Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Future of Writing and Reading

Those of us who have been fortunate enough to be published, or are thinking about publishing and follow the markets, trends and general publishing information are quickly realizing that everything is changing. The prediction is that e-books will far outsell printed books by the year 2018. POD is becoming a way of life, and soon bookstores will not have the old browsing sections of books you can flip through, or grab a seat and read part of. Instead you will push a button and the book you want will be printed and bound right before your eyes. Amazing.

Bookstores are closing all over the country. Publishers going bankrupt. As a writer this is scarey to me, but as a voracious reader it is terrifying. It isn't that I'm not technologically inclined, and I can't purchase, download and read an e-book. It's that I don't want to. For me I would lose the pleasure of holding that old classic, turning its pages, and entering its world. I lose the pleasure of holding my granddaughter in my lap as I read to her, and let her turn the pages.

As a writer, I realize that e-book publishing is cheaper, and viral marketing many times more effective. I've delayed the release of my second novel, Sacred Secrets due to the economy and the high price of books at the moment. New authors are always at a disadvantage when selling side by side with the known best sellers, but we're placed at even more of a disadvantage when our books are priced anywhere from $4.00 to $8.00 more than the best sellers. As a reader, and a person who keeps a lot of the books I buy, I'm only going to spend $20.00 to $25.00 on someone I know I'm going to enjoy. Therefore, as a reader I myself pass up a lot of new authors that may be just as good, but their prices prohibit me from buying their books.

So, will I conform to e-books? As an author, I assume that I must. As a reader, I doubt seriously that I will ever be a big e-book fan. Nor an audio book fan. I will always want to hold that book, run my fingers over those pages and slip in my favorite bookmark at my stopping place.

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