Sunday, April 18, 2010

Some many (e)books, so little (real)time.

The last month has been invigorating and exhausting. The official publication of our first title, POD by Stephen Wallenfels, the Bologna book fair, and the launch of the iPad account for much of the busy-ness. I'm about to head off to conduct a workshop on "Editing for Writers" for the Highlights Foundation, and, so, I can't write at length now, but here are some items that I will address at more length when I land.

The eBook Caper that Kent Brown and I concocted, involving giving away ebook editions of four Front Street novels, was, to my mind, an unqualified success. I have yet to slice and dice the data we collected from the promotion, but the anecdotal evidence suggests that many people, including the four authors and the hundreds of readers who downloaded the books, were pleased. What part of that isn't good? When I've had an opportunity to assess the data and draw conclusions, I will share that with you in detail.

The Bologna "Fiera del Libro per Ragazzi" was enormously exciting. Last year, the fair felt like a wake: this year's fair was optimistic, energetic, and, in all ways, light filled. Although the industry worldwide is still largely unconscious about the digital revolution, there were immanent signs of awareness. The next step is action and I am confident that the coming year will show significant initiatives on the part of publishers to address the digital future. Right now, people are clinging to print technology because it informs their business models. Those models need revision and the industry knows it. These are, in the words of the old proverb, "interesting times." It's going to be an wild ride.

The iPad introduces, in my not-so-humble opinion, the dawn of a new age. This is not Apple worship—although I say give credit where credit is due, and Apple gets mega kudos for building and launching this machine—but rather my intuition that a powerful tablet computer with a high-resolution screen and intuitive operating system is the face of the future of reading. I can hear the scoffing even as I write this, but mark my words and like it or not, screens are the future of content delivery, not ink on paper. And, yes, by "content delivery" I mean novels, poetry, picture books, narrative non-fiction, and, to make my point succinctly, story. The sooner we all acknowledge that inevitability, the sooner we can get on with enjoying the considerable benefits that derive from the innovations that technology enables. Remember, back in its day, the Gutenburg press was a "new" technology.

Enough e-vangelizing. More anon.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I look forward to your comments and I reserve the option not to make them public.