I wrote yesterday about my love of books, bookstores, and the tactile experience of reading. The theme was concern with what electronic media is doing to books and bookstores, but there're two sides to every story. This isn't a fairytale where electronic publishing is the villain, locking books away in the tower. This is war, an epic battle traditional print media and new and upcoming authors. Unfortunately, the battle between authors and publishing big-wigs is laying to waste books, bookstores, and publishing houses at every turn -- HarperStudios, a HarperCollins Imprint, is closing its doors this summer. The saddest part is, if traditional publishers could just let go their outdated superiority and lend a helping hand to new authors, if they could open themselves up to authorial success, rather than rejecting them out of turn, the casualties could be reduced.
Honestly, I don't object entirely to electronic media. I only feel a sadness at the perceived loss of something I love, print books. The fact of the matter is, e-publishing is making it easier for new voices in the industry to bring their work to wider audiences, without running the mind-boggling, hair pulling, gauntlet of disappointment that comes with trying to navigate traditional print publishers who, set in their ways, often reject new voices out of hand. Does this mean I want to lose books? Absolutely not, but e-publishing is making short stories and poetry collections more accessible to wider audiences at reasonable prices, something I can absolutely get behind. It's allowing new authors to take control of their careers, to sell and promote their own work, and to rise (or fall) by their own efforts. Who wouldn't support that?
My friend, Jennifer Hudock of The Inner Bean, published a great article on traditional print media and e-publishing that you have to read. As someone who's out there, trying to sell her work (which is excellent by the way), she's found her way to e-publishing for e-readers through both Amazon and Smashwords. So, hop over take a peek at her perspective and while you're there, check out her work. And when you're done, see if you don't agree that sometimes we have to put aside our fear of losing something we love, like I'm trying to do with print books, and embrace something new. Sometimes, e-publishing is, in fact, a good thing!