By Dawn Frederick
In 1987, my neighbor, a retired scientist, mentioned a thing called a “compact disk.” That he had a feeling it would replace records (a.k.a. LPs). I had no idea what he was talking about, as this seemed to be a foreign concept and fuzzy at best.
Fast-forward to today’s publishing climate. Over the last few years, ebooks have become a regular discussion. There is a contingent who believes that our publishing climate could easily transition to a primarily digital world, while others believe the opposite.
The reality: our discussion is about accessibility & format vs. the death of the book. This happened with music, it happened with movies, and the publishing industry is finding its own place in this digitized world.
As an agent, I can confirm there are many writers with talent who still have yet to get published. Unfortunately agents and editors can only do so much, as time is invaluable – and there’s not enough time or people power to take every book that comes our direction(s).
For writers, the ebook revolution adds a new set of options when publishing a book. For those who are traditionally published, the ebook is an additional format for the book that will hopefully reach more readers. For the author who opts to self-publish, this is a very accessible choice – and there are many companies to choose from, no less.
The important thing to remember is that with either choice, a fair amount of time will need to be invested. From the front end, in preparing a high-quality ebook that readers will clamor to purchase; to the book’s release, where a detailed, long-term marketing plan needs to executed. Remember, there are no shortcuts if desirous of an overall successful publishing experience.
I personally would love to see books bundled; I would hope it happens, and soon. There are many instances where I purchase multiple versions of a book, and it seems logical that any reader should be able to purchase the electronic and print editions simultaneously, especially at local bookstores. But that’s just me, and maybe with time we’ll see something available at local bookstores that will make bundling possible.
Today’s newest readers want options. And if the publishing industry hopes to keep these readers around for the long-term, it’s a good idea the industry evolves accordingly – and much quicker than the current pace.
What are your thoughts? Do you believe there are more choices? Has one worked better for you than another? How do you feel about bundling books?