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."