Getting Closer to the eBook Dream
Warren Adler E-Sheet 33
From Publishing Central
are happy to offer you another issue of
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keeps you up to date on what is
happening in the author's world. We hope
you enjoy it.
Getting Closer to the
Courtesy of www.cnet.com
mysterious eBooks, which have been insulted,
excoriated and maligned for the past few
years, are finally beginning to creep out of
the dark corners of distrust and take little
baby steps toward acceptance.
reached the tipping point yet, but Google is
now leading the charge to digitalize whole
University libraries with a view to creating a
virtual library in cyberspace.
puts digitalized books in their search engine
where potential buyers can browse, reading
whole pages as they might in a
brick-and-mortar book store, and then perhaps
order a book in any format including eBooks.
Stonehouse Press has already begun placing my
novels on GooglePrint; others will be sure to
The New York
Public Library and more than eighty other
libraries are now making eBooks part of their
free lending library. Expect every library in
the country to offer eBooks as an integral
part of their offerings.
publishers like Random House and others,
suffering from no-growth and flat sales, are
setting up internet sites designed to sell
their books direct to browsers, competing with
the likes of Barnes and Noble, Borders and
Amazon. Expect to see lots of blood on the
floor as publishers and retailers square off.
Even the New
York Times is getting into the act, paying
attention to the digital book phenomena and,
as expected, proclaiming that despite all the
obvious digital revolutionary trends paper
books will never be obsolete.
For the past
few years I have been on the receiving end of
a drumbeat of criticism predicting that
eBooks, like the hula hoop, are a fad and few
people will ever read books on screens.
Alright, I admit that the paper book, a
product I love dearly, has a long life still.
But the handwriting for its eventual demise as
a reader's first choice for content delivery
is on the wall.
The eBook is
here to stay as more and more people download
content on existing devices and look forward
to an avalanche of ever user friendly
instruments reaching the marketplace.
This is true
as well for its sister product, the
Print-on-Demand book, which responds to a
one-book-at-a-time print order and eliminates
warehousing and middle men for most
publishers, all due to the miracle of
ago, when I began to gather up the rights to
all of my novels and digitalize them in all
formats to market them as eBooks and
Print-on-Demand most people thought I had lost
For a long
time so did I.
for digitalizing my books were twofold. I
wanted to create a virtual library of my many
novels, take them out of imminent out-of-print
limbo and, most importantly, preserve their
marketability and access for the life of my
copyrights which, by current laws, will last
70 years beyond my lifetime.
Think of the
many authors whose books line the musty
shelves of libraries who have never realized,
or cared, that their progeny could inherit a
viable entity that might one day be
rediscovered and morph into a new life of
recognition if not profitability. Seventy
years might not qualify for immortality but it
does extend the artist's franchise. After all,
only time and the mysteries of endurance
create classics, and no living person, however
prescient or authoritative, can predict with
certainty the future of any creative work.
other reasons for my digital conversion,
perhaps merely fantasies, but I also wished to
create a matrix whereby other authors could
profitably market their back lists and, wish
of wishes, find a way to successfully market
their new books without the constraints,
opinions and judgment of traditional
publishers. Indeed, while the major publishers
whine about no-growth, one wonders if their
editors are simply making bad choices on what
believed that the future of eBooks was on the
near horizon, I became an evangelist for the
process, predicting to an army of skeptics
that the future would validate my claim. I
spoke at many meetings, forums and gatherings
insisting that eBooks were inevitable. People
harrumphed politely and dismissed such claims
arguments about the rising interest in eBooks
of oncoming generations fell on deaf ears in
the circles to whom I carried my message. My
bet was based on the indisputable observation
that children as young as three were becoming
computer literate. The Internet tide was
rising to flood levels. The computer and
access to the Internet had reached the tipping
point world-wide. People who are not computer
literate today are becoming more and more
irrelevant and as obsolete as the quill pen,
corsets and the model T.
This does not
mean, of course, that the individual author,
like me, has reinvented a publishing matrix or
that I have found the magic bullet to market
my works on cyberspace. Nevertheless, the
means to do this has arrived and other forms
of marketing will emerge to give my once wild
idea a shot in the arm.
what's coming next?
Isn't it time
at last for readers such as you give eBooks a
try even for the thrill of the novelty? It's
really quite simple.
If you are
reading this newsletter on any sort of
computer screen, you have all the tools you
need to download your first eBook. The
website has links for transferring the
reader software. This part is free and the
links take you step-by-step, quite painlessly,
through the installation process which takes
perhaps two minutes of your time. Next, you
might want to try downloading a free eBook,
from a site which offers public domain or
other free reads. Or call your library to see
if they circulate eBooks, as many now do.
The future of
eBooks has to be a two-way conversation
between readers and authors and device makers.
As a reader, you deserve to be part of this
conversation because your views, not just
mine, will ultimately shape this future.
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