Today's Booking Through Thursday is a bit different and Deb is asking us to:
First: Go read this great article from Time Magazine: Books Gone Wild: The Digital Age Reshapes Literature.
Second. Stop and think about it for moment. Computers and digital media are changing everything we do these days, whether we realize it or not, and that includes our beloved books.
Third. DISCUSS! To be different, today, I’d love to see a discussion here, in the comments, rather than scattered amongst all our separate blogs. Because this is an issue that affects ALL of us, and I’d really like to see us hash out the merits and demerits of this evolution. So head back on over to Booking through Thursday and see what everyone has to say
Tell us what you think. Do you have an ebook reader? Do you read ebooks on your computer? Do you hate the very thought? How do you feel about the fact that book publishing is changing and facing much the same existential dilemma as the music industry upon the creation of MP3s?
Well, the question is apropos today because Harlequin Romances is celebrating their 60th anniversary and has made 16 books available for free to download to your computer or Kindle or whatever electronic device you use. I rarely read books online because it just isn't the same as reading a real book. However, the opportunity provided by publishers and authors to download their books, gives the opportunity to decide if you like their writing. And if you like their writing, then you'll buy the book, right? In theory, that is supposedly how it should work.
I see the benefit the technology has, but I'm an old fashioned rather buy the book and hold it in my hands type of person. Book reading is not only a educational, enlightening, entertaining experience, it is also a sensory experience. I can't see myself snuggling up on the couch or curled up in bed, reading a kindle. I've considered buying a Kindle, but would only use it while traveling and not for everyday usage. Right now the cost doesn't justify buying it to use solely for that purpose. But it's tempting.
I really don't think e-books are going to take the place of real books. Same as the music business with the mp3's, e-books will augment what is available out there enabling more people to read. It is just another avenue and won't take the place of paper.
The article mentions several authors who couldn't find a publisher, so went the self publishing route. Self publishing served to get them out there and noticed. They each went on to getting a publisher after that. Self publishing is just another medium, like e-books that will enable more people to get their books out there. Whether the books are good, bad or in between, that remains to be seen. But the avenue is there, another option available.
As times change, the options change or grow with the times. Self publishing will never take the place of real publishers. E-Books will never take the place of real books. The digital age is causing many growing pains, but in the end, don't you think it will all be worth it.