What is an EBook?

A couple weeks ago, I discussed the merits of traditionally publishing versus self-publishing.  Today, I'd thought I would go into more detail as to what self-publishing is; specifically, into the details behind eBooks.

So you've written a book.  Or maybe several books.  And you've decided it's high time you put your book out into the world.  Maybe you're disheartened by the slow grinding pace it takes to query the necessary agents or publishers into order to get your book a contract.  Maybe you've just decided you'd like to cut out the middle man altogether and go straight to your readers.  You're ready for self-publishing!

There are a couple different routes for those who want to self-publish.  If you dead set on distributing a physical copy of your book to your fans, there are services out there that can make physical copies available to your readers, but only on the digital marketplace.  You won't see your book on the front display of Barnes and Nobles, but using Createspace you can upload your manuscript and have it available to sale on the Amazon Marketplace.

But with the rise of the Kindle, a whole new fad in self-publishing has evolved - that of the eBook.

While an "eBook" often refers to nothing more than an electronic version of a book that is already in print, self-publishers have transformed eBooks into a whole new format for reading.  These days, the greater percentage of eBooks you'll find available on the Kindle store (or other digital marketplaces) are only available in that digital format.  They range from non-fiction to fiction, and typically cost little more than $2.99 a pop.  Why is that?  Because today's market for eBooks revolves around the short novel.

Convenience is the name of the game in today's digital world, and that is why the majority of eBooks published for sale on digital marketplaces as standalone digital copies tend to range anywhere from 10,000 to 30,000 words.  For your frame of reference, that can be up to 50 or more pages.  Which is why many authors, like me, have started to develop their novellas into eBooks!

My novella, You Will Make It, fits very snugly in that size range, coming in at just under 15,000 words and about 30 or so pages.  Novellas are the perfect size for eBook publishing - meaty enough to be published as more than a short story, and at a small price, but quick enough that they don't become an endeavor to read.  EBooks are, in essence, the new penny-back novel of our generation.

I am proud to announce that You Will Make It is officially launched today!  You can buy You Will Make It here on the Kindle store for $2.99, or get it for free if you have Kindle Unlimited.  Since the page has just recently gone live, please be patient with any technical difficulties that may occur, and please be sure to let me know if you have any problems.  Thank you so much for your support, it has meant the world to me!

Shai Cotten

You Will Make It Free Excerpt!

The launch of my book, You Will Make It, is just around the corner, and I could not be more excited and nervous at the same time!  This story has spent so long collecting proverbial dust on my computer's hard drive, and has taken a few collective years to mold into a shape that I finally feel is presentable to a public audience.

It was so much fun to write, and I had such a great time bringing these characters to life.  I hope you all will enjoy it too, so I'd like to share with you an excerpt from the book!  Please enjoy the video above, and be sure to like the Facebook page, because I will be doing a free giveaway!  All you have to do to qualify is like the post (a screencap of it is shown below) that was posted with the video excerpt on the Facebook page, and I will be selecting the first ten people to like it for a free copy of You Will Make It!

I just want to thank you guys for all your support, it really has meant the world to me.  Without you, publishing this book wouldn't be possible!  So I hope you will enjoy You Will Make It when it hits the Kindle store this Friday, because this is as much my accomplishment as it will be all of yours.  If you get a copy of You Will Make It, be sure to leave it an honest review on the Kindle store, and let me know what you think!

Shai Cotten

EBook Cover Reveal!

So if you've been following me on my social media, you might have seen some pictures like this floating around my feed:

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If you've been a little confused as to where these random quotes are coming from, I'm proud to announce that I have been developing my novella, You Will Make It, as an eBook available on the Kindle store!

Developing YWMI into an eBook has been a fun and challenging process.  My favorite bit so far, honestly, has been customizing the images for all the quotes I grabbed from the book to post on Instagram and Facebook.  I started writing YWMI in 2010, inspired largely by a song of the same title by Jem, and also this image that I had found on DeviantArt by the talented andrahilde.  If you haven't seen some of the fan art she's done for Legend of Korra or Avatar the Last Airbender, I totally recommend her art gallery.

The novella was largely inspired off the whole Twilight craze.  While at the time I had actually enjoyed the books just fine, the immediate overload of vampire romance books which followed the Twilight saga I found to be a little nauseating, and so, in true teenage, angst-y fashion, I decided I was going to write a story that was way cooler than all the Twilight knockoffs, because my story was going to be different.

While I can laugh at my predisposition back then now, the root of what really inspired the novella was the characters.  As I started writing, this young woman started to emerge - bubbly, whipsmart, full of sarcasm and wit.  I really started to love Mickey as a character, and I labored to make her struggle a very grounded one, though not one I could possibly ever understand in its full complexity.  To be a young person, and not only have to grapple with the reality of your approaching death, but having to wrestle, everyday, with a constant, ever-present chronic pain, while not wanting it to define you.

I hope that I managed to evoke that from Mickey's character, because her struggle is very much one of not wanting to be just another "cystic fibrosis patient", and although I could probably best define the novella as a cross between The Fault in Our Stars and Twilight, I didn't want for it to be just another "hospital" story, or another "vampire romance".  I wanted it to be about two teenagers finding love and acceptance for each other, and helping to find love for themselves as well.

This is a short excerpt from one of the first chapters:

You’re never supposed to have a child with problems, the sort of problems which can dictate what the rest of your life becomes.  No one wants to have a kid with a mental disability, or a handicap, or a terminal illness.  That’s everyone else’s kid.  That other poor bastard you heard about on the news, or at last week’s PTA meeting.  When you’re young, they give you statistics.  “One out of every three women in this room will be assaulted at one point in their life”, and you think, oh.  That’s bad.  Not because you’re scared for yourself, but because you’re thinking of that poor unfortunate “one”, looking around yourself and trying to guess who the likeliest candidates are.

If you're interested in reading more, stay tuned, because the book will be released soon!  I couldn't be any happier with the cover.

How do you guys like the cover?  I'd love to hear what you guys think of what you've seen of You Will Make It so far!

Shai Cotten