Tuesday, 1 June 2010

The iPad and the future of books

Read an interesting article from The New York Review of Books, reprinted in the Guardian Review of Sat 29th May.

Sue Halpern author of 'Can't Remember What I Forgot:: The Good News from the Front Lines on Memory Research. contrasts the virtues and vices of the various Kindle/Nook/iPad products. 

What interested me in the article was her musings about how it affects the way we read, what we expect from electronic helpers in reading and the effects on authors.

With the advent of Google's own tablet computer and the ePub format available on all devices except Kindle, the revolution in publishing opens out still further to those outside the mainstream of the literary world.  She quotes Jacket Copy Blog in the Los Angeles Times;'Theoretically, an individual author could create and ePub e-book and publish from home.'

I've talked before about the way the Internet is transforming what is possible for authors.  Yes it's easy to say that if our book is any good it will find a mainstream publisher.  But that's to be naive about the commercial pressures on publishing now and their own agendas. 

As authors or would be authors, we have to write the best book we can.  Then we have choices:

  1.  work the system the best we can to find a mainstream publisher 
  2. look into what's possible for us to build a loyal following for our writing that allows us to maintain control and value from our writing.
I believe the writing and publishing world has never been more open to us if we'll find out what's available and possible.

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