Tuesday, December 29, 2009

eBook Expert

By now most people have figured out that I try to gather and pass on industry info, in addition to the off the top of my head gabbing found on random days at First Draft. I know people are busy and this industry is like a room full of toddlers, there is a lot going on. Catching up from a beginning writers' point is time consuming. It is a bit like herding cats -- not all that easy. Thus, if you can wade through all the other jabber-walkie, First Draft is the preliminary stuff before the intro -- prologue? (Have I misnamed my blog?)

One thing for sure, I'm the least knowledgeable 'authority' on eBooks. My books are not available as eBooks. The closest I come to making an eBook is the pdf of my newsletter. I'm pragmatic about the pirating issue for eBooks, as you will be once your book is published (if you are a beginning writer). There is that 'green' thing about eBooks that makes me fall off my chair laughing. I have enough university science credits - from my nursing studies prior to switching study to social work -- to know that whole line of thinking is a bunch of hoowie. In some respects, they are kinda green, but not really-really green. They are the future, or some form of it though.

(I'm doing an anti-resume thing here, in case you were wondering.)

A couple of weeks back, I did post a link to a resource that reviewed the (more than you'd think) list of eReaders. I thought some of them looked and sounded (in the reviews) cool. It isn't in my budget to buy them or to get somewhere I could explore them side-by-side. And there is that old BETA vs VHS thing going on with the formatting (yes, I know of the resource that will produce eBooks in several formats).

The real issue for me, besides I worked hard to earn the ability to read a book, is that reading eBooks is starting over - they are difficult for me to read. It shouldn't seem that way considering the amount of time I read my computer monitor, but I take lots of breaks. It is frustrating for me to take the breaks necessary when reading digital content of a book. Short articles, no problem. Long texts, big problem. I do better with a printed book.

Nonetheless, I think it is important for readers and writers to glimpse info about the digital book conversation in the industry. Therefore, here are some links to bring you up to speed, if you aren't already way ahead of me.

The links in brief:
A big time author sells his digital rights to Amazon, thus separating his print rights from digital rights (and his print publisher). The thing here to keep in mind is that one large publisher is trying to retroactively claim digital rights to its backlist books that are pre-digital era. There is a big discussion going around about this. At the same time, another large publisher is delaying the release of digital books on selected new books. A bit less of a discussion going on about this, but it is still out there. There was some valid mention of the need and ability to market both in a joint fashion so both feed off each other. So the question needs to be considered, before you sign your first publishing contract, where do you stand on the digital rights of your promising ms. http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/media/article6962676.ece

This link just drives home the fact that most midlist books have a short shelf life in the bookstore. It says eBooks live forever (they must not have a bunch of files stored on the huge floppy disks -- or the old punch cards -- that they are never going to be able to retrieve, but can't throw them out). Nothing new, but thought this was nicely written.

This one has me back to thinking on the format issue. Interesting and informative, even though a bit techy-talk. Read the comment section too.

In the previous article, I didn't know what DRM was, so I looked it up. If you don't know, here is the link. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_rights_management

OMGosh! Did you hear about this? http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/12/23/amazon_kindle_hacked

Wow, it feels like I've just written a public service announcement. It might be a boring post, but I've done worse. Do ck out the links. There will be a pop quiz next week. (kidding)


  1. I think the whole issue of ebooks is interesting - certainly in business they are used a lot. It's a simple way to publish and, though there is no doubt some pirating and loss of rights, it's for many a marketing tool for their other services.

    For leisure/fiction writing, I guess it's a whole different issue. When all the readers are easily available and they become more accepted and robust enough to read in the bath, then perhaps we will see the ebook revolution.

    But me, I like something I can hold and touch - even if the spines do crumble in the heat of the sun in Mallorca, and go soggy when I (inevitably) drop them in the bath.

    Good post Nadine - this is a subject that warrants discussion and investigation for anyone who is serious about writing, or reading.


  2. Thats really amazing, i liked reading this blog, very informative and beneficial for who are gonna be taking this into consideration. Great work, keep it up.

    r4 dsi

  3. Thank you both for the comments. I appreciate your support.

    I might try an ebook expirment in 2010 just to learn more about how it works.

  4. Check out the links on my other eBook post. http://nadinelaman.blogspot.com/2009/12/ebooks.html