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Have You A Great Tale Tucked Away?

By Bob McElwain

© 2002 Bob McElwain

Big fish tend to eat little fish. Certainly this was the trend throughout the 80s in the publishing business. The result? While a number of imprints continue to be listed in "Writer's Market," there are now only a handful of major publishers who own or control most of them.

This is bad news for writers. All definitions of acceptable manuscripts now derive from the parent company, rather than individual houses. Thus entire genre's have been "abolished" and no longer appear in local book stores.

For example, male adventure, popular through the 80s, has now vanished, except for work from well established authors. It's not that nobody is interested in such tales these days. Potential readers are still out there.

It's simply that if books of type A outsell those of type B, chances are those of type B will cease to be printed. For the focus of business is on the bottom line. Why give shelf space to type B stories when you can sell more of type A?

Did You Get Lost In This Shuffle?

If you were writing in a genre no longer published, you had little choice. At some point you sighed, then turned to other things, as I did. is all about those who made this agonizing decision, and have strong regrets about being forced to do so.

Now it might be wise to dig out those old manuscripts, for times have changed once more. It is now possible for an author to reach out to the audience of his or her choice. This is why I have turned back to writing. And why was created. Here's what's new.

Books In Electronic Form

They've been around quite some time. Unfortunately the reading public takes a dim view of this format. For one thing, such titles have seldom passed through the intense filtering of agents, and particularly the rigorous editing provided by major publishing houses.

More important, few people are willing to read fiction from a computer monitor. A book is for kicking back, cuddling on the couch, and so forth. It's not about staring at the glare of a monitor.

The proliferation of portable devices is changing this. One can cuddle on a couch or the beach with a Palm or any of the growing number of portable devices. Some claim there are a million such devices out and about. If so, there'll be two million next year, and four million the next. This trend seems solidly locked in place.

POD (Print On Demand)

While there is nothing revolutionary in this method of printing as some have claimed, it does make it possible to print books one at a time to be delivered to individual buyers. It's a toner process, much as is used with laser printers and by most copy shops.

Essentially, electronic images of book pages are stored on a computer disk. When needed, they can be "copied" to paper, the pages bound, and the book shipped. It is more expensive to print a book in this way than with a run of four thousand through a conventional press.

Still the merits are obvious. You only request the printing of a book already sold. And you don't pay for the entire run up front, then find yourself forced to eat the costs of those not sold.

Taking Full Advantage Of Options Available Now

The path that most frequently leads to becoming an established author clearly leads through an agent who places your work with a major house. Be certain all options have been explored before considering any other alternative. A major house can easily sell 10,000 copies of your book. No web-based business I'm aware of comes even close.

Still, if publishers are no longer considering the genre in which you love to write, or you have some great stuff that just didn't quite make the cut, do consider taking advantage of electronic and POD versions of your work.

Great News For Typewriter Fans

Many writers clung to their typewriters, even as computers became readily available. The result? Many or even all of the manuscripts they have tucked away were typewritten. Since the norm is now electronic file formats, to get this work out and about means converting to a format in demand today.

Typing the manuscript into a computer works. But it's tedious and time consuming. And prone to error. A good deal of editing is required to smooth it to the original form.

Scanning May Be The Only Way To Go

The better plan is to have your manuscript optically scanned. Tools available these days are very, very good. Most scanning errors are easily spotted and quickly fixed. You'll have to read the finished file with care, just to be sure, but if things go well, you may find nothing at all that needs further attention. For further details about this approach, visit and discover what Terri Lee Romine can do for you. (While Terri is one of our Site Partners, her services are available to all.)

As suggested above, writers who got shoved out of existing markets, have turned to other things. If you're such a writer, you're probably quite busy with other matters these days. Still, it takes little effort on your part to have an older manuscript scanned. Then find a web-based outfit that will promote your book. If it's a fast paced action novel, we'd like a crack at it at We continue to search far and wide for such tales.

So Dig Out Those Old Manuscripts Now

You'll make some sales through sites such as ours. And there are effective methods for increasing your audience. If you have the time, the Web provides simple ways for you to promote your book with minimal effort. As our site grows, we will provide such information to all who are interested.

Click to visit the following page, bookmark it, and return often. This will become our version of a newletter for authors. Feel free to join in.

Bob McElwain

Fast Paced Action Tales of Outrageous Quality Authors enjoy our unbeatable offer. Readers love our quality guarantee.


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