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Posts Tagged ‘E-books’

Harper Voyager Books Open for Digital Submissions

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on September 5, 2012

Between October 1st and October 14th Harper Voyager Books will be open to manuscripts.  (See full details here). They say:

‘We’re seeking all kinds of adult and young adult speculative fiction for digital publication, but particularly epic fantasy, science fiction, urban fantasy, horror, dystopia and supernatural. ‘ The manuscripts should be between 80,000 to 120,000 words and they should be completed.

This is for their new digital line of books.

This link:

How To Submit A Manuscript
To submit, go to and follow the instructions to fill out the form and upload your manuscript.’

Doesn’t work. I suspect it will be working only in that two week period. And they say if you don’t hear from them in three months, consider your ms rejected.

So you have until October first to polish your manuscript!


Posted in Publishers, Publishing Industry, Writing Opportunities | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Winner of Jennifer Willis Give-away!

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on May 25, 2011

Jennifer says:

While I’m still curious about what horrible job situations you might condemn Thor to, I’m impressed that Amelia is planning to hit the ground running at her convention this July, and I hope she’ll report back on her adventures with bookmarks.
Thanks also to Maree and Nicole for weighing in. It’s true that many authors — “traditional” and indie alike — have to rely increasingly on their own efforts to promote their books, but this also means you’re not limited to conventional marketing. When it comes to getting the word out about your own books, let your creativity reign!
Amanda, you can contact Jennifer on:  jen(at)jennifer-willis(dot)com

Posted in Authors and Public Speaking, Book Giveaway, e-books, Promoting your Book | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Creative Marketing for Indie Authors

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on May 7, 2011

This week ROR welcomes Jennifer Willis,  an indie author who’ll be talking about marketing: Take it away, Jen …

Watch out for the give-away question at the end of the post

If you’re an indie author, chances are you don’t have a huge budget for marketing your book. As independents, we simply don’t have access to the same resources and advertising departments that traditional publishers have at their disposal. But that doesn’t mean you can’t compete. You may just need to get a little creative about your marketing, and then rely on the power of the internet and social media to fuel your grassroots campaign.

Below are some strategies from my own marketing plan for “Valhalla.” Some of these I’ve already put into play, and others are coming soon. (Word to the wise about indie marketing: No matter how slick your plan is or how successful your strategies turn out to be, it will still always, *always* take longer than you think!)

* Friends & family money-back-guarantee

This idea came from my boyfriend. He suggested that we come up with a list of 100 friends and family members and offer them a money-back-guarantee on the $2.99 “Valhalla” ebook. I laughed and thought this was really cute at first, but then I realized how smart it was. Even if everyone on the list agreed to participate and then ended up hating the book, very few people are going to quibble over $3. As it’s turned out, no one has asked for money back — and if you play your cards right and line up enough people to buy your book within the first 24 hours of its release, you can seriously bump up your sales rank.

NOTE: I’m making about $2 off of every $2.99 book that’s sold. If one of my “friends & family readers” did decide to ask for a refund, I’d lose a dollar on that sale (refunding my $2 in royalties plus another $1 out of my own pocket to make up the difference in sales price). So if you put out a really bad book and everyone wants their money back, you’re looking at a deficit.

* Leave print copies of your book in strategic locations

This idea comes from indie bands, who used to surreptitiously stuff their CDs into the racks at music stores. If those CDs then sold, the artists made no money off of them — since they’d essentially “donated” the CDs to the stores — but it was a way to get new people listening to their music. So every once in a while, I’ll leave print copies of my first novel, “rhythm,” lying around in strategic locations. I’ve left copies in libraries, in bookstores (where I later went back to confirm that “rhythm” had been put on the store shelves), hotel rooms when I’m traveling, coffee shops and the like. I’ve left copies of “rhythm” all over Ireland when I’ve vacationed there, and my boyfriend took a few copies to Las Vegas on a recent trip. I’ve even left a copy in a Subway restaurant.

I don’t make any money off of these “free range” copies of my book, but you never know who might pick one up and start reading.

* Bookmarks

Just a like a business card, a bookmark highlighting your new book helps to generate interest. You can distribute these to people you meet at parties, on the bus, at the grocery store or wherever, giving them a physical reminder later to look up your book and maybe even buy a copy.

Also, these bookmarks can be distributed in guerrilla-like fashion — left in books returned to the library, furtively slipped inside books in your genre at the bookstore, left on your seat on the train, etc.

This is one of those strategies I’ve not yet tried yet, but I’ve seen others use this to great effect. I’m looking for a good printing service for my bookmarks — though if you’ve got a higher-end printer at home or come up with a design that isn’t heavy on graphics, there’s no reason you couldn’t print up your own bookmarks and start handing them out right away.

* Talk to people

This may seem like a no-brainer and not terribly creative, because not all writers are shy. But I certainly am, and it can be a challenge for me to strike up a conversation with a stranger or someone I just met — and the pressure of marketing my new book in such a situation can make it even worse.

But if I catch sight of someone who’s using an e-reader, for instance, it’s that much easier — we already have something to talk about. I can simply ask how they like their device, what they do or don’t like to read on it, and then casually — or not so casually — mention I have a new ebook that’s come out. And I can relate my decision to go with e-publishing to what they like most about the device — instant accessibility, saving trees, etc.

Overcoming personal shyness isn’t all that easy, and it helps if you feel truly passionate and excited about your book. When it comes to talking about “Valhalla,” I’ve been surprised to discover myself bursting out of my shell to tell pretty much everyone about it. I’ve joked that maybe I should start wearing a name tag that reads, “Hello! My name is … VALHALLA! Buy it!”

* Blog post exchange
If you’re putting together a blog tour for your book — and really, you should! — one strategy to scoring some screen-time on someone else’s blog is to offer to do a guest post exchange. It’s simple: you write an entry to post on their blog, and they write an entry to post on yours. This cross-promotion gets your name and information about your book in front of the other blog’s readers, while also giving the other blogger access to your readers for a day.

Michelle Rafter’s annual Worcount Blogathon encourages this kind of post-swapping in an effort to help participating bloggers keep their content (and their brains) fresh during the month of blogging every day.

* Stage readings in unusual places

At the grocery store last month, I was surprised to see an author set up just inside the main doors, selling his new book of cartoons, ” Casey and Kyle: So Much For Being On Our Best Behavior!!!” I stopped and talked with Will Robertson about why he was selling his books in a grocery store. He explained that he was going to various grocery and drug stores, setting up his little table and talking to people as they came in — and was selling 100 books a week. (You can read more about this meeting on my blog.)

If there are other indie authors in your area publishing ebooks, consider setting up a joint book reading to promote your work. Since readers can purchase ebooks pretty much anywhere and at any time, you’re not limited to bookstores as venues. You could arrange to do a reading at a local coffee house or bistro, or even stage a guerrilla reading in a public square, street corner or park.

* Book trailer video

Granted, if you have little or no marketing budget, this is probably not going to be a high-end video with lots of special effects. But that’s okay. You can get as silly and as campy as you’d like with this to show your readers that you have a sense of humor — if your book has a humorous bent, all the better.

If your book is more serious in tone and topic, you can go the safer route and stage a Q&A interview with yourself, or perhaps make a mini-documentary to underscore the importance of your topic — and your book — to your potential readers.

If you’re not sure where to post the video of your book trailer once it’s done, have a look at Creative Indie Marketing- Top 15 places to Post Your Videos on the Stardom Bound blog.


Jennifer Willis is an author, essayist, and journalist in Portland, Oregon. In her non-fiction work, she specializes in topics related to sustainability, spirituality/religion, history, and health. Her articles have appeared in The Oregonian, The Christian Science Monitor,, The Portland Tribune, The Writer, Ancestry Magazine,, Skirt!,, Vegetarian Times, Spirituality & Health, and other print and online publications at home and across the globe.
In fiction, she focuses on urban fantasy and playful mayhem. Her new ebook, “Valhalla” is available Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Goodreads.

Visit her online at
Give-away Question: “Without his divine powers, Thor has to go to work like everyone else — but he’s a terrible employee. What do you think Thor’s least favorite job would be?”

Posted in Book Giveaway, Book Launches, e-books, Nourish the Writer, Promoting your Book, Visiting Writer | Tagged: , , , , | 8 Comments »

Amanda Green talks about E-books and the Naked Reader Press

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on April 4, 2011

With best selling author Barry Eisler turning down a $500K advance to self publish and Amanda Hocking becoming a millionaire at 26 by selling her own books through Kindle, the publishing world is changing grasshopper. Now we hear that Amanda Hocking has gone traditional and signed with St Martin’s Press.

This week I’ve invited Amanda Green to talk to us about the industry and Naked Reader Press (NRP) aptly named, because there is ‘nothing between you and the story’, meaning they produce e-books. Amanda is Senior Executive Editor of NRP.

Here in Australia the impact of e-readers and e-books is only just starting to hit. In the last twelve months I’ve seen more and more people using e-readers on the train going to work. Before that, there were hardly any. Recently I read an article in the Science Fiction Writers of America magazine which said if you’re a published author and you aren’t selling your back-list as e-books you’re crazy.














Q: I’m going to lead in with a question about Amanda Hocking. She’s already made almost 2 million from self publishing now she’s signed with St Martin’s Press. On her blog she said: “I want to be a writer. I do not want to spend 40 hours a week handling e-mails, formatting covers, finding editors, etc. Right now, being me is a full-time corporation.” You follow the publishing scene in the US were you surprised when she signed with a traditional publisher?

Hi, Rowena.  Thanks for having me here at ROR.

As for your question, no, it didn’t surprise me to see Hocking sign with a traditional publisher.  In one of her blog posts, she admitted that she knew her success as an “indie” was the exception and not the rule.  She’s also been very open about the amount of time it takes to do the promotion necessary to make her the success she’s become.  She’s hoping that signing with St. Martin’s will take over a great deal of the promotion so she can do what she likes – write.

But there is another aspect of the signing we need to recognize.  I think everyone’s aware of just how difficult it is to get a publishing contract these days.  That’s going to get even harder, especially if Borders and other troubled chains are forced to shut down, because publishers will have fewer outlets for their books.  I think we’re going to see more instances of publishers seeking out and signing indies (self-published authors) who have a built-in audience already.  The question will be if that audience follows the author to a traditional publisher.  Some will, but others will not for one simple reason – indie books are traditionally priced below $4.99.  Most are in the $2.99 or below range.  Traditionally published e-books are much more expensive.

Q: You post regularly to the Mad Genius Club blog on publishing topics. It was through your posts over the last couple of years that I was made aware of the advancing market share of e-books. How do you keep up with everything?

I don’t sleep – or at least not nearly enough.

Actually, every morning as I have my coffee and try to get the brain working, I read certain blogs, the Kindle boards at Amazon and publishing-related sites.  Among those I regularly check out are Shelf Awareness, Publishers Weekly, and GalleyCat.  Also, even though I don’t use Twitter nearly as much as I should to tweet, I do check it out to see what is trending.  It really is amazing what you can find out that way.  There are also several author and agent blogs that I check on a fairly regular basis.  All in all, I probably spend about an hour each morning checking these sites and will do a second check when I break each afternoon.


Q: On the Naked Truth blog, you listed the Associated American Publisher (AAP) sales figures for January.  There was a 115.8% rise in sales of e-books, with sales of almost 70 million. That’s a big figure and a big leap. I’d no idea e-books were selling so well. Yet, you say, it was a lower rise in sales than in previous months.

It was a slightly slower increase than in the previous month, but a part of that was the huge bump in sales just after Christmas.  That week between Christmas and New Year’s always sees a jump in sales of both e-books and hard copy books as people are busy redeeming their gift cards.

What was interesting to note in the latest figures is that, other than education books, the only areas showing increased sales were digital – e-books and digital downloads of audio books.  While I don’t see the end of traditionally published books any time soon, it does presage a flip-flop in coming years as to the preferred format.

As the cost of dedicated e-book readers continues to come down, as more people adopt “smart” phones and as more companies come out with competition for the iPad, the number of people reading e-books will continue to grow.  Yes, there is something about the feel of a book.  But there is also something to be said about being able to carry your entire library with you in a device that weighs less than the typical mass market paperback.

What is going to have to happen for mainstream publishers to fully embrace e-books is for them to finally figure out how to deal with e-books.  They are worried now about e-books cannibalizing the sales of paperbacks and, if you look at the last few months’ sales figures, you can see where they are coming from.  The problem arises from the fact they are offering the e-books version of a title at the same time as the hard cover.  Some people will buy the e-book then.  Others won’t, citing the high price (e-books of best sellers are often priced only a dollar or so below the price of the hard cover on sites like Amazon).  So these readers will wait until the soft cover version of the book comes out.  The problem is, by that time, they’ve forgotten about the book and have moved on to something else.  So the publisher has lost at least one, if not two sales.  Whether this means to bring out the hard cover and then, at some later time, bring out the e-book in conjunction with the soft cover, I don’t know.

Q: As a writer I find my books have been pirated and I keep getting Google alerts for sites where I can download my books for free. Some authors feel that book piracy is promoting their books, while others feel that it could impact on their sales and this could lead their publisher not to offer than another contract. What’s your take on e-book piracy?

I fall into the latter camp.  The way I look at it is that if someone reads a pirated copy of one of NRP’s books, they are going to go looking for more books by our authors.  When they do and they see how inexpensive our titles are, they will pay for them.  Maybe I’m an optimist, but I believe that most readers are willing to pay a reasonable price for their books and short stories.

If you will let me get on my soapbox for a moment, part of the problem with e-piracy is DRM.  That’s like waving a red flag and daring someone to break it.  It also adds to the cost of the e-book.

The way I look at it, e-piracy is always going to be there.  But if you make your books available in non-DRM formats and at reasonable prices, you take away a lot of the reason for piracy.  I keep going back to the Harry Potter books.  J. K. Rowling has been very open about her resistance to putting the books out in digital formats.  It has also been well documented that the books were available in PDF formats online within hours of hitting the shelves in stores.

In fact, if you look at a lot of the piracy sites, what they are offering isn’t a digital file they bought somewhere and now they are just passing on.  These are PDF scans of books they’ve made, or that someone else has.  So, it doesn’t matter if you have a digital title out there filled with DRM or not.

Q: NRP is offering authors 60% of the cover price (less the credit card processing fee) and 50% of the amount received from the reseller. This is a better deal than traditional publishers are offering authors. Why do you think the large publishers are charging so much for e-books and paying authors so little?

The short answer – traditional publishers are still operating under the same business plan and ideology they have for years.

No one likes change.  That’s especially true in an industry that hasn’t had to change all that much in decades.  Add in the fact that the industry is struggling right now, revenues are down in a number of areas, and there is resistance to doing anything that might take money out of the stockholders’ pockets.

NRP was formed by a group of people who have worked in various aspects of the publishing industry.  The one thing they all agreed upon was that the author is the source of our product and, therefore, we need to do everything we can to get as much profit into their pockets as possible.  I guess you could say we like thinking outside the box that way.


Q: Is NRP also offering readers the choice of printed versions of books as well as e-books?

Great question, Rowena, and I’m really glad you asked it.  We have two titles being prepped as we speak for release in soft cover and two more planned.  They will be available through Amazon and other outlets.  Once they are available, we’ll be making announcements on our website, our blog and on facebook.

Q: I see NRP is offering give-away on their web site. Is this a regular thing?

It’s semi-regular right now, but we have plans to make it more of a regular feature.  As our catalogue expands, we will be offering more give-ways as well having contests and author events our readers can take part in.

Giveaways right now are B. Quick by C. S. Laurel and Kate’s novella Born in Blood.  You can find my blog entry about them here.

Q: My first book sale was in 1996 when publishing was still very traditional. It has all changed so much in the last fifteen years. Where do you see it going in the next 2- 5 years?

That is the million dollar question.  I think we’re going to see e-books continue to take over more of the market share.  However, until an industry standard format is agreed upon, e-books will continue to trail traditional books.  Think of how digital downloads of music increased once mp3 became the standard format.

I think we will also see an increase in the number of authors releasing their backlists either on their own or through small e-publishers.  The flip side to this is that I’m afraid we’re going to see more publishers trying to hold onto e-rights long after they should have reverted to the authors.  Out-of-print is going to have to be redefined to protect authors and that, I’m afraid, is going to require litigation and that will only wind up hurting publishers in the long run.

The next few years are going to be interesting in publishing, probably a little scary, but growth always is.  As an editor, I’m looking forward to it.  But then I’ve always enjoyed a challenge.  As a reader, I’m thrilled because I’m looking forward to being able to get books I remember from when I was younger and that I can no longer find.


Amazon Naked Reader Press books.

Smashwords Naked Reader Press.

Posted in e-books, Editors, Publishers, Publishing Industry | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

E-readers and e-books

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on March 12, 2011

Okay, the time has come for me to get an e-reader. So far I’ve peered over people’s shoulders in the train and asked intelligent questions such as: ‘Do you find it good?’ ‘How many books can you fit on it?’

Everyone I’ve spoken to loved their e-readers.

We’ve all heard of Amanda Hocking who has become a e-book millionaire.  Here Nathan Bransford talks about this phenomenon. More mid-list authors are thinking about going the e-book route because their royalties are better on e-books. There are traditionally published authors who make more off their e-books.

Wall Street Journal announces that Random House has switched their pricing policy on e-books. They are the last major publisher to switch to the agency model.

‘Five of the country’s six largest publishers switched to agency pricing last year when Apple introduced its iPad tablet. Publishers believed the iPad would sharply expand sales of e-books and challenge Inc.’s popular Kindle e-reader. Apple is hosting a news conference Wednesday and is expected to unveil a new version of the iPad.’

Here, at Pimp My Novel, Eric explains what this means for us readers. And more from Pimp My Novel Five Things you should Know About the eRevolution.

Which all brings me back to, what do you look for in an e-book?

What do you want from an e-reader?

Posted in e-books, Publishing Industry | Tagged: , , | 12 Comments »

E-books and indy/self publishing

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on January 8, 2011

‘The world is changing, Grasshopper, and we’re all scrambling to make sense of it.’

The buzz is all about authors who have a following making copies of their out of print books available through Smashwords (or some other avenue) as e-books. Anna Jacobs, a top selling romance writer, also wrote a fantasy series and a stand alone SF book as Shannah Jay. These have been out of print for a while, so she put these books up on Smashwords. She’s also released the prequel to the fantasy series.

Anna says her fantasy books sell better in Australia, than they do in the UK, and her romance sell better in the UK where she is known for them. The fantasy sales have not been very exciting, but …

‘I have 5 historical romances and one modern novel up at Amazon under my own steam, two regency romances up there (and at all sorts of other places) via Regency Reads – I only ever wrote two regency romances. The rest of my books are put up by my saga publisher.

Tracking is fiddly but numbers are worthwhile financially on the books we put up ourselves. For example, my historical romances have recently had between 2 and 5 books in the top 100 ebook historical romance sellers in the UK (out of 7 books published as ebooks) and my sagas have had similar numbers in the top 100 sagas.

These numbers go down while the UK sleeps and up again when the UK wakes up. It’s very pleasing. Yesterday I had 5 historical romances in the top 100 at about 5pm and 6 sagas in the other top 100 list. Today I had one historical romance in the list at 2.10 pm Aussie time today, and 3 sagas in the other list. The lists change every hour.

For most of these sales I get 70% of selling price if sold to someone in the UK or USA, 30% if sold to elsewhere in the world. It’s not in the league of my print book sales, but makes a nice addition to my income. For those from my publisher I get only 25 % of sales, standard royalty rate for ebooks at the moment.’

Over at the Mad Genius Club- Writers’ Division, Several of the writers have formed Naked Reader Press (Meaning naked as in e-books). Submission details for NRP. They say:

‘Naked Reader came about when a group of us, all writers, editors and others in the publishing field as well as a few with legal or accounting backgrounds, got together and started talking about what we would like to see in a publishing house. That conversation quickly turned to the number of authors who were taking advantage of e-publishing through their own sites, through “cooperatives” and the like. A few more conversations down the road and we came to the conclusion that we wanted to offer more than just our own books and stories for sale. We wanted to offer the opportunity for authors with backlists to release those books in a digital format at terms that were fair to them; terms that would keep cost to the reader down while giving the author more money per book than they would get through a traditional route. Later, after more talk and a lot of research, we decided that we could pool all our talents and Naked Reader was born.’

And there’s  The Book View Cafe.

‘Book View Café came together in March of 2008 around a group of authors (click here to see our complete author list) with a simple aim: to use the Internet to bring their work directly to their readers. It was already clear that a revolution was coming to the publishing industry and these authors wanted to help shape its course.

Working with a shoe-string budget and volunteer labor, but drawing on a collective century’s worth of experience in the publishing industry, they created the Book View Café website. Rather than just another clearing house for books online, they created a space where readers could browse and discover new authors and titles alongside current favorites. Aware that the Internet demands variety, the authors made sure that fresh fiction appeared on their front page every day, a feat made possible by the extensive list of material available to over twenty professional authors.’

But how successful are these ventures and can you achieve sales if you are a ‘newbie’ author?

Here is a guest post by Robin Sullivan, wife of writer Michael J Sullivan about his e-books self publishing. She says:

‘Many say that Joe’s success is a direct result of his traditional publishing foundation and that new authors can’t hope to do the same. Since we don’t have a time machine so that Joe can remake his career, perhaps looking at someone who started with nothing, and is currently selling similarly, can be used as an example for what is possible.’  She goes on to talk about the new fantasy series that they have self published and the sales it is making.

And then here’s Amanda Hocking.

Here’s a Huffington Post article about fantasy writer, Amanda Hocking’ who has written 17 novels (she’s only 26 – Obsessive moi?). She’s self published and, since April 2010, she’s sold 185,000 copies.  She says:

‘I decided to self-publish, and I thought it would be better than them sitting on my computer. Worst case scenario, nobody would read them, and that’s what was happening anyway.’

LOL, good on you Amanda.

Here’s an article by Derek J Canyon on self publishing in e-book format with information on sales.

All of this is really interesting. I’m really happy with my publisher so I won’t be rushing out to self publish. I like to know that several other professionals have read my books and edited them rigorously before I send them out into the world.

But, like everyone else, I’m watching e-books and what’s happening in the real-world market with interest. Have you bought self published e-books? What’s the quality been like?

Posted in e-books, Editing and Revision, Publishing Industry, Sales | Tagged: , | 14 Comments »

E-books, where is publishing going?

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on August 7, 2010

Today is not a craft post, it is a ramble on e-books and the publishing industry. I don’t claim to have the answers. Like everyone else, I’m on the same the rollercoaster ride.

Between Janet Evanovich asking $50 million advance from  St Martin’s Press and moving to Random House to get it (see Forbes article) and Dorchester closing down its print arm and going into e-books, we live in interesting times. (See the Publishers Weekly article). The Evanovich saga has to be influenced by the fact that Katherine Heigl is going to play Stephanie Plum in the movie version of ‘One for the Money’.

See Catherine Heigl as Stephanie Plum.

The rest of us aren’t selling 75 million copies of our books. So we aren’t in Evanovich’s position. We are sitting back watching the rise of e-books and wondering where it will all lead.

In Australia we don’t use e-book readers as much as they do in the US. I did a survey of several Australian e-lists on the topic of e-books, collated the replies and did a post back in May. You can see it here. While we sit on the fence and notice e-reader on the train as a novelty, over in the US agent Kirsten Nelson talks about how her grandmother wants an e-reader. On the Mad Genius Club shared blog (MGC) the majority of the writers are based in the US and the future of e-books is on their minds. (17 posts on e-books, 5 on e-publishing).

They talk about reaching a ‘tipping point’ where the sales of e-books outstrip the sales of paperbacks. According to Amazon, e-book sales have topped hardcover sales. For those who like figures Amazon say they’ve been selling 143 Kindle books for every 100 hardcovers. (July 19, 2010).

And then you have literary agent Andrew Wylie, who started his own publishing venture to produce e-books available through Amazon exclusively.  There is a dispute going on over who owns the rights to older books, contracted before the arrival of e-books. And if a publisher can keep just a few print books available, how can a writer retrieve the rights to their intellectual property. See Konrath’s post about this.

According to an academic study (results released in March this year) print books which also released e-book versions for free generated more print sales. See the Journal of Electronic Publishing for this article. Sean William’s ‘The crooked Letter’ was one of the titles covered.

And then there is the question of e-book DRM, bascially the content is locked so that it can only be read on certain readers. (For more on DRM see here). Cory Doctorow  talks about DRM here.  He is very suspicious of the whole thing. He says: ‘This led me to formulate something I grandiosely call Doctorow’s First Law: “Any time someone puts a lock on something that belongs to you, and won’t give you a key, they’re not doing it for your benefit.”‘

I know the readers of e-books in the states who comment on the MCG blog are indignant about not being able to read a book they’ve purchased if they change their reader.  Cory Doctorow makes this point:

‘If you think about it, this is a rather curious circumstance, because it means that once a technology company puts a lock on a copyrighted work, the proprietor of that copyright loses the right to authorize his audience to use it in new ways, including the right to authorize a reader to move a book from one platform to another. At that point, DRM and the laws that protect it stop protecting the wishes of creators and copyright owners, and instead protect the business interests of companies whose sole creative input may be limited to assembling a skinny piece of electronics in a Chinese sweatshop.’
And then there are mid-list authors who have a following, who get dropped by their publisher, who now have the option of releasing their back lists on Amazon as e-books or even releasing new titles. As long as they have an established name and their readers are keen to find their books they’ll sell and they will be getting a lot more than 10% of the net.

So here we are back at the beginning, where is the publishing industry heading? Is there going to be tipping point regarding e-book sales? Will paperback publishing end up catering to a niche market?

Who has an e-book reader? I’m tempted. I keep thinking it would be so much easier to carry on the train, with a selection of books.

Posted in e-books, Publishing Industry | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »