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Saturday, June 7, 2008

Changing Publishing Models

I'm guest-blogging over at Maia Strong's blog sometime later today, so check it out. I'll be talking about contests.

Maia Strong is a fellow contest winner at Samhain and her book, The Ballad of Jimothy Redwing releases next week, June 10!

Pop over and visit.

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The Ebook Debacle~Again

It seems ebooks and ebook readers have been in the news lately. Paul Krugman of the NY Times has this to say about the ebook future.

And GalleyCat visited this subject as well.

Did I not tell you these things start with a ripple? I constantly hear people saying they will never buy an ebook. And I still run into people who do not know what an ebook is.

I don't mean to come across as disrespectful, but it doesn’t matter how you feel about it. The market will change despite your reservations. This is much bigger than how you or I feel about print and digital. We have an entire generation of readers who only do things digitally and that segment of society will continue to grow as the rest of us die out.

If you sell a manuscript to a traditional publisher, study the e-book clause in your contract carefully. Your percentage will be much smaller than mine. Fight for as much as you can because it won't be too long before you'll see that little clause come back to bite you.

The other thing I think is counterproductive is thinking small. People are under the mistaken belief that the market is an either/or situation. Either publishing will go to ebooks or stay in print. There is no either/or. It is both.

There will always be print books, but now it must share the market with ebooks. That scares the bejeebers out of traditional publishers because they've been forced to rethink their publishing model. Some of them are making adjustments on things like return policies and royalties. But this is only the beginning.

Am I happy about it? No.

I think, in the end, the only one who will suffer will be the author. Krugman cited Esther Dyson who predicted: that the ease with which digital content can be copied and disseminated would eventually force businesses to sell the results of creative activity cheaply, or even give it away.

If we want to continue to earn a living through our writing, we will have to earn our revenues differently than we do now.

I'm not pleased with what I think must happen. But then I wasn't pleased when I had to accept the cantankerous workings of a personal computer in 1984.

I got used to it. I had no choice.

5 comments:

Maia Strong said...

Hi, Maria!

Just got your post posted over at my blog. Thanks again for being my guest at my blog party.

:)
~Maia

PS. Let me know if any of the links are wonky. Hopefully I got them right. ::crossing fingers::

Maria Zannini said...

Thanks, Maia! Looks great.

Maia Strong said...

Groovy!

Edie said...

Right now I have ebooks sitting on my computer that I'm not reading. I want to read them, but it's just not cozy to read on the computer, not even on my laptop. I've heard good things about the Kindle, but it's too expensive. I should check out the ebook readers.

Maria Zannini said...

I hear you, Edie. I still don't have an e reader. I am waiting for them to come down in price.

A new reader that appears to have more options and "was" cheaper than the Kindle is the Mentor. I use the word "was" because surprise, surprise, the Kindle suddenly came down to the same price as the Mentor when the Mentor debuted.

Amazon refuses to give any other competitor a toe hold. I'll wait. Eventually the price will come down and these devices will have all the bells and whistles I want.

Thanks for stopping by, Edie.