Sunday, February 28, 2010
The Rise of the Ebook
The proliferation of the e-reader may be the most profound change to the publishing industry since the advent of the internet...I believe that it is an innovation with virtually no downside and will provide benefits to every aspect of the industry. I think that the environmental impact of this technology should be self-evident and so I won't devote any time to elaboration...Instead, I would like to talk about why I have made the decision to embrace the e-reader...as both a reader and a writer. From a reader's perspective, books are cheaper, readily available and won't require that you have to invest in a bigger house if, like me, you wish to hang on to your books. The devices do have their limitations and are presently not well-suited to manga, and other forms of books with high graphics content, but if you spend most of your reading time with simple text novels, they are ideal. Taking the Amazon Kindle as an example...the device holds up to 1500 novels, can down-load directly to the device and is ergonomically well-designed and portable. For the cynical, I would point out how so many companies are offering their own versions of the technology and how so many publishers have jumped on the bandwagon of making their products available in e-book format as an indicator of how the media giants view the future importance of this evolving technology.
As a writer, the e-book has given me access to markets that my small paper publisher never would have been able to deliver. Smashwords has allowed fledgling authors the opportunity to deliver their works to markets that were essentially closed just a few years ago. Thanks to this indie publisher, I can now sell my works on Amazon, the Sony reader store and Barnes and Noble and have been able to do so while preserving the artistic integrity of the story I wished to tell. What's more, I have been able to achieve this previously unimaginable goal without have to plunge myself into utter penury as the production costs of an e-book are a mere fraction of what the paper sibling would be.
This is why the final segment of my Converging Trilogy will begin its life as an e-book. Closures in Blood should soon be ready for public consumption. I am pleased with the concluding volume, just as I have been with the trilogy as a whole.
As the banner at the top of this post would indicate, The week of March 7th has been designated 'read and e-book week'. I would encourage every reader to spend some time during that week familiarizing themselves with the technology that is now available to deliver e-books. Both the e-book and e-reader are not a passing fad...rather they are a step forward in the advancement of our industry and can a tremendous benefit to both the consumers of the written word and those who weave those words together...take care...and by the way, Cynara and Elizabeth send their regards!