Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Making Adjustments

Fellow writer and local peep Juliet Marillier recently wrote about Dealing with Setbacks.  Her publisher told her one of her books was going to be released as an ebook only.  She shared how she coped with the situation (and a happier ending than she expected).

Setbacks happen to us all.  It's part and parcel of the publishing industry.

Maybe technology is moving too quickly and humans, on the whole, are unable to keep up.

I grew up dreaming of hardcopy books.  It's what existed when I was a child (along with cave drawings and dinosaurs).  I was an early adopter of the internet and dreamed of my college textbooks as electronic files on my bulky laptop.  So much easier than dragging around a ton of dead trees.

I loved the concept. It was the readers who dragged their heels. 

I guess there's a bit of romance to a solid, hold-in-your-hands book.  Makes it more real.  I remember how excited I was to hold a genuine copy of the literary magazine containing my first publication. My first electronic publication several years later didn't have quite the same thrill.

My recently-released novella "As Good As Gold" was an ebook release only. I'd grown quite used to epublications. I'd adjusted.

One of my longtime readers asked, "Is there a hardcopy available?"  Alas, no. 

So I wondered. What if there was something inimitable about a printed book?  Thinking about the delight of a shelf full of colourful spines.  The scent of every single library I've been in.  The thrill of having a book signed by the author.

Ohmigosh!  Book signings! How on earth do you sign an ebook?

  • Sign the back of the ebook reader.  I saw it done at Worldcon 2010.
  • Sign an autograph book.  These were popular until the mid-20th Century.  Maybe they should come back.
  • Sign handout cards.
Last night I went to a book launch by another local author Claire Boston.  Her book "What Goes on Tour" was an ebook release.  So what did she do?  Had handout cards and signed the backs of those. Brilliant!

I would never have thought of that myself.  I'm remembering that for next time.

I got an ebook reader for Christmas, and I love reading books on it.  However, I've been wondering if we might have lost a certain magic that was first born with Gutenberg invented moveable type.

Then I heft a really big book in my hands, feeling it thrash my wrists with its weight, making my neck ache as I read it in bed, triggering my presbyopia as I squint at the small text and giving me that creepy watching-over-my-shoulder feeling should I dare to dog-ear the corners...


Nope. I've adjusted.  Ebooks forever.

Next book launch, I'm signing handout cards, autograph books and maybe the backs of ebook readers. 

But what am I going to load into my catapult for the official "launch"?

1 comment:

Claire B said...

Hi Heidi, These days you can also do an Authorgraph for ebooks (if the author has signed up for it). Check it out.