Monday, 18 July 2011

A digital dilemma, ebooks ...

... Ebooks, eBooks, e-books, E-Books, e-Books, or E-books … I am having a deep inner conflict, not just about how to spell it.

Gypsies Stop tHere is now a Kindle eBook - at last. Might as well go with the flow, I thought, or what will be regarded by future generations as a technological revolution. Ironic really; it’s only a few months since I was in rebellious mode. Step back for a moment to this piece about breaking all the rules, just last year!

The world of publishing is evolving apace! With the extraordinary rise of e-books, sales currently outstripping printed books I understand, no wonder many new authors are now taking the independent publishing route. In fact, how many authors with long-established publishers have changed tack? Comments on these questions would be very welcome, - or answers, if you happen to have them.

(I rejected digital print as cost-ineffective. However, it is an option for a writer-publisher who wants a modest print-run. )

So Gypsies Stop tHere, my first novel published in print 2008, is now available for the e-reading world to purchase! US, UK and German Amazon. Wonderful! At a bargain price. No print costs. 70% royalty on Kindle. Naturally, I am thinking about the guy recently in the news as the first independent author to sell 1 million Ebooks.

Did you read about a leading public school that has been actively ridding itself of its library, its students now using iPads instead? With two more books in progress, should I bother with print at all? Clearly e-Books are the future and my choice is not going to make a jot of difference to the overall trend! I am but one stitch in the vast tapestry of publishing.

But, but, but … Should I worry about what will happen to bookshops as this ebook trend is pursued by authors? My helpful and supportive friends in Waterstone’s? And libraries? Books – that I love to have, hold, read, possess and cherish? And publishers? Agents? The printers? The natural conclusion could be their collective demise. I do not want that.

Or, will ebooks and printed books co-exist happily forever? This, by the way, is a hypothetical question, but if anyone wants to give it a go, they are welcome.

Now, I need to make sure people will find my book. More on this in a few weeks time …

PS Here is a link to a Guardian article re the statistics to clarify in what sense ebooks are allegedly outstripping print - note that it compares against hardbacks and this is for the US.