I have a gigantic book given to me by my wife a few birthdays ago. This gigantic book is the 2009 copy of The Writer’s Market. It tells writers where they can send novels for submission. Now I was reading the blogs the other day when I came across this story about author Amanda Hocking, who has been publishing her books directly to Amazon and onto Kindles everywhere. I know firsthand how the Kindle and eBooks in general act as a great equalizer. People can read any book they want without people judging them.
Here is where teaching comes in, as well as my nefarious plan: Every year dozens of students produce short stories and novels, while very good, are not exactly marketable in my big book of publishers. I have two students I am thinking about right now who filled notebooks with stories. We could easily type those up, edit them, and, using Amazon’s handy five minute self-publishing site, get them on the market without any overhead cost. This would make a fantastic opportunity for my gifted and talented students who crave some way to get their words out. Combine couple of good high school students to edit and another few good art students for cover art, and you have quite the project!
Granted, the royalty is something like $2 per book sold, but what better incentive is there for a young writer than getting a $10 check in the mail because people liked your book? I have a sneaking suspicion that more than a few copies will be bought by grandmothers. If only I could get some sort of finder’s fee … but I suppose for the sake of the profession I will probably have to offer the books for free or use them to help fund field trips.