Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Dear EPublisher

 Dear EPublisher:

Thank you for your interest in my first novel Please Stand By. I do appreciate your notes, support and eagerness to get it into the www. ether. However, your enthusiasm has been a deciding factor in my pulling the manuscript from your epublishing company.

I can hear the sighs of disappointment from my legions of fans. I can hear the accusations about denying the public my humourous insights, searing imagery and complex characterization. How dare I be so selfish.

Ah, yes, I can hear them, as I tap a spoon against my tea cup. The roar is deafening.

The simple fact is -- I don't read ebooks.

Not only that, I don't have a smart phone and I don't have cable or satellite TV. I have a phone that was given to me in 1994. It has an oversized keypad because it is a phone for the visually impaired. It plugs in to the wall.

I can go down the list.

I am not anti-technology, far from it. I am not a Luddite. I am a Luddite-light perhaps. That's a better term than cheapskate.

So I realized -- why would I have my novel published as an ebook when I don't read them?

You also told me I had to get on Twitter, PinInterest and Facebook. This caused many sleepless nights. I joined Facebook in July 2013 at your insistence. Call me a late adopter. I use it reluctantly, as a promotional depot. I hate the thought of bothering people with "notifications" and feel guilty when I don't respond to personal requests for online friendship. The less time I sit and stare at a computer screen, the happier I am. Maybe If I am ever "liking" a beheading on Facebook, I'll be more open to using Twitter and PinInterest.

Which leads me to the main reason I have decided to put my manuscript on hold with your company.


We were going to put an Indiegogo campaign together for me to ask people to pre-order my book. I wrote a funny script and lined up an excellent cinematographer to shoot it.

And then I pulled the plug. So close.

Cancer researchers use crowdsouring. NGOs use crowdsourcing to raise funds for typhoon victims. Writers who are social media darlings use crowdsourcing.

I could not in good conscience go electronic cap-in-hand. Even to friends and family. Especially to friends and family. This is a first novel, not a cure for Alzheimer's (although it has been said I am a clever writer). Can't do it. Even if it, as you say, "pre-ordering".

So where does that leave Please Stand By?

Exactly where it was a year ago, under a stack of paper on the bottom book shelf in my office and as a Word document. It may stay there indefinitely. Or I may work up the nerve again and send it to small Canadian publishing houses. And I do mean houses, there is one around the block from where I live.

Thank you very much for tolerating my infernal unwillingness and knuckle-cracking. I am confident you have moved on at lightening speed to the next fortunate writer.

I remain,

Carolyn Bennett writer/comic