Lord of the reads: +5401
It seems to me that the digital era has just about fully arrived. As with the onset of motor vehicles it can only develop further. As people still ride horses there will always, at least for the foreseeable future, be a place for the good old fashioned book in its traditional paper format.
CN needs to address this situation soonest whether that would mean downloadable PDFs or a different format for these electronic readers. Costs per copy for a sale are minimal compared to print on demand and therefore the adaptation to this should create more income for authors and CN.
Of course the hard copy should still be available but a typical example is the delay in an order that you have already chased for me but we still are awaiting, with the electronic version this would not happen.
Again, other problems need addressing such as the current quality of the illustrations on the book streamer and less than perfect PDF on my latest update but while currently annoying these are technical problems that can be overcome.
I do not see the present agent /publisher scenario changing in any substantial way and the editing process will continue as it currently operates. There is no reason for it to change as it is the publishers who decide the final format of a work not the agent, it is the publisher who markets the product and has the final say in matters.
I do see a likely increase organisations publishing electronic books and those who get in early and stay ahead of the pack will undoubtedly flourish, provided they also deal with hard copy.
This is a field that currently is wide open and CN are in on the ground floor. The ideas are good, it just needs a little more work and things should move along rather well.
I think Oli should refrain from taking any more holidays until the reorganisation and electronic download versions are up and running!
All the best
Yes – there are lots of different formats to navigate and we will be implementing the ones that will best serve our members as soon as possible.
I definitely agree that it’s great to be able to avoid any of the difficulties associated with the postal system when it comes to digital books! Though I am aware that they do sometimes come with their own delivery quirks there is far less that can get in the way (postal strikes, snow etc!)and if we are passing the files straight to our customer, we don’t need to worry about the delays of intermediaries.
The note about Oli’s hoildays has been passed on. It was his first in a long time though, so maybe we can let him off this time!
Probably a bit of a difficult question but can you give some sort of schedule for updates such as digital copy availability and formats etc? I have some publicity ideas and need to include as much as poss when all is set up. In any case, some of us old folks [only two and a bit years to pension!] are not too aware of the varying formats and suchlike and some guidance may be required here.
Examples of queries that immediately spring to the vacuum between my ears are:-
What is the scenario regarding the various readers on the market and how do we get our works available to different readers? Do they all utilise the same format etc and how do we make our work available to the electronic reading public outside CN. Is this a continuation of publicising our work as we have been doing or are their other avenues to explore?
I think a number of us could probably do with some education along these lines and all info would be gratefully received.
All the best
No problem Harry – I am preparing an article to explain more about the updates schedule and guidance on the different formats.
Thanks for the suggestions on the kind of questions you want answered – really useful!
I have just been looking at the website for the London Book Fair as my agent will be there and hopefully will have a go at selling my work to a particular individual…we live in hope but not anticipation…
What caught my eye was a commentary regarding the digitizing of the book world, a posting by Lucy Holland-Smith. She has been conducting some research into the subject and discovered that according to some Australian academics working under Dr Richard Seymour, probably a third of all books will be available for e readers within five years.
As Seymour states,“…publishers had been preparing for the transition to digital for a number of years…However, while e-readers have been available for purchase for a number of years, it was the launch of Amazon’s Kindle which sparked an upsurge in their popularity. Early sales figures for Apple’s iPad, which indicate that 300,000 were sold on the first day alone with 250,000 books downloaded already, would certainly seem to endorse Seymour’s attestations.”
This digital revolution Seymour sees as affecting the ‘non sexy’ text book more than the novel, which people will still wish to read in the bath, a matter of choice of course but logical, it may be extremely annoying but a book dropped in the bath can be dried out…try that with an iPad…! I shall stick with a shower, no temptation to take a book with me…
However, it seems that the revolution is starting…are we ready?…digits to the fore…and CHARGE!…e reader batteries that is…