesn’t leave me a lot of time to spend under the hood of WordPress, but I did find
https://wordpress.com/stats/day/(insert your own url here)
which lets you click see how many views and visitors you had on any given day. More interesting, it shows a map that tells you which countries those views came from.
I was blown away.
To be specific, these are the results from this year, January 1 through April 21.
U K 4%
South Africa 2%
Hong Kong about 1%
Morocco about 1%
Ukraine about 1%
Romania about 1%
Singapore about 1%
Ireland about 1%
Czech Rep. less than 1%
Spain less than 1%
Philippines less than 1%
Japan less than 1%
Kenya less than 1%
Germany less than 1%
Jordan less than 1%
Israel less than 1%
So, back to the initial statement — Yes, I would like to have Cyan on every bookstore shelf and in every library, not just available on line. However, no matter what happens from now on, I will insist that whatever I publish in the future will also be released as an eBook.
This goes back the the very beginning, to my childhood. Growing up on a farm, at first I had only G&D books (Tom Swift and the like) purchased from a local hobby store. Then I found the county library. I didn’t see a real bookstore until I was in college.
Those books were my window to the world.
Today, a book hungry young person with access to the internet can find — and afford — eBooks, even if her or she lives in India, South Africa, or Ukraine. I like that, and I’m proud to be part of it.