Interesting to see that Americans still like to borrow a printed book from a library, rather than a digital version. I have to admit to carrying my Kindle Fire HD everywhere I go now. It takes the boredom out of waiting rooms, that's for sure. I still have boxes of paperbacks to read though. I will never get bored of the feel of a real book.
Here's the stats from the Publishers Weekly survey: http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/libraries/article/68811-new-study-finds-low-levels-of-digital-library-borrowing.html
Check out these beautiful libraries around the world!
Like Gary Mclaren, I spent a huge proportion of my childhood and teen years in our local library and in the school library. I would often have 10 books on the go at once. Ah, Life was so much simpler then...
I did work experience at a couple of publishing houses in 1999 and, sorting through some old boxes, have just come across a handful of the notes I made:
One of the books in one of the house's online catalogs was about the death of privacy in the 21st Century - and how true this has turned out to be with wire tapping, mobile phone tracking and misuse of our data and records constantly in the news today.
Back then, internet e-commerce was just beginning. One of the houses was already selling eBooks and wanted to sell through their own website rather than using multiple partners. They were developing a place for their customers to "hang out" online and pondering whether free e-content over the Web would hurt their book business. Initial sales showed this wasn't the case...
I've been on their website this morning to see how things have moved on and it appears they've branched out into IT courses and certificates, as well as conferences, and definitely found their niche market with their technical books and manuals. Also linking with another online company offering technology and business training.
So they swam, while others sank!
I was looking for some help with searching out what's hot and, more importantly, what free eBooks there are for the Kindle and a friend of mine pointed me in the direction of this very useful website: www.ereaderiq.co.uk
The beauty of it is that it updates every hour, so you're always getting the most up-to-date information on what's available.
Part of my reason for getting a Kindle -besides the obvious of being able to read anything, anywhere - was to integrate myself into this exciting eBook world, help support fellow writers and to see what works and what doesn't.
I'm looking forward to finding some real gems!
I will always dream of that big publishing deal where I get my very own creative team to work with - I simply can't help myself. And knowing that it's getting harder and harder to attain just makes me want it even more. However, I'll happily settle for a little success on Amazon first because I'm chomping at the bit to reach a worldwide audience...
Amazon has now created different imprints to cater for different genres and they are building up a credible editorial team to work with authors. I think we can assume that not only are they taking this business seriously, but they've looked at the publishing industry and processes with fresh eyes and now they are proactively plugging the gaps. And for that I have to applaud Amazon. For too long the conservative, elitist publishing conglomerates have been allowed to dictate the marketplace - and more interestingly dictate to us what we should be reading. If anyone was going to smash the stigma of self / vanity publishing, I'm pleased it's Amazon.
Check out more on the debate and what Amazon is doing to best place itself here.
I've been keeping up with the fight between Amazon and traditional publishing houses on Twitter this week, and with eBooks outselling paperbacks on Amazon for the first time last month, it all seems very relevant. Amazon is now signing up authors directly and writing publishers out of the deal, whilst traditionals have been accused of no longer taking risks on new authors. Shows you the industry is in turmoil and revolution is in the air. Whichever side you're on - and I don't yet know where I stand (tradition is tradition, after all) - you can't deny it's good news for us writers because for the first time in publishing history, we have someone on our side who has a worldwide audience ready and waiting for us to tap in to, and more importantly who wants the same things as we do!
I was reading today that Indigo / Chapters stores are giving Canadian Publishers the jitters as the chain moves to market books as a lifestyle instead of a product. What does all that mean? Have a read of this article, it's a real eye opener. I've almost given up hope of ever seeing one of my books on sale in a traditional book shop, but at least Tim Daunt (MD of Waterstones) still believes that the content sold in his stores has a value beyond monetary. Check out what Waterstones is up to here.
eBooks are the future and book stores know it. Some will run away and others will stay and fight. When I say eBooks, I don't just mean words on a screen like the Kindle currently offers, but interaction with the plot and characters so the story literally "comes alive" in real time. The advent of Pottermore is the best example I can give you. JK Rowling is a true visionary. However, as much as that really excites me, the question "what will become of books?" bugs the hell out of me. Imagine the next generation being totally oblivious!
What am I talking about? Fiction of course! Did you know Katie Price has regularly outsold the entire Booker Prize shortlist (and probably other entire award shortlists as well) with her various "celebrity" biographies over the years? Not bad work for somebody who didn't write the stuff herself, put in all those long hours and and and... No, I'm not bitter ;)
Blogging is an amazing concept so here I am giving it a whirl. You'll get words. You'll get pics. Sometimes a vid or two. You'll get tongue in cheek, the odd humble opinion and an honest insight into my travels and writing life. Maybe even a few gems along the way. I'll be musing on home turf as I see more and more of the UK and sharing my experiences further afield on holidays and adventurous trips across the globe.