Saturday, August 3, 2013

As If You Didn't Know

Greetings again, fellow castaways, riders on the Earth as we hurtle through space and time at unbelievable speeds.

First off, congratulations are in order for Abe. Grats, dude. Abe won a copy of Critical Mass, the third book in The NADIA Project. Which brings me to another point. The key to the win is, when the host asks for a comment, you gotta comment. I tried to make it super easy. If anyone has trouble leaving comment, email me at cyrus DOT keith AT yahoo DOT com.

Now for the topic this week: We've all seen what's been happening. eBooks are actually outselling hard copies in many markets, which is pretty cool. That's a lot of trees heaving sighs of relief there.

At the same time, there is the paradigm I seem to run into, which is odd to say the least. In my area, most folks still cling to their paperbacks and hardbacks, which is fine. Reading is reading, and reading is good. I like both, myself.

Even those with Kindles and Nooks are of the opinion that you aren't really  published unless they can walk into Barnes and Noble and see your work on the shelf. It's enough to make me want to bash my brains out with my keyboard sometimes. But then I have to remember, we're living in exciting times right now, with the transitions in the publishing industry. And with transitions come adjustments and shifts of mindset. Business practices an methods are changing as well.

It used to be  big thing to be published, and yes, "published" used to mean being in the big stores or even the mom-and-pop store down the block. But now, being published could mean you just threw something through the processing mill at Amazon. As a matter of fact, one of the kids at the local high school did exactly that, knowing the work was substandard. But he did it just to prove the "being published" meant a different thing now than it did only ten years ago. Of course, he pulled the book back down before I could hunt him down and hang him from the library roof. But he made his point.

Now, like any new technology, the human mind has to take some time to catch up. People have to get used to the new definition of "published." Does that mean being published doesn't mean anything anymore? God forbid. What it doe mean is that buyers need to be more aware that there is substandard work out there, and just because something is published doesn't mean it's any good. Not every self-pubbed author invests in editing and cover art.

Electronic publishing doesn't spell the death of paper books, not by a long shot. And it's sill not easy to get a book published the right way, by which I mean that some effort as been made to present it, to make it a quality work before it gets unleashed on an unsuspecting public.

But publishing has taken quantum leaps in technology and technique in the last few years, and some folks (even the big publishers) have yet to make the adjustments needed to catch up and keep up with the changes. Some still overcharge for eBooks. The recent price-fixing scandal showed us that the "old regimes" still cling to obsolete business models, and are tying their best to force the market to stay where it is. But in spite of their best efforts to steer market forces, the market won't have it. Some will get it, and prosper. Others will go by the wayside. Either way, adjustments have to be made.

"Published" still means something. Depending on your definition of "published."  Kind of like when one man got us thinking about the real definition of the word "is."


  1. I'm lazy...which is weird since I haven't slept in over 48 hours, but from the bottom of my heart I apologize. The Kindle allows me to have a gazillion books at my fingertips without having to get a crane to dig me out when I have to go pee. It's also easier on my achy spine right now to hold the Kindle than it is to hold my beloved Hardcovers...still I DO have them too...but fewer and fewer as time and creaky joints demand more and more of my attention.

    Go tomorrow to doc whose gonna shoot stuff into my spine making me lie still and not move even an eyelash at least three times. Had one once before on the left side right after car accident and before they did all the other stuff, like cracking my shoulder before MRI-ing it and learning I had a torn rotator cuff...felt that cracking all the way down to my toe-nails...and couldn't drive after the things that tore from the cracking...but prior to the cracking I had the stuff shot into my left side. Now you're not supposed to drive yourself home, but I had no one else who COULD drive me home, so after an hour of having to lie still and that stuff shot into me, I got up off the table, got dressed, and with Kat, (had to keep up appearances) got back into my rental car, and took the back roads...had a lot of back roads, thank God, and navigated home. Found a bit of blood on the back part of my car seat, but we made it home. Won't be doing that this time since don't drive anymore. Thank you so much Dr. Got Your Degree in a Cracker Jacks Box, Back Cracker. Anyhoo, I did the scripts for fifteen reviews today, now have to finish the picture and link parts so at least Ladybug Lin won't LOOK like she being lazy during the weeks of staying still on my belly while they jab me in the back.

    As always, my Brother, your postings are wise. Give everyone my and Kat's love.

  2. I am very happy I won the e-book. Thank you :)

    I am an old school reader. There are sensory experiences that comes with reading a paperback/hardcover that e-books just can't provide. You know what I mean: the scent of the paper as I turn over a page, the feel of the raised print on the cover against my fingertips, etc.

    I think now I'll try something new. I'll read the e-book to get to the meat of the story, then read the physical book when I want to mull over the novel's grace notes, sub-plots and subtler points.

    Thank you for posting, Mr. Keith. It was a pleasure to hear your thoughts, as always.

  3. Thanks for your comments, ladies! Abe, best of luck in your voyage, and Lin, my sister, may healing be yours.