Friday, January 23, 2009

What Do You Read?

There's a great article in Time magazine this week about how the publishing industry is changing.

Change, a popular theme these days, eh?

Here's a snippet from the article:

"...More books, written and read by more people, often for little or no money, circulating in a wild diversity of forms, both physical and electronic, far outside the charmed circle of New York City's entrenched publishing culture. Old Publishing is stately, quality-controlled and relatively expensive. New Publishing is cheap, promiscuous and unconstrained by paper, money or institutional taste. If Old Publishing is, say, a tidy, well-maintained orchard, New Publishing is a riotous jungle: vast and trackless and chaotic, full of exquisite orchids and undiscovered treasures and a hell of a lot of noxious weeds."

I love that people are reading so much from so many different sources. I remember when I first started talking amongst my writer friends in 2000 about how I'd planned to self-publish Stuck Outside of Phoenix. Long story short, they thought I was crazy. I write more about it here.

It's clear that the writing/publishing world so many of us fell in love with--the world of traditionally published, respected authors and dusty new and used books as the sole bastion of literary entertainment and insight--is no longer the rule. In a way, that's hard for me to take, but that it's being complimented by so many new realms of possibility in publishing, that makes it easier to take.

Sticking it to the man has always had its charm.

An example of the expanding world of publishing? This weekend I'm getting both Ghost Notes and Stuck Outside of Phoenix ready for Kindle.

I don't own a Kindle, but my sister does, and she raves about it. I get the sense a new subculture is developing of people who read on these things, who actually prefer to read on these things.

Make no mistake, this could all go the way of Fruit Brute.

But if people like it, so be it. I hope they all buy and love my books on Kindle. I'll let you know when my books are ready for your Kindle (very, very soon).

And there are so many other non-traditional avenues for getting your work published. I'm pursuing another one right now. More on that later.

In the end, we don't really care what form our fiction takes...or do we? Are you a reader of serialized books on the web? Have you ever read a novel you downloaded for free off the Internet? Do you read self-published work, or do you even bother to notice if the work you read is self-published? Or do you say, "To hell with all of that. Give me a 'real' book or don't give me anything?"

Just curious.

Yours in laying down the law,


Buy Ghost Notes

Buy Songs from Memory

Buy Stuck Outside of Phoenix


Diana said...

My husband just recently read a book self-published by a man we know at our church called "6 Days on a Raft" by Bill Harrison. Basically it's about 4 men who fought in WWII and were left at sea after their ship sank. It's a very enduring book, but if you look at it in a literary way, you just may cringe. The beauty of self-publishing is like the beauty of America, so many freedoms so little restraints. There are pros and cons of self-publishing but it gives everyone the chance to write their story and see their name in print. Silly analogy, but just like Maven from "The Jerk". He felt complete when he saw his name in the phone book, because seeing your name in print means you've arrived.
P.S. about downloading a book, it seems almost sacrilege to "download" a book, but it serves a purpose. Personally, I like having books just like I love owning the actual CD rather then downloading songs onto my Zune. It's cheaper then buying the CD but then I miss out on the great art work that went into the CD same goes for the book.

Art Edwards said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Art Edwards said...

Few people seem to like reading fiction on a screen. They'll buy NF and download it, but fiction is a different animal. Kindle is trying to bring fiction to a screen near you.


K said...

I agree with the article in that there is very much an unrestricted and unregulated new world of publishing with the self publishing module now available, and virtually anyone can do it on any subject as long as the author pays for the privilege. The literary market is saturated with writers salivating to see their name in print. One person's trash is another person's treasure, I say. I know many readers who are thrilled to be able to download without the bother of going to a store and paying the extra price of a book with a cover. They simply want to read and there is something positive to be said for that simplicity. For those of us (me, like Diana)who treasure the hard cover, seeing the artwork, "feeling" the hard work, research, and creativity the author put into the story, we treasure the book itself. It's not just the reading, it's the whole literary experience (for me, anyway). An escape, a new found knowledge, a different perspective than we had before we read the author's brilliant talent of teaching the message brought forth. Kindle is the newest version of downloading and I know many who find the convenience refreshing. "Deadly Dolls" was originally released on Kindle and I must admit I didn't know much about it before then, but as an author included therewith I can appreciate the medium as convenience for the reader. Different strokes I s'pose, but I'm for whatever attracts people to the written word rather than perched in front of the tv or spending extraordinate amounts of time online. Everything, in moderation :-)

How's the new book coming, Art? Can't wait for it!

Art Edwards said...

Hardcovers. That's a whole 'nother enchilada. More and more books are coming out that skip the hardcover altogether. It's amazing how much about the industry is/will be different...or am I just fooling myself?

The new book is getting bigger, which means it's taking longer. I've known how to write a novel for a while. I now know how to write a long novel.

Thanks for asking.