DO REAL READERS READ E-BOOKS… AND WILL PHYSICAL BOOKS VANISH?
Given that my whole objective is to learn how to blog briefly, you would have to wonder how I come up with these headings! It would take a book to answer these questions properly. Let me point an accusing finger at my subconscious. The damn thing seems to be addicted to long copy. I shall pound it into submission.
The evidence is that real readers really do read e-books because they love the low prices, the immediacy, and the convenience. Nonetheless, they may well buy physical copies of books they particularly like as well.
I don’t believe, for a second, that physical books will vanish. However, I do think that e-books will eat heavily into the traditional paperback market (paperbacks being seen as inherently disposable) and will have a substantial, but not fatal, impact on hardbacks.
I live in hopes that e-books will shake up traditional publishing – currently dominated by six vast corporate entities – to its roots. I don’t think the corporatization of publishing has done either the writing or reading communities any favors.
Let me close with a couple of quotes from an interesting newsletter emanating from www.ebook-editor.com This particular blog was written by guest blogger, Elyse Douglas.
“Fewer people are reading more, but in more formats than ever before, according to the results of a series of telephone surveys carried out by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.”
“There are three things to keep in mind with regard to publishing an eBook, however. First, garbage in, garbage out—even if it that garbage has a beautifully designed garbage bag. If one is a lover of the craft of writing, one should insure that the book is carefully written, edited and proofed. Secondly, a professionally designed book cover is essential. It separates the amateurs from the pros. Third, the big one. Publicity. If you do not promote your work, it will lie off in the high weeds somewhere and never be seen, even if it’s the most dazzling flower in the field.”
As John Grisham recently said on CNN: “The emergence of eBooks is phenomenal. A year ago, my last book, “The Confession” was published. It was the first time we released the digital version of the book the same day as the hardback. After one year, my total sales are 40% digital and 60% hardback and the numbers have gone up. That’s obviously good news for me because more people are reading the books.”
The signs are encouraging, but the outcome is far from assured. I would like to see a dynamic marketplace where the sheer merit of the authors’ work would shine. The corporate handful who currently control publishing would prefer their sheer weight of promotional money to continue to dominate. Why not indeed? The weight of money of a privileged elite currently controls our lives from conception to death, and its physical consequences. That is not freedom.
NEWSFLASH! NEW BOOKS ARE ON THEIR WAY AT LAST!
Just so you know, I am on a steady countdown to launch a range of new titles on Amazon, and other major sites, within weeks rather than months. I will provide specific dates when I have them.
I will be launching – over a period of several weeks – three new titles. Thereafter, additional new titles will be appearing at, very roughly, intervals of one every month or two for several months.
The initial titles will be:
- THE BLOOD OF GENERATIONS. This will be the fourth action-packed novel in the Fitzduane series. In it, a survivor of the notorious WW II massacre at Malmerie, France, tries to enlist Fitzduane’s help in tracking down one of the chief perpetrators. That perpetrator, aging but still lethal, now runs one of the largest corporations in the world and has planned revenge against the Allies. In the climax, Fitzduane finds himself fighting over the same blood-soaked ground in Nazi occupied France as his father and mother had experienced in WW II when both were agents who had been infiltrated behind enemy lines to prepare for the June 6 invasion in 1944. Their mission-impossible is to either delay or destroy the formidable and ruthless SS Thousand Year Panzer division. With an intersecting story set both today, and back in 1944, this is a Big Thriller on an epic scale inspired by actual events.
- SATAN’S SMILE. Harry Fremont is a battle-weary scientist turned FBI agent who, for years, has specialized in hunting serial killers. His father is Thurlow Fremont, one of the principal developers of the Hydrogen Bomb. Posted to Livermore, home of the nuclear Livermore National Laboratory, to investigate a series of vicious throat cutting murders, Harry soon discovers that there are other forces at work; and that ‘The Lab’ is the target. Meanwhile, Stonecutter, the master terrorist, is planning a vastly more lethal spectacular event than anyone could have imagined. Distracted by inter-agency politics, and confused by his love for a fellow FBI, agent and his attraction to nuclear scientist Tina Lazaroff, Harry battles against the clock to stop much of California being turned into a nuclear wasteland. In a sentence: Serial killing meets nuclear terrorism.
- HOW EAGLE & CUCKOO SAVE AMERICA: THE BEGINNING. The Council of The Place For Reasonably Good People (where you go after you die if you have been reasonably good) are concerned that the U.S. is in rapid decline so appoint their watcher, Cuckoo, to find a solution. Cuckoo finds that so many Americans have been corrupted by dollar worship and Fast Food, that the only living creature up to the task is Eagle, head of all the eagles – and the very personification of character and integrity. However, Eagle is an eagle so has to know a lot more before he will be up to the task. Accordingly, Cuckoo proceeds to teach him. Meanwhile, the forces of darkness headed by one of Satan’s main agents, determine to destroy Eagle. A hilarious satire combined with an action packed thriller, Eagle & Cuckoo (E&C) may well be one of the funniest, most exciting, books you are ever likely the read; and offers a fascinating perspective on the reality of modern America.
E&C will be a trilogy, albeit each book will be a self-contained story. A self-contained story, from this author’s perspective, has a Beginning, a Middle, and an End; and is satisfying in itself.
- In the HOW EAGLE & CUCKOO SAVE AMERICA: THE BEGINNING, we get to know the characters, see Eagle as he evolves from simple aviator to combat leader, and experience the most hilarious courtroom scene yet written – featuring the Supreme Court and a re-incarnated Clarence Darrow.
- In the HOW EAGLE & CUCKOO SAVE AMERICA: THE CONTEST we follow Eagle as he morphs into human form, develops his political platform, and runs for the presidency.
- In the HOW EAGLE & CUCKOO SAVE AMERICA: THE LEADER we follow Eagle as he is sworn into office and leads the re-building of America with extraordinary success.
Will there be other E&C books? I truly hope so. I have a lot of ideas on that front. But, as always, it all depends upon the market reaction.
Watch this space for the latest details. We, who appear to be doing nothing, are actually surprisingly busy (but are slower at getting out titles than I would like).