Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Case for e-Publishing

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  The saddest part is, if traditional publishers could just let go their outdated superiority and lend a helping hand to new authors, if they could open themselves up to authorial success, rather than rejecting them out of turn, the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!


  1. Good points on your end too, Kristyn. As much as I love the smell of a new book as I'm reading it, the feel of it in my hand, the dusty library aroma... I also value good work. There is so much mediocre stuff being published in print, it's impossible to make waves.
    .-= Jennifer Hudock´s last blog ..Conversations with Paddy: Traditional Short Story Publishing =-.

  2. I agree, Jenny. The industry is so hard nosed about new authors. It's a wonder anything gets published at all. Makes me wonder how some of the greats broke into the industry... but most of the time, the answer to that is that it was a different world when they were breaking into print.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment, good luck with your publishing endeavors!

  3. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by epublishing, Scott Perry. Scott Perry said: A Case for e-Publishing | A Turn of Page [...]

  4. I share the sense of dilemma, not to mention frustration, at the conventional publishers. I am torn between trying to interest a publisher in my books or saying to hell with it and publish them myself. Trouble is, it seems getting work noticed on the web is as hard as getting an agent or publisher to take notice. Different times indeed, but both sides of the industry coin seem to have lost sight of the actual book. It's print versus digital, one delivery system against the other, winner takes all, and too bad about the collateral damage incurred in this fight to profit from the future of books. Just a pity they've slashed and burned all the books and the authors too.

  5. [...] been thinking, and writing, a lot about e-books lately.  All this consideration has had one very nasty side effect, that is, [...]