Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Classic or ePublishing?

There was an excellent posting on Gizmodo today, on why best selling authors are making the move to epublishers.  It's a hot debate that's been discussed in many writing forums, blogs, and magazines for quite a while.  However, I think the tide has turned.  With the Nook, Kindle, iPad, and the soon to be seen flood of tablet devices by the end of this year - it's clear that the use of paper based reading is on the way out.

In a way, it makes me sad.  There's something special about the feel of paper on the fingers.  The sense of progress being made, as a page is turned, to reveal the unfolding of the story - is hard to replace.  Although the convenience of pulling out your iPad, opening up iBook, and instantly be back at where you left off, has a great appeal.  Let's face it!  We're a society of instant.  Instant news, instant entertainment, and instant productivity.  But, that's another article I'll write about in the future.

From the angle of being a writer and looking for the best platform to distribute on, the article on Gizmodo carries a lot of weight.  I love the idea of having my work-in-progress book being picked up by Tor or one of the major publishing houses.  What I don't like is the idea of finishing the book, doing the edits, and then waiting 6 to 18 months before it comes out in print.  I'm sure most other authors feel the same way.

This has also given birth to a new type of publisher - the ePublisher!  They take your work, have you do the required edits, they package up the publication in an electronic format, and then they distribute to multiple outlets - those being Apple, Amazon, Sony, etc.  There's less risk to the publisher and lower cost for distribution.  The author gets a higher royalty rate, quicker distribution to market, and more exposure.

Are agents and classic publishing houses going to jump on-board?  Or are they going to be like the record publishers who have been slow to accept that the markets for CD's are being replaced by electronic distribution?  This is yet to be answered.

I, for one, am excited about the prospect of seeing my stories distributed via electronic media.  I'm one of those consumers who has already purchased books for my iPhone with the Kindle application.  However, plant me down in a comfortable lounge chair, in the shade, on a nice summer afternoon - what will I be reading?  A paper based book!  There's just something about being in a relaxing environment and reading a hard bound book.  But, if I'm sitting in the break room at work?  I'll be reading the news or a book on my iPhone.
[Image provided by Tina Phillips via FreeDigitalPhotos.net]

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