Wednesday, July 15, 2009

VW #3 -- E-Future Part I

The winners of the VW#1 giveaways are:

AlphaSmart Neo: NinaP

Goodie Bag: Kristen S., whose comment began with Wow, all I can say wow as I copy it so I can print at hubby's comp.

Winners, when you have a chance, please send your full name and ship-to address to LynnViehl@aol.com, and I'll get your prizes out to you. Thanks to everyone for joining in.




I. Say Hello to the E-Future

The world has changed pretty dramatically since I got into the Publishing biz in 1998, and even more so than when I began seriously pursuing publication in 1989. Twenty years ago everyone carried pagers, not cell phones; the cordless phone was just getting big. A few years later people started playing on their new home computers with a service called Prodigy, where folks from all over the U.S. could get together and discuss their interests on community bulletin boards (if you ever stopped by Prodigy's poetry forum, you might have even caught me critiquing formal verse and discussing what a bitch it was to compose a villanelle that didn't sound like one was a schizophrenic off their meds.)

A couple of years after that I turned pro and graduated to the internet, which coincided with the first of the e-publishers opening their doors for business. It caused a lot of uproar, most of it bad. Print published authors began sniping at the e-published authors. E-published authors fought back for their right to be recognized as part of the Publishing community, both online and off. The insults flew back and forth, bylaws were re-written, friends and enemies were made, and somewhere in the middle of the second or third wave of hostility I unplugged and retired to my ivory tower for a year, where I wrote for print publication and gave away other stories in electronic format to my online readers. While I wasn't much of an e-activist in those days, I was one of the first generation of e-published writers (I just used mine as marketing.)

Today you'd be hard-pressed to find an author who isn't published in electronic format. Yes, while many print-published authors take great pleasure in broadcasting how little they think of e-publishing, with the growing popularity of e-readers like Kindle and Sony and the rising demand for electronic books, publishers are rushing to release print novels simultaneously in multiple e-formats. You can throw a rock at the Big Name table at any crowded writers' conference and always hit an author with e-books (not that I'm suggesting you do that.)

Likewise, many e-published authors are also having their novels and stories released in print. The last time I was at a chain book store, titles from e-publishers like Ellora's Cave and Samhain had their own book case. While I don't care to see authors segregated like that, there are now plenty being released in "traditional" print who got their start in the biz writing for e-publishers or who are still publishing e-books with them.

The lines have blurred, the walls are slowly being torn down, and today everyone has e-books on their mind. While some feel this is like letting barbarians through the gate, Rome isn't being sacked, ladies and gentleman. It's being saved and rejuvenated and brought (even when it's dragged, kicking and screaming) into the 21st century. What writers and publishers have to do is not decide if e-publishing is legit or not; that's already been decided by the readers. What we have to do is educate ourselves on electronic format, understand how fast this segment of the market is growing, and make a place for ourselves into this brave new digital World of Publishing's E-Future.

II. Major Publishers

Major publishing houses are beginning to jump on the e-book bandwagon, and while that's not surprising, how they're adapting to this new format (or not) often is. It seems that while traditional publishers are happy to rake in the growing heap of bucks generated by e-books sales, some don't seem to understand this segment of the market very well. From what I've observed, their attitudes range from "this is a temporary fad" to "this isn't worth my time" to "this will make us a quick buck" to "this is the end of the world."

I think the three gargantuan problems publishers have with electronic format are control, pricing and distribution. Keeping e-books from being pirated is a concern, just as is preventing print books from being shoplifted, but Publishing's answer to this -- DRM, or Digital Rights Management, which prevents the buyer from copying or printing out the e-books they buy -- is in my opinion unnecessarily harsh and restrictive. The one reason I still don't buy many e-books is because DRM prevents me from printing them out on paper. For anyone like me who wears heavy-duty corrective lenses and has a hard time reading for a long period from a computer or e-device screen, that simply kills the sale.

There seems to be no industry standard for pricing e-books, and even with the so-called safeguard of DRM, some traditional publishers are putting a hefty $ tag on books in electronic format. I think this is short-term profit greed in a market that is thriving and by its very nature in line to be one of the primary publishing platforms of the future. I'm not sure why the industry isn't seizing the opportunity to use reasonable pricing to generate more sales, but high prices don't result in making readers throw away their devices to run back to buying only print novels. I think it encourages pirating, because why would anyone pay $25.00 for an e-book you can download for free off a bootleg site?

I've already read a couple of online confessions from consumers who have admitted downloading pirated copies of books, so pretending it's not happening is naive. Also, remember that bootleggers aren't interested in making profits off the e-books; they get their money from advertisers who pay them in accordance with how much traffic they draw to their site (which they generate by setting up their rules to basically allow anyone to store pirated copies on their sites.) While the justice system does their best to prosecute a few people and make them into scary examples of why you shouldn't bootleg, no one can ever police all these sites, not even the authors of the works being pirated (pirated copies of my print novels show up about once a month on the internet -- and that's the ones I can find or that someone alerts me to. This past weekend some pinhead tried to sell them on eBay.)

Distribution, the third wrench in the works, is not a problem for the publishers, but is becoming a real headache for me and many other writers who have a substantial readership residing in countries other the U.S. Many major publishers continue to restrict sales of e-books to the U.S. and Canada only. This is sabotaging sales and profits, because one of the great benefits of having a book in electronic format is that it can be shipped in any quantity around the globe to any spot at zero cost. Zero! No matter if you send ten or ten million copies of The DaVinci Code to Tokyo, the cost of shipping them is nothing. Try doing that with print novels.

Rather than seeing the cost-efficient advantages of digital books, major publishers seem determined to try and force the market into adhering to strategies and standards of a business model that was never meant for electronic format. Treating an e-book like a print book is not only inappropriate, it's a little ridiculous. If major publishers are going to be competitive in the E-Future, they have to let go of the mentality of the past and start evolving and adapting to the demands of the present.

III. E-Publishers

I don't think it's as bad as it was ten years ago, but there is still a major stigma involved in being an author who e-publishes as opposed to being published in print by a major publishing house. On behalf of all intelligent and informed professional writers, I apologize for this. They won't let me be in charge of that or things would be a lot different for the e-published authors.

I hope industry perceptions will change as the e-market continues to grow, and e-published authors will stop being automatically assigned to the lowest rung on the biz ladder. Some of the most promising and talented writers I've discovered got their start in e-publishing, like my blogpal Shiloh Walker and my groupblog ringleader Sasha White. To say all e-published authors are inferior writers is like saying all black people should sit in the back of the bus. It's beyond ignorant.

That said, I can't endorse every e-publisher on the market; there are some companies out there that writers should avoid entirely. If you're considering submitting to an e-publisher, the best advice I can give you is to do the legwork and educate yourself. A writer should never sign with an e-publisher before they check out the company thoroughly and nail down all the details. Some of my veteran e-published friends are holding workshops this week on e-publishing; you can start by picking their brains.

To find the right e-publisher, you also have to do the research. If there is an e-publisher whose books you like, check out their submission guidelines and what they offer as payment to their authors. eBook Crossroads has a Directory of ePublishers, as does FictionAddiction.net; Predators & Editors maintains a massive directoryof all publishers along with their recommendations for or against them.

E-published authors are beginning to form their own independent writer organizations, like EPIC, but there are still plenty who are trying to fit in with the old orgs, like Espan. Because so many writer organizations don't have offer decent information on e-publishers, writers have formed their own watchdog groups; some that offer valuable online resources like AbsoluteWrite.com's Bewares and Background Checks forum, Erec (Erotic Romance E-Publishers Comparison site) and Piers Anthony's Internet Publishing site which provide the latest information on the business operations of small e-publishers and presses. Be sure to visit these sites to check and see if the e-publisher you're considering is under scrutiny for any author scams or unfair business practices.

IV. E-Readers

Before you read a word I have to say about them, do stop by Midnight Spencer's LB&LI e-book workshop from Monday, as she has a fabulous, comprehensive list of features and details on a bunch of current e-reader models.

For all that Oprah has done for Kindle, I think the e-reader market is still in a state of flux. At the moment it seems to bouncing between Kindle and Sony, but that could change as soon as someone makes a better/cheaper/more convenient e-reader. It'll probably be a lot like the mobile phone market, with lots of new models offering more and more cool apps and stuff duking it out until a clear leader rises to the top of the heap. My money is on Sony; they seem to be more in touch with the market than Amazon is (inserting ads in e-books? Ick.)

If you're a reader who is shopping for an e-reader, you need to read up on the pros and cons inherent to each model. Fictionwise has a slightly outdated FAQ-type list of Reading Software and Devices. CNET has just published a buying guide for e-readers while Consumer Reports has the lowdown on the new Kindle DX. FreshTech has updated their comparison between the Kindle 1 and Sony E-Reader. But neither Kindle nor Sony has a guaranteed chunk of the e-reader market, as Sarah Rotman Epps reports on some interesting e-reader developments over on the Forrester Blog.

I haven't invested in an e-reader yet because they're not really designed for handicapped users like me (too many buttons for my arthritic fingers, too heavy and/or awkward to hold.) I hope that changes sometime in the future, because of all the readers who can benefit from an e-reader, disabled folks should surely be at the top of the list.

V. E-book Power

I know some of you still aren't convinced as to why writers should even care about the E-Future. You're focused on print publication, and that's all that matters to you: the traditional publishing career.

But while you're planning to become the next front-of-the-bookstore darling, consider a few figures: it’s estimated that in 2008 electronic books netted $1.1 billion dollars, up 68.4% from $67.2 million netted in 2007; and that’s almost double the $54.4 million sold in 2006.* Reports are already being compiled about e-book sales in the first quarter of 2009, and they’re looking very good. While that’s not as dazzling as the $24.3 billion dollar bottom line for the entire industry, compare it to adult hardcover sales dropping 13% and adult mass market sales down 3% percent in 2008.**

I had those front-of-the-bookstore dreams (don't we all?) but from the start of my career I also kept an eye toward the the future. In addition to being a writer, I'm also an e-publisher. Didn't know that, did you? But I am and I have been since 2000, when I self-published my first e-book. The difference between me and all the other e-publishers is that I only publish my own original stories and novels (all of which are exclusive to the internet and have not been published anywhere else) and I distribute them for free, something I consider to date the most effective form of marketing I've ever done.

To say I don't profit from giving away my e-books for free would be like another author saying it doesn't pay to go to reader conferences or hold booksignings. Over the last eighteen months over two hundred thousand readers have viewed and/or downloaded e-books from my free virtual library on Scribd.com.* So when was the last time you marketed directly to two hundred thousand people who were interested enough to come looking for your work, and how much did it cost you? Didn't cost me a dime. *Note 9/3/10: Since Scribd.com instituted an access fee scam to charge people for downloading e-books, including those I have provided for free for the last ten years, I have removed my free library from their site, and no longer use or recommend using their service. My free reads may be read online or downloaded for free from Google Docs; go to my freebies and free reads page for the links. See my post about this scam here.

P.S., for everyone who still thinks Scribd.com is just some hokey e-book pirating site, you should really watch this interview over on BusinessWeek. They just signed a nice deal with Simon & Schuster to sell 4500 e-books direct to their visitors for them, and with 60 million readers visiting the site every month (at present, that's more than The New York Times gets at their site, according to the BusinessWeek.com interview), I imagine they're soon going to become a major industry player.

Tomorrow we'll talk about how we writers can become more active participants in Publishing's new electronic age, different ways to use digital publishing to create new markets and expand existing ones, and where our choices might take us. Because the E-Future isn't coming tomorrow or next month or next year, guys. It's already here.

VI. Related Links

Bookworm is an "experimental platform for storing and reading ePub-format books online."

Keep your head above water with Nancy Nivling's article It Ain't Easy: Navigating the Rapids of E--Publishing.

Scribd opens new market for online texts.

If you're thinking about investing in a Kindle, I recommend reading Tim O'Reilly's rather brilliant take on Kindle's E-Future.

*Stats source: Simba Information BPR April 2009
**Stats source: American Association of Publishers via MediaBistro.com.

Today's LB&LI giveaways are:

1) A eBookWish -- any e-book or combination of e-books of your choice available to purchase from an online e-publisher or e-publisher's bookseller, up to a combined max cost of $30.00 U.S. (or if the e-bookseller has a gift certificate for $30.00 available that I can purchase and send via e-mail to you, that'll work as a substitute.)

2) a goodie bag which will include unsigned new copies of:

The Pajama Girls of Lambert Square by Rosina Lippi (hardcover)

Master of Shadows by Lynn Viehl (author-printed, signed and bound in a three-ring binder)

Animal Attraction by Charlene Teglia (trade pb)
The Missing by Shiloh Walker (trade pb)
Primal Male by Sasha White (trade pb)

Round the Clock by Dara Girard (paperback)
Red Fire and Red Kiss by Deidre Knight (paperbacks)
Pleasure Unbound, Desire Unleashed and Passion Unleashed by Larissa Ione (paperbacks)
Hawkspar by Holly Lisle (paperback)
The Iron Hunt and Darkness Calls by Marjorie M. Liu

plus signed paperback copies of my novels StarDoc and Evermore, as well as some other surprises.

If you'd like to win one of these two giveaways, name an e-published author you've enjoyed reading or comment on this workshop before midnight EST on Thursday, July 16, 2009. I will draw two names from everyone who participates and send one winner the goodie bag and grant the other the eBookWish.

Everyone who participates in the giveaways this week will also be automatically entered in my grand prize drawing on July 21st, 2009 for the winner's choice of either a ASUS Eee PC 1005HA-P 10.1" Seashell Netbook or a Sony PRS-700BC Digital Reader.

As always, all LB&LI giveaways are open to anyone on the planet, even if you've won something here at PBW in the past (and if anyone wants a peek at this year's LB&LI goodie room at Casa PBW, and see what's going in those goodie bags, stop by the photoblog today.)

Other LB&LI Workshop Links -- new links are being added every day, so keep checking the list for new workshops (due to different time zones, some of these will go live later in the day):

E-publishing: From Query to Final Edits and Beyond -- Authors Madison Blake, Paris Brandon, Cerise Deland, Fran Lee, Afton Locke and Nina Pierce provide helpful insights and tips on e-publishing. Today's author: Nina Pierce

Writing Transformative Sex - Part One by Joely Sue Burkhart -- Any writer who has studied much of the craft at all knows that if a scene doesn’t move the story forward, it should be cut. But have you really thought about what that means for a sex scene?

Birds and Flight by Suelder -- first in a series of workshops on birds that will focus on the science as well as how to adapt this information to writing.

How-To Books that Saved My Life by Alison Kent -- a look at the three how-to books the author can't write without, and why.

Break through your fears and write! by Tamlyn Leigh -- One of the biggest obstacles on a writer's path is their fear. It can be for anything: fear people won't like their stories, fear they aren't good enough. In my workshop I want to offer tools to break through that fear, and get everyone writing!

Writing Prompt Series - What? by Rosina Lippi -- On the basis of an image supplied by Rosina, write out the primary conflict between your two characters in dialog form.

Writing in the Labyrinth by Marjorie M. Liu -- first in a series of workshops about different aspects of writing and publishing.

From Pantser To Plotter: How I Joined The Dark Side by Kait Nolan -- Wednesday's topic: What I've Used In My Conversion (Part A)

What eBook publishers look for: Samhain Publishing by Midnight Spencer –- General Submission, Royalty and Contract, How to Submit, and Samhain Frequently Asked Questions.

Epubs-wondering where to start? by Shiloh Walker -- Info for those curious about epubs and where to start.

Killer Campaigns: Trading Cards by Maria Zannini -- How to create trading cards featuring your novel's characters

121 comments:

  1. Steve Shaw's e-books were pretty good. He published through Lulu, which gave you an offer of either e-book or print. Sherman Oak and the Magic Potato had a very unique feel to it that I really liked. And I just couldn't pass on a story title like that.

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  2. That's a really tough question...the site I review for gets most of their submissions from e-pubs, and I've enjoyed so many of them! If I'm in a dirty mood, Loose ID and Changeling press deliver. If I want something darker, then I rely on Samhain or even Ellora's Cave. Even Red Sage has been pleasantly surprising me lately.

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  3. E-books are the wave of today, they are convenient and cheap. I'm awaiting an ebook reader to suit my needs without many hitches (Come on Apple). As far as writing goes, my personal opinion is that once you get in the writing business the ol brick and mortal way, then go to e-book publishers. What'll happened to your e-book title when the power/batteries fail, and no one can get to it?

    Currently, e-book readers need to be more simplified for the people who just want to read, not the ones who want to tweak the device so the ebook can be displayed perfectly. Sites like Scribd are a great way to advertise your original works for free as opposed to others who charge a nominal fee.

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  4. Hey, Lyn. Looking forward to more on this series. Have added a link to this particular post at the Litopia site, so I hope more aspiring writers will come along and find out what all this "epub stuff" is all about!

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  5. Such a refreshingly level-headed discussion of ebooks! Hurrah.

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  6. I had no idea that eBooks were worth 1.1 billion dollars o_o That is a significant amount of money indeed.

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  7. I think you're absolutely right: e-publishing is the way of the future.

    Rather than be dismissive, print publishers should be looking at how they and their authors can profit.

    Print publishers are spending less and less money on advertising, expecting authors to do it themselves. And, as you pointed out, people have sought you out because of the freebies. It doesn't cost a thang, but the rewards are great.

    Huh. Word verification: comica

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  8. I think your idea of e-publishing your own works for free, is a very clever one Lynn. I'm reading Incarnatio now actually.

    I would love a Kindle, or any e-reader actually. I love the idea of being able to read in bed at night without needing to leave a light on. I think the Sony readers sound better but the Kindle has such a pretty name...

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  9. Super post.

    I don't have a problem with e-books at all, I just prefer to read paper.

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  10. Anonymous3:08 AM

    Cool another great post and good luck everyone!

    Thanks for the extra links.

    Terri W.

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  11. Music has shown what not to do. The music companies forced DRM on Apple in an attempt to keep control of the market. Only later did they realize that they had created a monster they couldn't control. I think they finally released DRM free content as a last attempt to break the iPod's control of the music market. That's why Apple was the last to get DRM free content. Music companies wanted to give Amazon and others a head start. Didn't work though.

    I'm not sure if the answer is no DRM or some kind of centralized or open source DRM that they all use. But, I don't think people will buy many ebooks until they can use them where and how they want without feeling they are "borrowing" something they've paid for.

    That said, I think a subscription service idea might work better for books than they did for music. Many people only read a book once so something like netflix for books might work. Readers could download an ebook then mark it read and download another. You could access so many a year, or month depending on plan.

    Readers could then purchase the books they would like to own (DRM free?).

    Ideas.

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  12. I buy most of my e-books at a major e-book seller, in fact I bought the last couple of Darkyn books there :)

    I am having a hard time naming a favorite e-published author, as most of my favorite authors (and that includes you!)have books available in e-book form now.

    I think that is the great development of the latest years, and I know it will be even better in the coming years.

    But if I have to name one, you may flip a coin between your Darkyn books, Lilith Saintcrow's Demon's Librarian, and Patricia Briggs's Mercy books :)

    and yes, I know, that's impossible to do ;)

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  13. I am all about the ebooks and epublishers. thanks for the infor

    :winks:

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  14. Wow! This has to be the most accessible but comprehensive study of epublishing that I've read. And full of sound common sense. Thank you!

    To say all e-published authors are inferior writers is like saying all black people should sit in the back of the bus. It's beyond ignorant.

    Yes. Had to remember to keep closing my dropped jaw last month as I followed that RWA nonsense. I believe what it comes down to is insecurity. Not to say instability. Okay, I said it. There's a lot of it around.

    I emailed my first ever submission package to Samhain this week. If the pursuit of epublication is wrong, I don't thinkk I wanna be right.

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  15. Here are two excellent resources on e-readers.

    The E-book Reader Matrix at the Mobileread Wiki.

    And the Mobileread Forums.

    An e-published author I've enjoyed reading is Eric Flint, in particular his
    Belisarius series
    , coauthored with David Drake, published by Baen.

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  16. Anonymous6:31 AM

    Without a doubt, as a reader, I have discovered many authors (Lynn!) and titles on-line. At first, I didn´t really 'want' to start reading on-line, on Scrib, because I had the ideia that books are those things that you read made of paper, but the number and variety of stories made me change my mind. I started on one and then discovered another and then one more and so on. Also, not spending money and the easy acess to the e-books, helped.
    There are many authors out there that I wouldn´t have a clue that existed, if not for those sites. And if some have less experience than others, it's also a joy to see a writer grow from story to story.
    Lia

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  17. I'm in NZ and the geographical restrictions of ebooks really frustrates me. It encourages piracy, that's for sure. :(

    Two e-authors that I enjoy are Lorelei James and Lauren Dane who both write for Samhain Publishing.

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  18. Thanks for another good column. They are extremely helpful. I also enjoy the wonderful links.

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  19. This series and in particular the e-book stuff is just fabulous. Thank you so much for doing this--the work you put into your site for your readers is truly inspiring.

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  20. I've gotten a couple of JA Konrath's ebooks ... I don't tend to read in his genre but he has a way with words!

    And I agree with you that e-publishing is the future.

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  21. Many interesting points, thanks. I've got a Kindle on my wish-list. I love the idea of carrying so many books around on such a small device.

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  22. Lynn, I have been reading (and saving) articles on e-publishing for some time now because I agree that this is a vital form of publishing and will just continue to become more so over time. One thing I am fascinated by is how prevalent it is over in Japan (books on cell phones, especially). I think it's only a matter of time before it explodes like that in the U.S. and other countries, as well.
    Margay

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  23. I was waiting for this workshop of yours and it didn't disappoint. An e-reader is on my birthday list for this year (apparently Mothers' Day isn't a "big enough holiday" to warrant getting a gift of that expense - as if!!). I love it when authors I enjoy publish e-books also. The instant gratification taps into the impulse buyer in all of us. And even if I have to read them on my PC right now, I still enjoy it.

    Thanks!

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  24. Great information! Thanks so much for passing it along.

    One of my favorite e-book authors is Laurie Channer. Her book, Godblog, is available at wowio.com, and is about a young man trying to reinvent himself and the consequences he encounters in doing so. I'll never look at coffee and blogging the same way again.

    Thanks again for this opportunity!

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  25. On the road to traditional print publishing, I became e-published. I won a hook contest at Samhain Publishing that led to a request for a full and then to a contract.

    E-publishing was all very new to me and I gleaned what info I could from veterans and a hugely helpful editor.

    Still, the majority of my friends long for a contract with a BIG NY house and won't settle for an e-publisher, fearing it might make them look less legitimate.

    :shrugs:

    I've been around too long not to see the signs of change. Digital newspapers, digital music, digital tv--even digital money.

    Hurricanes always begin with a breeze.

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  26. I think New York is really behind on this whole wagon. They're continuing to support a hideously outdated business model that makes no sense for ebooks (and really doesn't make all that much solid business sense with print books either). I think they're going to have to adapt or die in the long run.

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  27. Cory Doctorow's Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom was my first e-book and I've always admired his take on electronic publishing. He sees his free e-books like dandelion seeds scattered in the wind. Some copies may not produce anything, but a few will take root with readers and turn them into fans.

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  28. i always like the baen free library and the cd's that they ship with some of their books. this was one of the first ways i was exposed to the e-book. it has the author's backlog in electronic format and some other authors. i got one with one of david weber's books, and that got me interested enough to buy some of the e-books up there in print format and look for others that weren't on the cd.

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  29. Great column. I guess I'm asking for a kindle for xmas.

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  30. Great post. Lots of good information Two e-published authors I enjoy are Lorelei James and Beth Williamson.

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  31. Maybe it is an age thing but I like holding a book. I have looked into ebook readers but haven't made the jump yet. I do think I will do it at come point. I have used the Fictionwise site to download Master of Shadows.

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  32. I have been reading e-books on my regular computer for a few years now and I have discovered a number of authors that I probably wouldn't have found otherwise. Lately I have also purchased e-books from Harlequin, although they seem to be using "Adobe Digital Editions" which I don't like. I hope to purchase an e-book reader, but the decision is complicated so I'm trying to wait out this "new" phase and purchase one when more kinks have been ironed out and there are more competitors to drive the prices down.

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  33. Joely Sue Burkhart! :)

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  34. I have really enjoyed reading Shelly Laurentson's e books as well as Shiloh Walkers. I've now migrated to their print books for some that aren't available YET on Kindle. In the course of a year my reading list of authors has grown exponentially because of my discovery of e-publishing!
    Lynn-very thought provoking discussions!

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  35. Thank you, Lynn. This pose is so refreshing after the RWA hoopla of last month. What a shameful mess. Denying the e-publishing wave is like what David Bridger said "...what it comes down to is insecurity. Not to say instability."

    On the flip side, taking the market from paper to bits & bytes will (sooner or later) bite especially if you are a printer or a bidder or work for a company that is. Never mind what e-publishing could/will do the paper and shipping industries. That's alot of people out of work and without means to buy books in any form. It is a nasty catch 22.

    Then, there is the whole publisher advance (mainly the lack thereof) & royalty issue. Hard for the established writer (of which I am not one) to write with no money in the bank. But, as your post indirectly points out, it may also be time for writers to rethink their own pay structures.

    Nina, who does like JC's idea of netflix for e-readers.

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  36. A terrific and thorough overview of the current state of the eBook future. My wife and I have wanted a decent ebook reader for many years--the same problem you mentioned in a blog posting the other week, not enough room for books. Ebooks help with that. As an aspiring author, eBooks offer the prospect of lower publishing costs. The big question is how to deal with the obscurity issue that Cory Doctorow mentioned as being the author's big enemy (as opposed to piracy).

    Thanks again!

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  37. Some interesting statistics and ideas on E-books. But I prefer a physical book over an e-book. I can move around more and have an easier time reading whereever I want, which you can't really do without buying something meant just for E-books. I also like being able to turn a page, not just clicking a button to turn the page.

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  38. Thanks for the comprehensive discussion on e-publishing!

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  39. Someday, they're going to have to pry that paper book from my cold, dead hands...

    In the meantime, I am slowly working my way into the ebook age, though paper will always be my medium of choice. I will buy in ebook form though when it's an author I really love to read and can only get their book in that format.

    My biggest problem with ebooks though are 1.) I am a very tactile person and play with the pages and cover while I'm reading and 2.) I have at this time my laptop and smartphone as my two reading devices, neither of which are eye-friendly for any length of time for me. When they come out with an ereader that is sold at a reasonable price (I can buy a new laptop for the price of an ereader!) I imagine my ebook library will expand.

    All of that said, yes, ebooks, epublishing is now, is growing, is a viable and persistent medium that too many still are not taking seriously enough. And they're in for a big surprise.

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  40. It's interesting that most publishers seem to ignore the good actual book sales BAEN has garnered through allowing people free access (as in, non DRM) to many of their backlist books. E-books are a great way of discovering if you're interested in a series. A lot of people still prefer to buy the book as reading on a screen isn't as pleasant. Though this aspect seems to be improving in the readers - without the ability to lend books out or print them etc. the $10 or more often charged is prohibited. Especially when the cost of the e-reader is considered.

    Again, lots of great information. Thanks!

    Currently I don't read e-books. I can't stand looking at a screen that long. I had to read a few books online for a university course and found it very inconvenient. I may turn to e-books when the price of readers comes down and most publishers get rid of DRM (so I can share the book with my husband and close friends). Until then, I'm a paper book girl.

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  41. I'm one of those people who realizes ebooks are the future but can't let go of my printed copies just yet. Though with the moving I'm about to do next week, maybe my life would be a lot easier if I had. ;)

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  42. Great post. So much great info on epublishing. I love to buy ebooks it's so convenient. I would love to get a kindle maybe sometime in the near future if the price ever goes down. Carol Lynne, Lauren Dane Shiloh Walker, and Maya Banks are some of my favorite authors.

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  43. I haven't really managed to get into eBooks just yet. The closest I've come is reading freebie stories authors post on their websites, which, I agree, is EXCELLENT marketing. Gets me going back to the author website, and makes me feel more warmly towards the author for giving me free stuff. :)

    Lately, though, I have been oggling a few eBooks online from authors I know I enjoy. I just haven't quite taken the plunge yet, as it were.

    Can you put my name in the hat for the eBookwish giveaway? I can already think of at least three stories I would want to try if I won.

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  44. HI!

    I first discovered Linnea Sinclair via ebook. I still have the copies I bought of Accidental Goddess and Gabriel's Ghost.

    Can't read them now, lol, since one of my kids squashed my ebook reader.

    Kaitlyn O'Conner's Abiogenesis series is fun. Good stuff!

    I probably have 60 or 70 ebooks saved on my computer. (Yes, I bought them or they were free sample books.) I still prefer holding something in my hand to read over reading at the PC. Plus, I always get interrupted at the PC. Three kids and two wiener dogs will do that. LOL.

    Anna

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  45. I have really struggled with making a correct e-reader decision - and I think it is because I don't feel like the platform has decided where it's going to settle. I don't want to be stuck with a laser disk player that never took off.

    Great article!

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  46. Much to my surprise, it turns out that I'm one of the biggest selling epubbed authors in the UK. How did that happen?
    Anyway, I've just put up a guide to the newest e-readers on my website, the ones out this year, and I split them into dedicated and non dedicated (ie they do other things as well). Hope it helps somebody!
    Chances are I'll have to update it regularly, but eventually I hope to do a guide to e-reading.
    http://lynneconnolly.com/Ereaders.html

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  47. Personally, I believe e-publishing is The Future. Maybe it's because I rarely read dead-tree books anymore, and I do my reading mostly with e-books. One of the things you mentioned earlier is a decisive factor in this: I'm not in the US. The cost of the books, plus postage makes it a very expensive thing, almost prohibitive. So, e-books are a solution for me in most than one way. I read them in my desktop, but I'm planning in investing in a Sony digital reader soon. IF I can get it here, of course. If I can't, I suppose it will be a matter of time until they import it, anyway.

    I have two friends who have started through e-publishing (one of them will have her first book published this week), and I think that it's a market worth exploring as a writer too. I enjoy it as a reader, why wouldn't I enjoy it as an author?

    On the downside, we have what you have mentioned. The prejudices about e-publishing vs. dead-tree publishing, and the high costs of e-books. However, I still believe the potential is HUGE, and e-publishing and e-reading will mark the way in the near future.

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  48. E-books make a lot more sense in a practical way, and I hope they catch on, but I can't imagine ever giving up paper personally.

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  49. Another great post. . .

    Regarding ebook readers, there's one on the American market that always gets overlooked, and it's a shame, because hands down, it's the best bang for the buck.

    It's called the EZ Reader, and it's made by Astak. (It's the Americanized version of the Hanlin V5, and it's also sold as the BeBook.)

    It's neither pretty nor fancy, but it takes all the currently available ebook formats, allows the use of an SD card, and allows users to create their own folder levels to organize books. It's also the lightest weight device out there.

    Moving what one has purchased to the reader is as easy as plugging it in to one's computer, or dropping the books onto the SD card and putting the card into the reader itself.

    I love mine, and I wouldn't trade it for any of the other biggies out there.

    :-)

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  50. It is always good to get more information about e-publication. Just because I prefer to have a book in my hand doesn't mean there isn't a huge trend toward ebooks.

    Thank you for the information and for also voicing the truth that regardless of the medium, there are amazing writers out there. It takes a lot of work to write a book - ebook or otherwise.

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  51. Lots of great short stories to read in e-format, too. The only science fiction magazines I read anymore are the online ones because that's where all the good content is. (Electric Spec, Ideomancer, Reflection's Edge, etc.)

    Bronwyn Green writes erotic romance and has had great success in e-format. Her best one is *Ronan's Grail.* Loved that book.

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  52. I am a huge ebook reader. I have a number of favorite authors...
    Shayla Kersten
    Delilah Devlin
    McKenzie McCade

    I also read quite a few of the Nocturne Bites, which are all ebooks.

    I haven't bought a reader yet as I'm still trying to decide which one is worth my hard-earned bucks.

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  53. The only e-books I read are the ones one scrib and this is mainly due to massive headache the computer screen gives me. The insight on e-books has been very helpful. Thank you

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  54. Very informative.

    I think epulished material is fantastic. Books use paper and can take up space either in a bookbag or at home.

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  55. This was great - thank you! Something I wish publishers thought about when pricing ebooks is that there isn't a resale market. Anyone who wants an ebook needs to buy it and it's a first sale. I think by pricing ebooks lower, it'd make people like myself, who buy most books used, more willing to buy ebooks.

    Some authors I've read in ebooks - Deidre Knight's wonderful The Butterfly Tattoo, Lauren Dane's Cascadia Wolves series, JK Coi's vampire series, and more.

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  56. Most of my favorite authors are pubbed by epress. Beth Williamson, Sasha White, Ciara Gold, to name a few. Great post!

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  57. Interesting that you saw print books separated out just because they were originally from an electronic publisher. I haven't seen such a phenomenon yet...I don't care for it either, as I don't for all the drama over whether e-published authors are as "legitimate" as print-published ones. (Although I can't lie: someday I want to be published in print. But also available in electronic!)

    That said, I can't endorse every e-publisher on the market; there are some companies out there that writers should avoid entirely.
    Just like everything else, both in the writing business and the rest of life. Research is important in order to find out what's legitimate, people!

    I agree that the e-reader market needs to mature, which is the main reason I haven't invested in an e-reader yet. Once things start to get figured out, I know I will.

    Your stats on Scribd are awesome! I'll have to keep your strategy in mind in case it ever becomes relevant in my future. ;-)

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  58. Just one? Definitely our very own Joely Sue Burkhart, she of the Ten Commandments fame. I just adore her work!

    Thanks for another great workshop Ms. Viehl, they're always a pleasure to read.

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  59. wow! that's a whole lot more hits than my scribd content is getting! ;-)

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  60. I love the information you have provided on ebooks and epublishing. There is some helpful food for thought for those of us who are wondering if taking the plunge into epublication is the right thing for us or not. Removing the misconceptions and misinformation helps me (I won't speak for others) find the right information needed to make career decisions. Thanks again for LB&LI!

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  61. As someone who just dropped $20 on ebooks yesterday I have to agree: it's not going away! (and $20 = 6 ebooks so it's economical too)

    The one issue I have is that I'm reading ebooks exclusively on my laptop at the moment and computer reading does to weird things to your eyes (and I'm only 25!) so my ebook love is probably going to push me into early reading glasses or make me get a Kindle. -- I know you think Kindle's off base with the ads in books thing, but I had a Sony eReader in my hand (Borders Stores have them on the floor) and I couldn't figure it out and I've worked in IT!

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  62. At this point I can't afford a reader tho' I'm researching them for my wish list. I think ebooks are the wave of the future, and while I'll always prefer to have a book in my hands, I like the green factor of ebooks and know I'll move that direction somewhere down the line.

    Because I can only read ebooks from my desktop computer -- so not the way I like to enjoy a good book -- I've not purchased many ebooks. So far I've read a fair amount of free books but only purchased one by Marisa Chenery (I believe she's exclusive to Liquid Silver Books).

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  63. Tamith2:11 PM

    After several moves, I'm giving some serious thought to picking up an e-reader of some sort. It'd save me the pain of packing/unpacking/losing books. Nothing replaces the feel of a printed book, but the portability would be a relief.

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  64. PT Nguyen2:42 PM

    Thanks, Lynn. This was a great post!
    The time of e-books/e-publishing is definitely here. I have to admit, e-published books is what caused me to go out and purchase your entire Darkyn series in traditional print (all 7 bought and read within 5 days) this past week. I ran into your short pieces on the Darkyn on Scribd.com and from there, decided to get your series. No one says that the traditional print and e-published books cannot work happily side by side.

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  65. I read more ebooks than paperback these days. Just finished downloading the whole Changeling series by Nalini Singh, and absolutely loved these stories. I came across the first book in the middle of the night and started reading within 5 minutes. Love instant reads!


    caity_mack(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  66. John Scalzi started with Agent to the Stars and just took off from there.

    Reading e-books is a different experience, I've found. I do enjoy the portability

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  67. Like you said in the post, i'd be hard pressed to find an author not in e-book these days so I can almost read anything and any author I want in e. As an almost entirely converted to e reader I have lots of favs but lately i've been reading Allyson James aka Jennifer Ashley, Cynthia Eden and Bianca D'Arc.

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  68. I'm looking at replacing my palm and checking out the new ebook readers.

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  69. I buy e-books, mostly romance, but I read them on the computer. The main reason for reading them on the computer is that I live in Sweden, and to get an e-reader I would have to import it.

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  70. i have lots of ebook authors I love Shiloh walker, Lauren Dane, Lora Leigh, Bianca D'arc and lots of others that are now big time NY published authors that did and still do most of them ebooks and some of them not yet pubbed by new york. I think ebooks rock. They take of less space there by I can have more keepers. And most of the ebooks pubs are just as good of quality or better than big name publishing house. Some are better lol. Only thing I have about them is I cannot loan them to friends like I do paperback.

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  71. I really enjoyed Loree Lough's books which were released electronically last year : )

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  72. I found this interesting, and it was good to see an author admitting the "digital revolution" is something we all need to deal with. I do think some of the implications of e-publishing could have been explored more, though. (Sorry!)

    In particular, I'd like to see someone at least brainstorm solutions to the challenges smaller authors face. Large publishers have legal departments, but how are smaller authors to fight piracy? With the high price of lawyers, everyone is not equal before the law.

    In addition, although e-book readers may satisfy some, I think a market for "luxury" volumes may emerge. The printed book offers an experience that can't be equaled. Look at the continuing popularity of vinyl LPs even in the face of CDs and digital music. This might offer authors an opportunity, if we can anticipate it and plan for it.

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  73. Thanks for all the great info.

    My eyes have a problem staring at the computer screen too long some times too so I don't read very many e-books. I really want a Kindle. Good thing my birthday is coming up.

    *crosses fingers*

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  74. "You can throw a rock at the Big Name table at any crowded writers' conference and always hit an author with e-books (not that I'm suggesting you do that.)"

    For this alone I am now a fangirl. Lol.

    And, when the last hubbub came about many big name authors stated that their e-book sales were dismal so it didn't even matter. I think that's short-sighted. What about next year? Or in the next five years? Those same dismal sales will rise and if you are smart you wouldn't have locked yourself into being ripped off. (Yes, I do believe a royalty for less than 15 percent for an e-book is a rip-off.)

    Hopefully, those same authors will see the light.

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  75. I prefer paper books, maybe because I haven't found a e-book reader that doesn't hurt my eyes...

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  76. I've got to say that my favorite e-book I have downloaded thus far (which is, admittedly, not many) is "Way of the Cheetah" by... um... I don't remember the author's name, actually. :P

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  77. Very interesting workshop. I'm considering submitting to some e-publishers soon, so this is great information.

    Cheers,
    Erin K.

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  78. Helen5:48 PM

    Stick my name in the hat...and I have to comment on the Kindle vs Sony portion of your very apt essay. I have played around with both readers (borrowed them from friends) and there are aspects of both that I like but neither satisfy me completely. I thought I'd mention an up and coming company that plans to release a reader specifically aimed at business but which looks like it would be amazing for us bookaholics (me for example). The company is plastic logic-
    http://www.plasticlogic.com
    a preview of their reader can be seen here on a youtube video-
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJ44Z-g1WUU
    From what I understand from their literature, it has an interactive screen similar to the i/phone which makes it much more user friendly. Combined with it's flexible durable PDT I am pretty sure if it is all it's hyped up to be I'll be buying my first piece of hardware aimed only at reading. I currently use my cellphone to read e-books. It would sure be a step up!

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  79. As a whole, the e-books I read are predominantly non-fiction titles that I get when something catches my eye because I'm quite willing to read non-fiction at the computer. Most e-book fiction I've read has been of the free, promotional sort.

    Still this was a very interesting overview of the e-publishing movement. I've been reading quite a few agent blogs on it recently as they work out how to handle it best in contracts for their clients.

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  80. Helen5:56 PM

    I have to add that Marjorie Liu's contribution to Left behind is excellent!
    Helen

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  81. Kiki Lon's 'Enter the Parrot', a YA kungfu novel released last month by Wild Rose Press.

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  82. Note to everyone who has commented: Blogger somehow ate four comments that we flagged as approved, so if you don't see your comment posted above this notice, please repost. Sorry for the inconvenience.

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  83. Lanette wrote: Currently, e-book readers need to be more simplified for the people who just want to read, not the ones who want to tweak the device so the ebook can be displayed perfectly.

    I'm not an e-reader user (yet), but I have to agree with this in theory. All the bells and whistles are nice, but I'd be more inclined to purchase a simple version that would just download, display, and save.

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  84. Kaz wrote: Have added a link to this particular post at the Litopia site, so I hope more aspiring writers will come along and find out what all this "epub stuff" is all about!

    Thanks, Kaz. Litopia, now that sounds familiar....ah, I remember. There was some Brit guy and a couple of gals who did a podcast by the same name. Apparently they got their knickers in a knot when I posted a royalty statement online. ;)

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  85. Wendy wrote: I think the Sony readers sound better but the Kindle has such a pretty name...

    Oh, you read my mind there. I've always thought the Kindle name was brilliant. Sony needs one like that to brand their product.

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  86. jc wrote: But, I don't think people will buy many ebooks until they can use them where and how they want without feeling they are "borrowing" something they've paid for.

    Exactly my feeling. There are currently too many restrictions and strings attached to the DRM-protected e-books. We need to free up the format and stop worrying about nickel and diming the readers to death. It's like accusing anyone who reads e-books as a thief before they've done anything wrong, and as silly as trying to recoop money from used book stores.

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  87. lxz wrote: Here are two excellent resources on e-readers.

    Thanks for the linkage!

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  88. Margay wrote: One thing I am fascinated by is how prevalent it is over in Japan (books on cell phones, especially).

    I'm watching the overseas market as well. I think Asia is one of the most exciting areas of development in this market, and as our friends on the other side of the planet always seem to do so many amazing things with technology, I'm hoping they'll help us move forward in a big way.

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  89. Maria wrote: Still, the majority of my friends long for a contract with a BIG NY house and won't settle for an e-publisher, fearing it might make them look less legitimate.

    I will never understand this. What matters is what is on the page, and that's all that matters. You have a very healthy attitude, Maria. I'm inclined to bang their heads together.

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  90. I've read some of Lilith Saintcrow's books in e-format, but since I don't have an e-book reader I haven't made full use of everything epublishing has to offer.

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  91. Kait wrote: I think New York is really behind on this whole wagon. They're continuing to support a hideously outdated business model that makes no sense for ebooks (and really doesn't make all that much solid business sense with print books either). I think they're going to have to adapt or die in the long run.

    I wouldn't have agreed with you twelve months ago (I firmly believed NY wanted to be part of the E-Future, and only needed someone with experience to get involved and show them the path), but after producing an e-book with my print publisher, and the opposition, broken agreements and sheer mule-headedness I had to deal with on their end, I'm sadly nodding now.

    Still, I light a candle for them every now and then, and pray they'll wake up.

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  92. Wade wrote: He sees his free e-books like dandelion seeds scattered in the wind. Some copies may not produce anything, but a few will take root with readers and turn them into fans.

    Oh, I'll address the dandelion fluff approach tomorrow. :)

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  93. Mitchfield wrote: I hope to purchase an e-book reader, but the decision is complicated so I'm trying to wait out this "new" phase and purchase one when more kinks have been ironed out and there are more competitors to drive the prices down.

    You know I did the same thing with getting my kids mobile phones; I waited for quite a few years. We shared a disposable phone during that time, and then when they began offering really good phones with unlimited services for low prices, then I bought. Best decision I ever made; my kids each text about 500-700 times a month, and I shudder to think what I would have paid if I'd signed a contract with a per-text price (I still use the disposable phone, ha.)

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  94. Nina wrote: On the flip side, taking the market from paper to bits & bytes will (sooner or later) bite especially if you are a printer or a bidder or work for a company that is. Never mind what e-publishing could/will do the paper and shipping industries. That's alot of people out of work and without means to buy books in any form. It is a nasty catch 22.

    I think there will be some impact on printers and the folks who help produce the print books, but would all of the readers who use gadget have bought print books in the first place? A lot of these new gizmos are in the hands of our kids and younger adults, and they've not exactly been rabid book collectors on average.

    I'm hoping the new technology expands our consumer base rather than converts it from print to electronic format, so there won't be a lot of folks in traditional publishing production who lose their jobs.

    Then, there is the whole publisher advance (mainly the lack thereof) & royalty issue. Hard for the established writer (of which I am not one) to write with no money in the bank. But, as your post indirectly points out, it may also be time for writers to rethink their own pay structures.

    Up until the mid-nineteenth century, American authors all published their own books (no publishers, no advances.) Walt Whitman published his own books, as did Thoreau. I don't think it's realistic for authors to do that today, but as you say, maybe it's time we rethink the equation.

    Nina, who does like JC's idea of netflix for e-readers.

    Me, too. :)

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  95. Dale wrote: The big question is how to deal with the obscurity issue that Cory Doctorow mentioned as being the author's big enemy (as opposed to piracy).

    I think we're going to see great strides toward dealing with the obscurity factor in the next couple of years, and I'm pretty sure it's the authors who are going to come up with the solution.

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  96. Jessica wrote: I had to read a few books online for a university course and found it very inconvenient.

    I feel your pain. I wear trifocals and it kills my eyes to have to read from an illuminated screen for any longer than an hour (I turn off my monitor sometimes when I'm dictating my books into the Dragon, or deliberately look at something else in the room.)

    NY has just started having us do our copy-edits electronically, which saves me a lot on shipping costs, but is murdering my retinas. I have to print the copy edit out in reduced size print on paper, then use a magnifying glass to read the CE flags.

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  97. For me, ebooks have been a great way to get out-of-print backlist of favorite authors, and a space-saving way to have a keeper shelf.

    They've also been a good way to get stories that aren't being published much in print, like non-inspirational sweet or warm romance. That's been an interesting turn-around--it was erotica that could only be found on-line several years ago. Everything changes. . . .

    Anyway, thanks, again, Lynn!

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  98. Chris wrote: I think by pricing ebooks lower, it'd make people like myself, who buy most books used, more willing to buy ebooks.

    That's one area of the reader market that e-book pricing needs to address -- a lot of these NY publisher produced e-books are simply too expensive for readers who are working off a limited budget. I'd love to see them do something with e-readers and the local libraries; that would be cool (and cost-effective.)

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  99. I think equating writers published in e-form to black folks being forced to the back of the bus is a little over-the-top, but I understand the sentiment. I'm a big fan of e-books because they are convenient for me and my impulse shopping (less waffling over buying a book the moment I read about it when it's able to be zapped to my computer in an instant). But I do agree with you on the e-device landscape. I'm test-driving a Sony Reader and want one dearly, but they're very expensive at a time when no one can agree on one format, the DRM issue is at stake, e-books continue to be geographically restricted, and more importantly--the pricing! I'll wait to go to the book store (and with a coupon!) when I see an e-book, often released a bit after the print version, that is full price. I hope and pray NY takes e-publishing seriously and stops looking at it through print-pub eyes. There's a reason why e-pubs like Jasmine Jade, etc are so financially healthy--it's a completely different business model. It behooves everyone to be educated on this emerging technology.

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  100. The Wandering Author wrote: I found this interesting, and it was good to see an author admitting the "digital revolution" is something we all need to deal with. I do think some of the implications of e-publishing could have been explored more, though. (Sorry!)

    Be patient -- I've still got Part II of the E-Future workshop to be posted tomorrow. Although I'll warn you now, I am an unabashed advocate of e-publishing, I focus on the implications for authors, and I'm depressingly cheerful about its future. :)

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  101. Whoops, not all of my reply posted there. To add on:

    The Wandering Author wrote: In particular, I'd like to see someone at least brainstorm solutions to the challenges smaller authors face. Large publishers have legal departments, but how are smaller authors to fight piracy? With the high price of lawyers, everyone is not equal before the law.

    I definitely don't get into legal representation and options for e-book authors; that's really something I don't think an author should try to issue advice on. If it helps to know, I work for one of the world's largest publishers, who probably have hundreds of lawyers on retainer, and every time I'm pirated they do nothing about it -- they leave it up to me and my lawyer to police the internet. So size of publisher may not even matter. :)

    In addition, although e-book readers may satisfy some, I think a market for "luxury" volumes may emerge. The printed book offers an experience that can't be equaled. Look at the continuing popularity of vinyl LPs even in the face of CDs and digital music. This might offer authors an opportunity, if we can anticipate it and plan for it.

    There are already small presses in existence like Cemetary Dance who do luxury editions, and chain booksellers regularly release special editions of hugely popular books. It's true that you can't do a traditional luxury edition of an e-book, but maybe the author can release an edition with bonus material?

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  102. Anonymous7:35 PM

    I have enjoyed reading Kimber Chin (a business oriented romance writer).

    I am Kindle 1 owner and the Forbes article was very interesting. I fear the future somewhat so I will buy favorite books both in digital and paper formats. I just love the ease of pulling up books on the reader especially as I spend a bit of time traveling and I do not need a separate bag for the books I use to carry.

    Regards, Ruth

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  103. Evangeline wrote: I think equating writers published in e-form to black folks being forced to the back of the bus is a little over-the-top, but I understand the sentiment.

    True enough. Although if I have any excuse for my anger, I guess after eleven years of watching e-published authors getting kicked in the teeth, being attacked myself, and then seeing the President of RWA cover herself in ignorance while smearing the name of an agent and disclose private information during the attempt, I'm not feeling any of us are exactly being invited into the front of the bus.

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  104. One more thing to add to that, Evangeline -- please don't think any of that rant was directed at you. You were right to point it out.

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  105. Meleeta7:49 PM

    E-books authors I have enjoyed: Lauren Dane, Lora Leigh, Lynn Viehl/S.L. Viehl, as well as some anthologies. Though I enjoy holding abook and taking time to savor it now a days more. My eyes start bothering me if I spend to much time staring at the old computer screen.

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  106. Great post, Lynn, a lot of good points. I do think ebooks are becoming more and more popular, now if the big pubs would start pricing them more fairly, more are apt to try them. Charging more (or even the same) for the eformat I just don't get.

    I've been reading ebooks for a long time, and one of the main reasons I like them is no more tripping over books around my house.

    Some authors I first discovered through small epubs- Shelly Laurenston, Sasha White, Vivi Anna, Sylvia Day, Dakota Cassidy.

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  107. My first ebook author remains one of my alltime fav whether it be in print or only ebook...and that author is Lorelei James.

    I have many other fav authors that I read both print and email, but she is the first that I bought as an ebook before reading anything in print. LOVE HER BOOKS!!!

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  108. As much as I like reading ebooks, what bugs me is the lack of standard format and readers, etc. I don't like it that if I buy ebooks in Kindle format, I won't be able to read them on non-Kindle devices, etc.

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  109. I work on the internet, so I obviously spend a lot of time on the computer. The ebook author who comes to mind when it comes to me willing spending more hours on the computer to read is Hazel Statham. She writes very sweet historical romances that help me calm down after busy days.

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  110. I love being about to curl up on the lonuge with a good book on a cold Sunday afternoon. So yes I like printed books, but that doesn't stop me from reading a good eBook either. I can't read books off my computer so I print them out & lay on my lounge & read them. Expensive yes, uses lots of paper sometimes, but like all good books, if I want to read them again I have them there ready to go.

    As for finding the right ePublisher, isn't it the same with print publishers, always do your homework.

    Great post again Lynn.
    Thanks

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  111. first e-pub i bought was the elora's cave back list for christine warren..liked her MMPB so much - went and bought her early stuff.

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  112. I've found a lot of entertaining authors thanks to ebooks, eg. Morgan Hawke. The ebooks I've read are mostly from smaller publishers. I'd love to get an ereader some day for better portability.

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  113. Do e-published audio books count? Audible.com has a really large selection. I listened to METAtropolis, which is an interesting shared-world science fiction anthology. However, some of those stories didn't work so well in audio format (for example, I kept thinking characters were thinking things that they were actually saying). Other stories, however, were brilliantly read.

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  114. I havent really read any e-books yet. I dont see the draw so much to reading them on the computer. One day I do plan to get an e-reader though and delve into them.

    However, an author who I enjoy and I now they have e-books is Michelle Bardsley.

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  115. I very much prefer paper books for anything longer than a short story.

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  116. I've really enjoyed Jess Dee. I never thought I'd learn to love ebooks but since I've been moving every few months for the past 2 years, electronic copies come in handy.

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  117. I love ebooks. Have been reading them since 2004, which means I have a predicament here, since I've read a lot of books that I love. But to pick one author, let me say Kate Douglas, who also had her start in epublishing.

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  118. I'm a Kindle 2 user and love it. The e-ink is easy on my eyes and, for added benefit, I can increase the text size. I try to order most of my books over the Kindle shop and so far I've been lucky to find everything I wanted. Yes, I'd still buy a printed book if I couldn't get it in ebook format. I'm not a hater. And while the smell of an old library brings back happy memories, not being able to drive does limit my visits.

    I've read many new books on the Kindle, and I've yet felt cheated or removed from the story because it comes in ebook format. I've heard this complaint alot. If the story is good enough I don't care what format it's in.

    Honestly, I balked at the idea of an ereader for a while until my husband bought me one. I really enjoy having it.

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  119. Athena12:35 PM

    I actually discovered Patricia Briggs via my Kindle. After that I devoured all of her books in that format. I went out and bought the paperback versions too.

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  120. Ebooks are wonderful for people who travel a lot and for those (like those in the military) who have weight limitations on their moves from one location to another.

    Fantastic post, Lynn.

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  121. Lynn, sorry, I didn't make myself clear when I mentioned the possibility of luxury editions. What I had in mind was this: the author releases an e-book, which not only brings a certain return on its own, but which generates interest in the book among "traditionalists". They sign up to order a printed luxury edition, bringing a second wave of income - and, conveniently, avoiding the risk of getting stuck with unsold printed copies. I'm sure authors and printers could reach arrangements satisfactory to both under such conditions, and the release of the e-book would be the primary marketing tool for the luxury edition. Make synergy work for us. :)

    As far as the potential in e-books, I do agree there is a real and sizeable opportunity there - but the only way to take advantage of any opportunity is to understand all aspects, positive and negative. That allows you to plan more effectively.

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