Digital publishing….myths…thoughts…


Help me out.  I’m doing a project and I need to know what are some of the current myths, thoughts, beliefs, etc… about digital/epublishing.  Good. Bad. Doesn’t matter.

In your opinion, is it a waste a time?  A springboard? Just a trend?

Gimme whatcha got, pretty please…. and feel free to spread the word and direct people back here.  I won’t be going into detail/answering/responding Qs here at this time, but as I said, this IS for a project sooo….I need input.


I wasn’t clear… LOL…had RT on the brain.  I’m actually needing this more from a writer’s standpoint.  This isn’t to say things like format, price, availability aren’t important-they certainly are.  But I’m working on something that basically involves what writers think of when they think of digital publishing/epublishing.

Things like:

  • it’s the last resort if NY has rejected you
  • the books are poorly edited
  • you won’t make any money…

This is the sort of thing I’m needing…again, this isn’t to say that the concerns regarding DRM, format, pricing, availability, etc aren’t important.  They are, I know they are, and many writers are as frustrated about those issue as readers are, but I have to focus on one specific thing.  Sorry I wasn’t clear! :o\

12 Replies to “Digital publishing….myths…thoughts…”

  1. It’s a springboard, those very first Sony readers – I think those were the 8 Tracks. Right now we’ve got cassette tapes. Give it 10 years or so and ebooks will be as ubiquitous as mp3.

    The younger a person the more likely they are to have a hand held device. And let’s face it cell phones are much more than just phones now. And so long as platforms are available for ebooks, people are going to be putting them on their phone/laptop/Ipad/pda/dedicated e-reader. Reading is not going to go out of style, but to maximize profits I think that publishers/distributors/authors must move along with the technology.

    In a perfect world we’d all have a book store within walking distance – well we don’t have a perfect world; but a very nice alternative is a bookstore in everyone’s hand.

    I’ve personally recommended the Kindle to at least 50 people. I tell them all, you are not going to save money. Even when the ebook is 20% less than than the print. First you have to consider the cost of the reader; but even if you ignore that you will be spending MORE money on books. It’s so easy to buy them, you never have to worry about where am I going to put this. It’s always at your finger tips & you’ll never be without a new book to read again.

    My vacation last year, I took my Kindle along. As the plane was boarding I remembered that I hadn’t bought any new books for the trip (& I was leaving the country) so in less than 10 minutes I bought 6 books for my trip. 6 books @ approx $6. And I can say with certainty I’m not the only person I know who shops with her e-reader like this.

  2. I read both print and ebook. However my ebook reading tends to be free, unknowns and novellas. Although I recently purchased your latest in digital, I tend to not purchase my ‘known’ authors in ebook fashion. I prefer to read longer books in paper format.

    Its hard to explain but I get a different feeling when reading in digital, versus paper. It feels more intimate in paper, and I feel like I am getting more for my money. I currently have over 70 ebooks on my Sony Reader, but I will pick up a paper book first.

    Also, I don’t know if its just the publishers, editors, authors or what, but it seems to me that the majority of the free/novellas/unknown authors (not someone I have consistently purchased before) stories, have more editing issues than a paper format. Numerous spelling and grammatical errors, moreso than I would see in paper format.

    That being said, I think digital is here to stay. We are a world of electronics. I just hope the option of paper stays around as well.

  3. Several SF/F authors with out of print and new stories, have been publishing/republishing them at e.g. http// as a group effort (Bookviewcafe is one example of that sort of thing).

    The storytelling market and formats are, um, continuing to evolve–once upon a time long ago, storytelling involved not printed or even written work distributed on parchment/paper/clay/stone/wood/wax, but live people in front of audiences as the primary mode (there still are people who do this as career or part of career, e.g. Jane Yolen does live storytelling, along with being a writer and having also done book and story editing).
    Epublishing reduces the overhead costs for distribution and marketing but has its own set of less positive issues (reproduction of perfect copies at trivial levels of cost and effort–going from an economy based on resource scarcity to one where reproduction and distribution have nearly negligible costs–but marketing and getting paid when the copying is so negligible is cost and there is so much competition for attention, are huge issues.)

  4. I think it’s a myth that no one wants them, but also that they’ll replace print books. (I hear this all the time in horror and I HATE it.) I think ebooks have their own strength and purpose. Some books are meant to be mainstream releases, but others, like novellas, just aren’t. Ebooks are the same. Their strengths are the flexibility of story length (200k tome? No problem. 20k take? Also no problem.) and cost. There are plenty of books I want, and I can’t afford hardbacks or trades, or the higher prices that you find in small presses. But I can get their ebook and still support the author and press. Last their strength is impulse. Let’s face it we live in a NOW world, and ebooks give you that.

    There’s more pros and cons, of course (like a lack of universal format) but those are the big ones for me.

  5. Personally, if I was lucky to own an ebook reader, I would only use it for free reads and short stories. Regular novels are better in print. I have bad eyes and the screens on those things look so tiny and the light from my computer screen makes it difficult for me to read ebooks online much. Plus, who can resist the smell of books??!!

  6. I prefer ebooks for short stories and quick hot reads. Print books will always be precious to me. They are easier to cuddle and the point of price is spectacular. I am not going to have a heart attack if I get sand in my paperback… but my ebook reader – whoa!

    I have formed the opinion that it is easier to get lower quality stories in ebook format. Perhaps due to a self-publishing phenomenon? I did not hold on to the stories and therefore can’t recall what house they were published under.

    Also, Certainly the digital cover art can be extremely lacking, but as a graphic designer I have high standards for that.

    Oh and Amy is so on que with the smell of books… divine!

  7. Myth – Readers will pay whatever the publisher decides for an e-book. I want to be able to price shop, just like I do for a paperbook. Sorry.

    I love my reader and just upgraded from the Sony 505 to the Sony Touch in red – I love it! I gave my 505 to my sister. She is in heaven and bought her 14 year old daughter a Sony Pocket. I gave my dad a Touch for his birthday and father’s day. He is 75 and loving it. People reading e-books cross generations.

    People mention the lack of cover art, but that doesn’t bother me. The issue for me is not having my format available. I can never understand why Fictionwise or Diesel don;t have PDF or EPUB formats available for Harlequin books, but Harlequin does. There are too many formats out there. Let’s pick one and move forward.

    I am slowly replacing my paper keepers with e-books. I don;t have the storage room to continue to keep collecting books like I did before my reader. I still buy some paper, especially if I already have the rest of the series in paper.

    Some of my favorite authors are e-first authors.

  8. The big one for me & the reason I haven’t bought an ereader yet -lack of universal format.

    I love all the things people said about the paper copies.

  9. “Thanks to the wonders of the Internet you too can be a slush reader!” — James D. Macdonald
    One of the functions that “professional” print publishers tend to do with gatekeeping/quality control; with the expenses that have to get paid for out of the eventual sales revenue for the editing, the proofing, the promotion, the distribution, the inventory control systems, etc., and with limited space in retailers etc., publishers tended to reject most submitted work and publish what the publisher regarded as most commercially worthwhile. There are a lot fewer barriers and gating-with-bouncing hoops for electronically distributed material–anyone can call themselves a publisher. It costs more time and effort and money for production and distribution of printed books, than of of stories which re in electronic file formats….

  10. Clearly there is a change coming in the publishing world. Digital books will eventually replace paper books. But that’s not the biggest change. Right now authors have to do their own marketing and promotion.

    This was a function usually taken care of by publishers but now, feeling the squeeze from digital and POD publishers, they don’t have the money to run marketing campaigns for any but the most promising books.

    This leaves authors wondering what they’re paying for when they choose to use traditional publishers. There is the matter of “gatekeeper to the brick and mortar stores” and “quality control/kingmaker” functions, but these are rapidly disappearing.

    Brick and mortar will fall victim to digital downloading and kingmakers will be people with the leadership skills to influence their tribe. Think Oprah.

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