Monday, April 18, 2011

Teaching an Old Dog Old Tricks

The Young Underground Comicist

     I read about the young writer Amanda Hocking scoring a million bucks with her ebook the other day. It got me all juiced up about them. I've been reading everything I can find on the topic and experimenting with the new format. I don't write fantasy like that young lady., but I decided to publish my memoir "Travels With Grandpaw" on my own. I figure I'm old enough to have enough memories for a memoir. (I'm closer to the end than to the beginning.) And if it passes the "so what?" test, perhaps some folks will download it.

     It has been quite a learning curve for me. What with Kindle, Nook, i phone, Sony, and all that jazz. And the directions for uploading this sort of file to make it that sort of file can give a baby boomer quite a headache. I wasn't born with a computer chip in my mouth, so I have to use the trial and error method. I'm one of those guys that can read the directions and still not know what in blazes they are talking about.

     The bright spot in all this is that ebooks have revived a wonderful feeling I have not had for years. The sheer joy of creating and publishing on my own.

     Let me explain.

     When I was a kid I loved writing and drawing comics for my friends. There were no copiers then, so you had to hand draw up to six copies of each comic to pass around. That meant drawing them with pencil, and then inking them with india ink. (It was a real drag when the teacher confiscated all of them before anyone got to read them.) I was never a pro at comic books, but the unbridled joy of creation warmed my heart. When I was older I still self-published comics. I used to sell them through "Factsheet Five" etc. I got more fun out of doing that then all the paid cartoon jobs I had.

     I've been lucky enough to have lots of picture books published. I really enjoy doing it, but nothing approaches the bliss I have with self-publishing cartoons and old family tales online. So, ebooks are going to become sort of a hobby of mine now. I sure won't make a million like Ms. Hocking, but it is a gas writing these little tomes for my own pleasure. It feels like the old days again.


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