On Change or Something

As pretty much every publishing blog ever has reported by now, Dorchester, starting in September, is going to release ebooks followed by POD trade paperbacks rather than releasing mass market paperbacks.  A lot of very serious people who know the industry very well have discussed this elsewhere and made very good points. I am not a very serious person, so I’ll make two points.

1. I, personally, am cool with this. Books are still going to be in stores, and in libraries, so I’ll still get my atavistic thrill from browsing at Borders. Also, POD and ebooks were a model I remember discussing back in my days at O’Reilly, so I think that is where things are going. Which is not to say that anyone else’s reaction is invalid, mind: I can speak only from the perspective of a new author whose book is releasing in spring. But I, myself, am fine with things.

2. Moving on to a lighter or at least less emotional topic, I’ve seen a lot of discussion, as a result of this announcement, about the advantages and disadvantages of ebooks. Ebooks are more convenient; ebooks are harder to curl up with; ebooks are more easily available; ebooks are less affordable. All good points. (I personally have no problem reading online, though I’m not buying an e-reader until either the price goes down or I go a whole year without leaving my cell phone somewhere random, because otherwise I foresee DOOM.)

The point I haven’t seen yet?

Ebooks are way easier to get away with reading at work.

Er, not that I do that. Or at least not at my current job: I like my current job. However, I’ve had jobs I liked a lot less, and I’ve also had jobs that were basically answering the phone when it rang and otherwise doing whatever I wanted as long as I looked professional. You break out a paperback while you’re at your desk, people are going to glance at you suspiciously.

But an ebook? You can read that at your desk and look like you’re scrutinizing important email or going over annual reports. Plus, if you hear the boss coming, you can switch over to an Excel spreadsheet far more easily than you could put away a hard-copy book. I’m just saying, is all.

Maybe I should find a way to market directly to millennial-generation slackers. 😉


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I'm Izzy. I write stuff: mostly vaguely fantasy stuff, and most notably the following books: Hickey of the Beast, published March 2011 by Candlemark and Gleam Romance novels from Sourcebooks: No Proper Lady Lessons After Dark Legend of the Highland Dragon The Highland Dragon's Lady Night of the Highland Dragon Highland Dragon Warrior Highland Dragon Rebel Highland Dragon Master I also like video games, ballroom dancing, and various geeky hobbies like LARPing. I have been known to voluntarily purchase and eat circus peanuts. Like, a whole bag at once.

7 thoughts on “On Change or Something”

  1. Chalk up another point in favour of the Candlemark & Gleam model – this is exactly what we’re gonna be doing when we hit print in a year or so. It’s more sustainable and it still gets your books in stores and before readers. Good stuff.

    Plus, reading at work. Rawk.

  2. I never read ebooks on my computer (which, being a teacher, I can’t do at work anyway), but I read on a Kindle–with which it is perfectly easy to “curl up” with a book; I was doing it just a few minutes ago.

    I’m perfectly ok with ebooks, but I still want to see my own book (should I ever finish the damned thing and then be fortunate enough to find a publisher) in a print edition at the local Borders or whatever.

    1. The cool thing is, the model Dorchester is moving to, and the model used by a lot of small presses like Candlemark & Gleam and Featherproof and a bunch of the erotica presses means that you CAN see your books on the shelf at B&N without having massive printing costs and huge return liabilities and all the unsustainable rigamarole that goes with traditional printing.

      It’s a little harder to get your book stocked when you use short-run digital printing, but if you distribute with Ingrams, it can still be done. You’ve just gotta be a little pushy about getting the book on the shelf. I have a feeling a lot more publishers are going to be moving to this soon…

    2. Yeah, me too. It’s why, as Kate mentioned, POD is a pretty cool compromise. Bookstores will still place orders and everything, it’s just a matter of printing to fill the orders after they’re placed rather than printing a bunch of extra and then warehousing.

      The one problem I have with Kindle–other than the ditziness I mentioned in my original post–is that I do like to read in the bathtub. OTOH, I’m guessing they’ll come out with a waterproof model/skin/thing sometime soon.

  3. Well, I do most of my reading on the bus. While there is a computer at work, it’s really not feasible to be glued to it for most of the shift. So I trust you’ll let us know when a dead-tree version is out.

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