The digital publishing revolution, spearheaded by Amazon, means that anybody can produce and distribute their own eBook for free. No more rejection letters from publishing companies! No more lack of interest from agents! Who needs ‘em? Everyone and their dog can just whack a story together and upload it in minutes. Fantastic!
…Which means these days, writers have it tough. Tougher than ever.
The gargantuan amount of eBooks on the market makes it even harder to get noticed. If you’re a serious author developing your storytelling craft, it’s difficult to distinguish yourself from those less professionally-minded.
It’s tough on readers too. How do they know what’s worth their time? Should they pay a couple of quid for an eBook when so many are free? And aren’t all self-published authors rubbish anyway? They only spend minutes whacking stories together! Sometimes their dog writes it!
In this turbulent digital ocean, the Kindle Users Forum is a stable island for writers and readers alike. It’s as friendly, helpful and welcoming a place as you’ll ever find on the internet (with the occasional bout of hilarious bonkers-ness… sometimes it’s like being at the Samaritans’ Christmas party). Readers can find reviews, recommendations and technical tips, while authors can share experiences and discuss the ever-shifting world of indie publishing.
I’ve been a writer my whole life, but it was only upon discovering KUF that the traditional loneliness of writing vanished, and was replaced by a sense of community. By taking part on KUF, I feel like I’ve contributed as much as I’ve benefitted, and that’s a fantastic feeling. I’ve met many people who, like me, want nothing more for their lives than simply to write, and to find an audience. I’ve contributed short stories to two short story anthologies produced by KUF: Hearts and Arrows and Summer Shorts. And I’ve met some fantastic new friends who I know would help me out as much as I want to help them.
That’s why, when the idea was raised for a brand new anthology to raise much-needed funds to keep the forum going, I was happy to volunteer to serve as Off the KUF’s editor. This time I would be organising rather than just contributing, and editing other authors’ work – a great responsibility.
I’ve been amazed at the huge response to my request for submissions, covering a very broad range of genres and topics, from an equally varied broad range of writers. But working with them has been as fun and rewarding as I’d hoped. The last few months working on what has now become a trilogy of anthologies (that’ll teach me to volunteer!) has been a real labour of love.
Off the KUF Volume 1 is launched on Sunday 3rd November. The Kindle eBook will be available from all Amazon stores. You’ll find 30 fantastic stories by 25 highly-talented authors, over 100,000 words of fiction for a mere £1.99!
If you enjoy that, then Volume 2 in December will deliver the same again! And for fans of longer fiction, Volume 3 in February 2014 will be a collection of exciting novellas.
Please help spread the word to anyone who enjoys reading original, inventive fiction, and help us support the Kindle Users Forum so that it may support us. You can also take part on the anthology Facebook page and follow us using the Twitter hashtag #offthekuf.