E-pub, e-books, e-readers . . .
Over the last year, I’ve been one of those who said ‘I shall never read e-books; I am a paper, bindings, smell and sound type of girl,’ and as for publishing an e-book: ‘My God! Are you kidding?’ I’d read all the industry blogs on the increasing popularity or the e-book, I’d watched sales of e-readers climb and still I was unaffected.
And then . . .
A reader of a fan-fiction I was writing suggested I upload to something called Wattpad. That was, effectively, the breach in the dyke. I now had experience of downloadable literature. What it did was introduce me to whole raft of readers I wouldn’t have been able to direct my product at otherwise.
Following that, a writer I admire, Ann Swinfen, uploaded an edition of a previous novel (initially published by Random House) to Kindle and I was privileged to follow her efforts as she did so. Then another writer who belongs to the same peer-review site as myself, Lexi Revellian, put her title on Kindle and within weeks she was being mentioned by The Times no less. Lexi is a real success story, taking her manuscript and publishing it without going down the mainstream path!
And when Ann went to Kindle, my husband bought a Kindle e-reader. It’s sitting in a post-office waiting for me to collect it as we are far from PO’s at the moment and I confess it’s tantalising. All this brings me to the fact that I appear to be a convert! Who would’ve thought?
I’m in the process of editing (re-writing) previous editions of print novels for upload to Kindle. Why re-write? Well, it appears I’ve deleted the word doc’s of my novels and only have the pdf’s now. (you have to understand I am the ungeekiest person alive!) And that’s made the workload that much harder.
1. Had to convert pdf back to word.
2. Had to remove all embedded codes by creating a ‘nuclear’ file.
3. Had to re-format, re-edit . . .
And so I thought I’d re-write. Not the plot but just refine it. Any writer will tell you that each year they mature that much more with their writing, so why not? But the whole thing is taking AAAAAGES!!!!!!!!! And apparently, because I work on a MAC, there is no guarantee that the upload will proceed smoothly, according to much blog comment out there. When I get to Kindle Preview, it seems to be anyone’s experience that one has to go back and edit again, and yet again! So there may be a need to buy something called Scrivener, or Calibre or failing that, go to an e-pub specialist. All this so that it can be read on a mobile screen.
But I do want to accomplish this. Preferably on my own as it’s a learning curve that will stand me in good stead for the digital future.
I can remember last summer was the summer of the booktrailer. Well, this summer is the summer of the Kindle. Wish me luck as I sit swearing!
It does seem as if books are more and more electronic these days. I am still sticking to my favourite paper versions. I don’t like e-readers or Kindles, as my poor eyes can’t cope too long with reading screens, and I like the feel of a lump of paper in my hands! Paper books don’t use electricity or battery power. You can borrow them free from the library, and when they’re new they smell amazing! They have so much more character than an electronic appliance. So I don’t think I will be looking to buy electronic books any time soon. Of course, that’s only me! I can’t speak for anyone else. And perhaps I am too sentimental and stuck in the past!!
Not at all, Nikalee. I feel the same, still. it’s the appeal to the senses.
But as to libraries, I believe they are going to be delving into the e-book lending arena. it’s hard to imagine, but in many ways it’s no different to audiobooks and for someone like my 85 year old mother, who is becoming small-print challenged and for some unknown reason doesn’t want to be considered ‘old’ by having large-print books, an e-reader could be marvellous for her. It’s a brightly-lit screen with adaptable text size.
I think sentimentality and the new technology can exist side by side. You will still see me buying my favourite authors in print because I collect all their works. The only ‘real’ shopping i do these days is in bookshops and that will continue. In addition, books are a form of decorating for me and there isn’t one single room in my house that doesn’t have books somewhere. They have the their own ambience and that will never change.
I did consider buying an e-reader because I saw one and it looked interesting and clever. But there was the money situation (not that paper books are free!) and I wasn’t sure I would use it enough to warrant it. I find screens very hard on my eyes. Do e-readers and Kindles strain eyes like computer screens do? Maybe it’s just me. You say you can adapt them…. Maybe I want one after all!! I think I need to research them.
I agree that books are a form of decorating. I love looking into our little home library and seeing the books everywhere. Heaven! I love all their different sizes, colours, print type, pictures…. siiigghhh!
Years ago I became a fictionwise member, and bought a stack of e-books there. Most of them go unread, have moved to several smartphones with me in hopes I would read more.
Smart phones are horrid for book reading, too few words on a screen, and curling up in bed with a laptop isn’t my idea of comfy reading.
And yet I struggle with myself, the environmentalist hates the fact that trees die for my beloved books. The booklover just adores the smell of bookstores and says: books are on the shelves of stores, so the trees are dead already. Better buy and celebrate their life by buying and reading a book!
an then the kindle, geeky and bookish. I covet it so badly! 🙂 I think that it solves my pet peeve on mobile reading (too small a screen!) and my love for holding something book sized in my hand. Still will make me miss the sound of a page turning and the hold breath anticipation of the next page.
Do keep us posted on your kindle experience, would love to read how you and your kindle get along (or not) 🙂
I’m inclined to agree with you on the paper/tree argument, unless its plantation-based. but then one could get into a whole carbon footprint argument over the re-charging of all electronic appliances. My OH and I are lucky, as we have a large tree-planting programme on the farm and can offset that way.
I will let you know about the K-experience from both sides: as a reader of books and as a writer of books.
I must admit I have the same feeling of longing for ‘real’ books in my hands and I will surely keep buying books but the practical me can’t wait to have a e-reader in my hands too.
In my case, it’s more a matter of space. I live in a crowded house with a large family(and a 2-year-old little one who has a certain thing about books: tearing them up right now LOL) and each time I came back from the bookstore I got that ¬¬ look from everyone. So for me, e-books are freedom. I could get books from anywhere without the higher costs of post packaging as I’m paying right now, buy titles online that I could get no other way,…
and no problem of space in the shelves or got stacked in sad brown boxes somewhere around the house, apart from the many other advantages you have mentioned about the size of the letter and the wide range of potential readers you, writers, can be able to reach.
As someone I can’t recall right now once said ‘There is nothing constant but change’. Internet has changed the world of communication already and, I don’t know you, but I can’t imagine my life now without the possibilities of talking with a writer from tasmania or a fellow driving school teacher from London or anyone who shared my love for RA, books o whatever it may be next.
We must give e-readers and e-books time enough to become a natural part of our lives. It’s not about Paper-book or E-books. It’s about books. I love reading and I keep reading no matter what.
Ok. Speech again. Sorry. LOL
P.S. I’m eagerly waiting for you e-books so… Fight that Kindle as hard as you can =)
It’s so interesting to hear people’s experiences with this technology and the reasons for using it.
As to change, its so true. Ten years ago, I was dabbling with writing using pen and paper. Now I am an almost fully-fledged member of the e-community. once the books are on Kindle I shall consider myself there!!!
From my POV, the technologically era has introduced me to people in Australia, all parts of the UK and the EU, India, the Phillipines and all parts of the USA. I have made contact with readers of my work which in terms of development is a dream come true and I’ve made lifelong friends and treasure every single minute. I hope Kindle publishing increases such contact!
Calibre is free and very simple software, if you have to go down that route, any problems just shout.
I like my Kindle, but i will always be a real books person, i just think there is room for both in the market.
Robin, hello. Thanks for visiting mesmered and for your comment. I’ve just downloaded Calibre, Legend, Scrivener and Kindle Gen. Am hoping one of those will groom my novels for the final upload. I will shout if I have problems, thanks so much!
I’m a recent convert to e-readers. Believe me I resisted.
Years ago when a techie friend had me check out an early e-reader I poo-poo-ed it. I said, “Oh no, I need to feel the pages, smell the paper and the glue. It can’t be the same.” We now have a Kindle and a Nook in our household and it IS convenient! And, wow is it nice to yearn for a book and …. zing! … you can have it magically appear on your e-reader (for a price).
Scribbler!!!! I wonder of that techie friend was EK from Techforluddites.com Whilst my priority is to get these dashed novels uploaded to Kindle, I am looking forward to reading on said app. I have had the experience of Wattpad on a mobile phone and am guessing it will be something similar, although far better in terms of view etc.
I’d seriously love to hear how you find the reading experience on the Kindle. I have resisted the trend too, but find myself increasingly curious…
Suspect a change of heart is on the cards
Aimee, so much Twitter comment and it points to the year of the e-book.
I found the need to be part of the programme as a writer more than a reader. One thing I neglected to mention is that I can download research onto the Kindle and that makes moving between farm, house and beach so much easier. I was forever splitting carry bags with files and books, or forgetting the thesaurus (I prefer a paper one) and so on. This could be ideal!
Prue, what kind of Kindle do you have? I’ve just been doing a bit of research and it seems there are different versions.