The state of Ebooks and Digital Publishing
I’ve been reading a number of blogs and articles (links below) that examine the state of digital books, and the publishing industry. It’s a mess, isn’t it, and very confusing for readers and authors alike.
E-books are gradually finding a solid place in readers’ libraries, and to hear the reports of online giants such as Amazon, sales are catching up, sometimes surpassing traditional printed books. As a reflection of that, for example, I am gradually sorting through my library and giving away or donating to my local library, a majority of my books. My favourites I replace with e-books, and the few that survive the purge and stay on my shelves will be reference and collector or picture books, plus a few for sentimental reasons.
- the convenience of a single appliance such as a dedicated e-book, software loaded onto your smartphone, or even your computer or laptop, means you can carry your whole library with you. Pull them off a virtual shelf and re-read them any time you wish.
- costs for books are dramatically reduced; if you’re a book lover, like me, a wonderful bonus.
- you get to add your little bit to saving the environment.
- an author can upload in a variety of formats for various readers. More services are appearing to host the sale of your books, or you can sell them directly from your own website.
- you, the writer, set the price and in many cases, if you use a service such as Amazon or iTunes, your take-home pay is substantially larger per unit than with a conventional publisher.
- your potential reading audience is global, direct from your writing desk — even language is no longer a barrier with translation software getting more sophisticated each year.
but there are a few problems:
- you the author must wear different hats as editor, publicist, marketing agent, distributor, even artwork, all eating into the time you want to spend writing, or reading, or researching your next book, or counting your milli… well, you get the picture.
- as a reader, you have little guarantee of the quality of the book you might purchase, if it hasn’t been ‘vetted’ by a host of editors through a publishing house.
Here are links I mentioned above:
A Newbie‘s Guide to Publishing: The End of the Bestseller
2010: The Year Self-Publishing Lost Its Stigma