Mostly it was curiosity. I wanted to know if I could do it. Turns out I can. So I did. Now I feel weird.
It's really that easy?
Amazon just opened it's big wide arms and tucked me up under it's smelly anybody-can-be-published armpit and plopped me on a shelf with a whole bunch of anybody-writers.
What about integrity? What about endorsements and backing? What about accountability? What if I'd uploaded some filthy dribble not worthy of a moment? What if it was the kind of thing that someone reads and then they beg for those lost hours back? WHO IS IN CHARGE HERE???
Here is the truth:
It took me around five hours to go from blank document to an uploaded product ready to sell.
I compiled the material I wanted to include, pulling from various poetry notebooks I've kept through the years. I designed a cover. I formatted. I submitted.
Goodness gracious...Published!...I mean, "published".
So why do I feel dirty?
Perhaps the romance of a traditional publishing deal is archaic. Or perhaps we'll just call this what it is - an experiment - and face whatever graces or ills it brings. I suppose it can't do any real harm. Unless it gets a terrible review - in which case I'll probably move to Nunavut and pour my efforts into saving the seals.
I will not claim that When We Were Young is any work of greatness but I still feel a marginal sense of pride over the words inside it. As an eBook, there are definitely things I don't like about it - certain formatting that wouldn't translate, a table of contents that is not active, a preview that doesn't actually give you a glimpse of any poetry (and other things that I'm sure will bother me
until the end of time until I do some more research and learn how to make it happen properly).
As a special promotion When We Were Young will be available for free from September 12-16. I wish I could offer it for free indefinitely but Amazon won't allow that. So, download a free Kindle App, download a little poetry, and let me know what you think...gently.
[update: if you're thinking about reading this on your smart phone I would suggest changing your settings to show it in the smallest font - the shape & format of the poetry seems to get all riled up when you try and squish it on that little screen]