Saturday, July 31, 2010

Ebooks and your Local Indie

I posted last week about what I called the Audio Book Revolution. In it, I suggest that audio books have a place, along with ebooks and everything else, in the conversation about the future of publishing.

They indeed do, but don't think I'm making a big deal about it. In fact, I don't ever want to make a big deal about any medium to translate written thought from one person to the next. I'm really not that passionate about it. The world needs strong, insightful, well-considered writing. And we shouldn't care too much if we get it from a paper book, an ebook, an audio book or a computer.

Because, when it comes right down to it, all reading devices are fetish items. They all exist to get the good stuff from the writer to you. That's their only purpose, and to give them powers they don't have is silly.

I've said it before, I'll say it again: Shakespeare is Shakespeare no matter where you read it.

Having said that, there is one reading device I would miss should it ever disappear, and that is the book. You know, the one made with paper.

And, funny, it's not so much the paper book I'm concerned about, it's the bookstore.

And it's really it's not even so much bookstores as the independent bookstore.

I went to Powell's on Hawthorne this past week to hear Gina Frangello and Zoe Zolbrod read from their latest works. I browsed the stacks, bought two paperbacks, listened to the readings, met three writers. The trip really made my month.

And then it hit me when I got home: Nothing says Powell's--and indie bookstores in general--are going to be around forever.

Hard to imagine, but not impossible. Just look at what indie bookstores had to compete against ten years ago.

Big boxes (Borders, B&N)
Online Retailers (Amazon, etc.)
Mall-y type Chains (Waldenbooks, etc.)
That shelf at your local Goodwill where everything's a buck.

And now they have to compete against ebooks, a medium that does not require a bookstore to get the words to you at all.

Kind of scary, if you love independent bookstores.

So, support your local indie bookstore, if you want indie bookstores. I know I do.

Yours in laying down the law,


Try Ghost Notes, the award-winning novel, in print form for just $5.

Try Ghost Notes the Audio Book as an unabridged digital download.

Or try Ghost Notes the Ebook.

1 comment:

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