Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Fear is a five letter word

I've been resisting, truly, but apparently the strength and length of my willpower is 1 day. But seriously *shakes head* what is it about every small success or growth in the EBOOK market that immediately causes an outcry and vehement denial?

Once again Amazon mentions how well their digital devices and ebooks are doing and once again there's an outroar about how skewered their figures are and it cannot possibly be true. Close eyes. Dig head in ground. If we don't acknowledge it, then it isn't happening.

Now I have no idea how Amazon derives their figures and I'm not privy to details so I won't approve or disapprove their marketing ploys. But I do think, and this is personal opinion, that the publishing world is changing at a rapid pace and professionals in that field would be better off embracing it and changing business models with the times than denying it's happening.

Totally showing my age now, but I got into computer programming at around the time pcs had just started taking off in SA, and the doom and gloom forecasted smells and looks very much like what publishing is going through now. And you know what? Millions of people didn't get replaced by computers and millions of people didn't lose their jobs and the world didn't drop straight into hell. Jobs were created, dull and repitious chores were replaced by inspiring, creative tasks and everyone prospered and was happier. And the only people who got left behind were those refusing to embrace the new technology, for (almost) everyone else a spot was found.

Do I believe ebooks are taking over the world? LOL, certainly not, at least not until ereaders drop to a price that everyone can afford without cringing. But change is definitely in the air and it's all good. And yes, I will miss brick bookstores and I really hope they find a way to evolve and find their place, but I also believe the true death knoll of book stores is on-line retailing and not ebooks.

I'll still be reading all my favourite authors and I'll still be relying on all my favourite publishers to be my gate keeper and I'll still squee with joy if I one day land myself a NYC agent, and yes, I've pretty much committed myself to going green with ebooks.

and to go out on a lighter note, I came across the snippet about the recurring newspaper and thought it hilarious. Apparently the exact same newspaper template has been used in movies and tv shows for the last 15 years, and I never noticed. You can bet that every time I see someone reading a newspaper on tv now, I'll be checking it out...


  1. Claire, I agree. Ebooks are the future and the future is now! :) There is room in this world for both e- and traditional publishing and there is no need to fear or "naysay" the changes epublishing is bringing.

  2. I couldn't agree more.
    I'm of a certain age - the age that said "they'll never catch on" when CDs started to replace vinyl records. Now of course I download all my music.
    Ebooks are the future!