Hey, y’all. Have you read this awesome book called Strong Enough? If you haven’t, what the heck are you waiting for?!
If you have, you’ll understand what I mean when I say I’m totally a Whitney. In fact, if you’ve read the book’s dedication, you may know me as “T”; Ellen and I travel together so we don’t get lost. We’re each other’s compass, sounding board, and true other half. We share a brain - you can bet if one of us is being the brilliant, the other is a drooling, simpering moron. As the yen to my yang, if Ellen is iNovelist, I am iReader.
I read constantly, and though I prefer fiction, I will give anything a chance. When my fabulous fiancé, now husband, bought me a Kindle Fire last year, I expected to use it to surf the web, plan our wedding, and feed a growing Angry Birds addiction. But read on it? Eh. I like paper books. Why would I want to read on a shiny screen? Then I realized I could download the classics for free. I burrowed into the worlds of Jane Austin, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Harper Lee, and Mark Twain and when I emerged, I was a convert. There was an entire galaxy of adventures just waiting for my click! I began to understand Ellen’s plan to self-publish in a way that I never had before, and I got excited. THIS was the future of literature, and I was a small part of it.
In the year leading up to the publication of Strong Enough, I read every e-book I could that seemed likely to appeal to a similar audience. I came across some great titles, including How to Kill a Rock Star by Tiffanie DeBartolo and From Notting Hill with Love Actually by Ali McNamara. Then there were the others. The ones I won’t name. The books with decent plots and no editing. The ones with type-o’s and missing words. The ones with recycled plots. And worst of all, the books with no plot. Sometimes, I felt embarrassment for the authors. Others, I felt anger that a story with promise had failed so spectacularly.
Here’s my guilty confession - I mostly felt pride, though. I knew that Strong Enough didn’t suffer these errors. I knew that years of editing and reading the manuscript had given the story a polish some other offerings lacked. I knew that Strong Enough’s e-book status wasn’t a vanity publishing, but rather a real novel being published in a modern world, just waiting for its audience.