The E-Pub PUB — Welcome R. L. Pace and Dixon Rice

Welcome to the Grand Opening of

The E-Pub

We’re excited this week to debut our new feature!  Each week, we will invite E-published authors to join us and either share their views on the vast frontier of electronic (or “E”) publishing or participate in an author interview or review.

According to Wikipedia, “Electronic publishing (also referred to as ePublishing or digital publishing) … has become common in scientific publishing” … and also is “becoming common to distribute books, magazines, and newspapers to consumers through” tablet readers — “a market that is growing by millions each year.” Wikipedia also states, “Market research suggests that half of all magazine and newspaper circulation will be via digital delivery by the end of 2015 and that half of all reading in the United States will be done on a tablet by 2015.”

For our Grand Opening, we’re happy to have with us novelists     R. L. Pace and Dixon Rice.  Sincere thanks to both of our guest authors for agreeing to share with us information about themselves and their e-publishing backgrounds as well as to answer the following E-Pub PUB Question of the Week:  “What do you want readers to know about e-publishing?”  So, pour yourself a cup of coffee or a cold brew — it’s on the house — and let’s hear what our authors have to say.

R. L. Pace, Novelist Bio

R. L. Pace was born in a small farm community in southern Idaho, the son of tavern keepers with a touch of wanderlust.

He began a career in the entertainment industry as a radio announcer at age fifteen inTwin Falls,Idaho, working weekends and after school at night.  Infected with the family penchant for wandering, he moved to California in 1971 where he studied Theatre Arts and Criminal Justice at Monterey Peninsula College and English at San Jose State University.

R. L. has spent many years writing commercial copy for radio, television and print advertising and acting as a broadcast journalist interviewing Bob Hope, Dean Martin, Bing Crosby, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Jack Nicklaus, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Carmen McRae and many others.  In his role as an entertainer he spent two seasons as a circus ringmaster for the Shrine Circus, worked in the motion picture industry with Clint Eastwood, Lynne Redgrave, Brian Dennehy, Sondra Locke and others.  Acting credentials include leading and supporting roles on the theatrical stage. As for public speaking he has served as a Master of Ceremonies for events as well as a keynote speaker.

He met and married the woman of his dreams—and her three children—while attending a holiday mixer as a principal in a public speaking training company.

After spending time in management and research roles in the high technology industry, R. L. and family moved to the northwestern Washington area where he started a successful catering company and continued his involvement in broadcasting.

Injured on the job in 2001, R. L. was forced into an early retirement and took up his pen to begin that long-delayed dream of a literary career.  Research for his books has carried him to England, France, New Orleans, Hawaii and widely throughout the continental westernUnited States.

Currently available for sale electronically are the first two books of his Rising Son Trilogy, Island Dawn and Rising Son. Pacific Vespers, which concludes the series, is due out during the summer of 2012. Information and sample chapters are available at http://www.rlpace.com, http://www.Amazon.com, and http://www.BN.com.

Upcoming is a murder mystery set in the San Juan Islands, and an historical adventure series for which R. L. is currently conducting research.

R. L. Pace shares:  “As an Indie Author, What I Want the Reading Public to Know About E-publishing”

E-books are often more economical and offer readers different ways to acquire, carry and store books. People have discovered the joy of taking an entire library on that quiet vacation they have planned, instead of the one or two titles they might pick up in the airport or grocery. The upside of all this for writers is we can now bypass the gatekeepers, which is huge.

The downside of foregoing the editors, agents, story doctors, publishers, graphic designers and booksellers, is that the floodgates have been opened for a lot of unfortunate dreck. As a reader, you have to be willing to open a lot more oysters to find the pearls. Most importantly, from my point of view, is that you can find a world of promising and established writers very inexpensively. You might not be willing to take a chance on someone about whom you know little or nothing when staring at a thirty dollar hardbound copy, but for four to five dollars—about the price of a used book—you can take a chance without much down side. If you shop carefully, there are lots of books that can be had for a buck electronically as authors look for readers.

Still, though, professionalism counts. E-published authors should be as diligent about editing, sound story lines and characterizations (we’re talking fiction here) and moving the action along smartly as their traditionally published brethren. Before you buy an e-book, download the sample and peruse. Does it seem well done? Are the graphics for the cover easy to read and offer clues to what might be inside? Most importantly, does this author have a style in the first twenty or thirty pages that lures you in and captivates your attention? If, as a reader, you can answer yes to these questions, does it really matter that you’ve never heard of the writer or seen their work in printed form? Not really.  After all, the author has probably never heard of you either!

Dixon Rice, Novelist Bio

Dixon Bennett Rice is a novelist living in Kalispell, Montana, deep in the glory of the Rocky Mountains.  He’s been writing fiction for nearly 20 years, full time since 2010.

The son of a US Navy officer, Dixon was born on Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands (at the time a US Protectorate, and eventually part of the Federated States of Micronesia).  Like most military families, the Rices moved around a lot.

Dixon received his BA in Political Science from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington.  At one time he had aspirations of going to law school, but decided to spare the planet one additional attorney.

He spent eight years in Army intelligence and also has been a funeral director, investigator, office manager, payroll manager, shipping clerk, insurance salesman, and retail salesman.

He married a school teacher from Butte, Montana, and they raised four kids to enjoy long winters and a few weeks of sloppy sledding each August. Dixon blogs at http://www.wredhead.blogspot.com.

Dixon’s first published thriller is THE ASSASSINS CLUB, a serial killer versus serial killer novel taking place in 1970.  Tyler Goode, a likable young man living in the Montana Rockies, “accidentally” becomes a serial killer when he’s targeted by a family of brutal rednecks. Every time Ty kills to protect himself, he feels like he’s done the community a favor – and he enjoys the rush it gives him. The Assassins Club is available for both Kindle and Nook.

Dixon’s second thriller, MONTANA IS BURNING, will be published in the spring of 2012, the first book in the Paul Longo series, and THE ASSASSINS CLUB series will continue later in 2012.

Dixon Rice shares “Three Things Readers Should Know About E-publishing”:

1.  You DON’T need to purchase an e-reader.  As of today, roughly 60% of e-books are available in Kindle format, and another 27% in Nook format.  However, that doesn’t mean you need to buy a Kindle or Nook in order to read them.  There is free software from amazon.com which will allow you to read a Kindle on your PC, Mac or smart phone.  The link for free software on a PC is http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&docId=1000426311&tag=googhydr-20&hvadid=7453533021&ref=pd_sl_jjczwpq0p_b

Barnes & Noble also has made free software available for reading Nook e-books on your computer or smart phone, but I’ve been unable to get it to function properly.

2. You DO get to “test drive” an e-book before making a purchase.  Both Kindle and Nook allow you to read about ten percent of an e-book, so you can get an idea of the subject matter and theme of the story, as well as the voice and abilities of the author.  Amazon will allow you to click through the sample pages on the purchase page itself;  both Amazon and B&N will send the entire sample selection to your e-reader, so you can look it over at your leisure.

Here’s a helpful hint:  If you find typos, grammar and context errors, and unclear language in the blurb and sample pages – which are designed to “showcase” the book – you can expect bumpy reading ahead if you purchase that e-book.

3. You DO get to be involved in the success of individual E-books.  We know how traditional publishing works.  The publisher creates, funds and supervises a marketing plan.  Publishers Weekly classifies and reviews newly published books, and libraries use that data for filling their shelves.  The professional reviewers for the New York Times, Kirkus and others spew forth their professional opinions.  The Oprah network, PBS, and other electronic media outlets broadcast their share of sound bytes.

Many professional reviewers refuse to review e-books, and so consumer reviews are a huge consideration driving sales.  For the reader, nothing could be easier.  After you’ve read an e-book you bought from Amazon or Barnes & Noble, simply go back to the book’s purchase page, where you found the book cover, a blurb and author information, and reviews that were posted earlier.  Simply scroll down that page until you find a place for submitting a review.  It’s not necessary to outline the contents of the book, since the author or publisher has already spelled that out.  Just write and post a few sentences about your personal reaction to this book or short story, and assign it a “star” rating between one (awful) and five (excellent).  Smashbooks and other e-book sellers have similar review opportunities.

Next week in The E-Pub PUB: “The Distaff Side — Is E-Publishing Helping More Female Authors to be Published and Reviewed?”


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4 Responses to The E-Pub PUB — Welcome R. L. Pace and Dixon Rice

  1. R L Pace says:

    Publishing is no different than any other industry undergoing sweeping changes and an uncertain future. Some seek to defend the status quo in the hope the challenges will go away, and others will stride into the new model without fear. Steering a course through these challenges often means finding middle ground. Looking for success includes understanding and utilizing the traditional while optimizing the new. Business, particularly big businesses accustomed to controlling the marketplace, dislike and distrust change because the mechanism for control is murky and the foundations that have served so well in the past are eroding. As writers we have to be more nimble about how and where we find a market for our words. Content will always be king for no publisher–in any model–can find success without the raw material. The romance of the ‘traditional’ book, with its hard cover-dust jacketed debut, book tours and wine and cheese signings is alluring. But with the increasing cost of producing that model, a dwindling willingness to devote the financial and physical resources to supporting it, and the proliferation of cheap, easy access to electronic versions will ultimately consign the old approach to a ’boutique’ way of bookselling. If you are under thirty years of age you may not remember a time when phones had cords and computers were something only the Defense Department and major insurance companies used in huge air-conditioned rooms. Under twenty? You don’t remember when there weren’t cell phones and you’ve probably never used a cassette player. However much traditional publishers may resist, the push of technology is relentless, and the economic pressure to adopt the new paradigm is becoming irresistible. Traditionally published books won’t disappear anytime soon, but nonetheless, the e-ink is on the reader, the times are changing, and ultimately it will be better for sellers, readers and writers.

    • cwc6161 says:

      R. L. what a wonderful summary of the “new paradigm”! “The e-ink is on the reader,” for sure. Thanks, again, for your part in our debut post and for these additional, most-timely comments!

  2. Lynne Favreau says:

    Thank you R.L. and Dixon and Candice for this informative posting. E-publishing certainly is a contentious issue for reviewers and readers. I’m sure there will be more places to find quality writing as the industry transforms. I can envision writer’s taking even more control of their work by having their own publishing co. perhaps small groups of like-minded writers publishing together building authors platforms through blogs and social media. What will be needed so that the consumer is more willing to go looking for books through authors own websites is reviewers that are not author paid, nor anonymous but professional critiques. I hope the mainstream media begins to pick up on the importance of e-publishing reviews.

    • cwc6161 says:

      Lynne, thank you 🙂 R. L. and Dixon were great choices for our debut. And, for sure, E-publishing is a brand new frontier. It’s kind of like being in the wild, wild west right now! This year and next will undoubtedly see an even bigger impact on traditional publishing. Given last year’s incredible holiday sales by e-publishers, anyone with a current WIP should be working their fingers to the bone to get into this year’s holiday line-up. As to the media, they seem to be catching on, particular with the current round of in-fighting between Amazon and Barnes & Noble contributing to almost-daily news blurbs about the latest iteration of their fight.

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