I’m delighted to bring you tonight’s guest blog post, on the topic of eBooks, by thriller author David Coles.
E-Books to go
So what is it about eBooks?
Why do authors and publishers – of the old school – denigrate eBooks as though they’re the Devil’s invention? I watched Julian Barnes make a rather snide remark about them when he won the 2011 Booker prize, how disappointing. Is it fear, the same feeling of insecurity that film makers had when TV took over the living room and later, when CDs and DVDs let a whole family see films for a fraction of the cost of cinema tickets?
Okay, we may never know the reason for sure but we – you and me – who think eBooks are the best idea since faster-than-light neutrinos can keep a more open mind. Let’s take a look at what they’ve done for us.
First off, they’ve empowered indie publishers. Authors no longer have to pay court to publishers or agents, there are dozens of indie publishers out there – some are useless, some venal and a few who do just what they say on the web page. The trick is to find the last variety.
Second, eBooks have empowered authors. Any author who can write a book can learn to publish it in digital form. There’s Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords. There’s Lulu who are now on-line sellers as well as print-on-demand publishers. And recently, Apple have joined the gang.
None of this guarantees that all eBooks are going to be enthralling, beautiful prose, exciting or even passable. Because anyone can publish a book, there is some dreadful stuff out there. But eBooks also empower the reader. They cost less, the only expensive ones are from the big publishers who still haven’t cottoned on to the fact that readers know eBooks have a vanishingly small overhead. So if you’re the reader, you can afford to try the work of new authors and maybe find some you like but never heard of before. You’re likely to find some rubbish, as I said, but you just ignore it and find something else. Take note of the reviews of eBooks, they take the place of critics; there will be several reviews to choose from and you’ll get to know the reviewers who like the same sort of thing that you do.
Jack – my writing buddy – and I produce our own eBooks for Amazon Kindle and ePub books for Amazon and Smashwords. We can even tell you how to do it, there’s a ‘how-to’ document in Word or PDF on the home page at www.DavidBColes.co.uk. In fact, we’ll do it for you, check out www.ArchimedesPress.co.uk and click the “& other” heading or email us for a quotation. If you want to see the quality, just look us up at http://acclaimedbooks.com/wordpress/abcauthors and find…“Everett Coles.”
Morgen: I concur absolutely – I’ve just uploaded four books on Smashwords (fifth soon then the whole thing again on Amazon and the most painful thing was reading the 70+ page Smashwords guide but once the first was formatted it was easy peasy to get the rest the same – I just have Amazon’s guide to go through now, I’m hoping it’ll be shorter at least). And reviews will win – an author can only have so many friends or family. Thank you David (please say hello to Jack). 🙂
David and Jack both live in Yorkshire but 25+ miles apart, and have been writing together for too many years to remember but still meet weekly. David lives on the outskirts of a big city whereas Jack’s home is more rural. They still enjoy each other’s presence though – if the truth be known – they probably laugh more at the antics of their grandchildren. Their tastes in music differ, David prefers more instrumental works especially acoustic guitars whereas Jack likes good balladeers. David likes walking and exploring foreign climes. Jack also enjoys travelling but on four wheels in preference to Shanks’ pony. They both enjoy a good meal and glass of wine and still like to curl up with a real book despite having eBook readers.
If you would like to write a writing-related guest post for my blog then feel free to email me with an outline of what you would like to write about. If it’s writing-related then it’s highly likely I’d email back and say “yes please” (while quietly bouncing up and down in my seat with joy!). The blog interviews return as normal tomorrow morning with historical romance author Brenda Novak – the one hundred and eighty-first of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, autobiographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me. You can also read / download my eBooks at Smashwords.