I have surprisingly strong views about the efficacy, effectiveness, utility, and appropriateness of digital rights management on files, including both music and ebooks. Generally speaking, I do not agree with the powers that be (publishers) that there is a difference in “ownership” between buying something digitally and buying it in hard copy, particularly exemplified by a book. I do agree that there are different risks to the publisher, but that doesn’t mean in one I have bought it and the other I have merely paid to borrow it. I believe I have the same rights and obligations I had previously. Which means in its most basic terms that I have bought it for me and I can’t reproduce it for others, but the digital element puts two other limitations — I can’t loan it nor can I resell it. I am willing to accept those caveats, but it doesn’t mean I don’t own it. » Read the rest
My first e-reading device was a Palm Pilot. I had an early Palm III for a short while, a cast-off as I recall, and then I got one through work and it was the Tungsten. A beautiful device, and I tried everything on it, including reading an ebook. Something old, free, likely from the Gutenberg Project. It was neat, but not something to write home about. I killed my Tungsten in a freak accident at a hockey game involving a folding guest chair, a coat pocket, and a crunching sound as I sat back down after cheering for a goal. I still remember the feeling later that night when I went to put the Tungsten on charge and saw the destroyed screen. I eventually moved on somewhat reluctantly to a combined Palm Pilot / phone (a rudimentary smart phone) called the Treo, but it was far too small to read on and I never tried. » Read the rest
I find most of the articles on the net about ebooks vs. paper to be wrong-headed and mostly silly. Passionate paper people who claim that anyone using an e-reader to be woefully uninformed, of low culture, and possibly impotent vs. all digital, all the time people who claim anyone reading paper is clearly a Luddite. Personally, I don’t care the format. Paper, ink, e-ink, pixels, back of a napkin, side of a serial box, pamphlet, newspaper, ceiling of a dentist’s office…I’ll read anything anywhere anytime. And usually it doesn’t take much time before I disconnect from the physical format and immerse myself in the story. So when I saw yet another “I’m going to read paper” post, I just about blew past it with a yawn. However, I didn’t, I clicked, and I find Michael Hyatt’s take kind of interesting (Why I’m Putting Ebooks on the Shelf for 2016 – Michael Hyatt). » Read the rest
I admit that I have developed an almost unhealthy fascination with the publishing industry’s changes over the last five years. Separate from my own vested interest, I am also interested from an analytical perpective. People argue that “self-publishing” or “ebooks” are the changes that are sweeping their way through the publishing world, but I personally feel that it is more about the disentanglement of a previously integrated and controlled business model.
In the past, you had authors who produced content as a raw product, agents who marketed those raw materials to publisher after publisher, or editor by editor at each publisher, and publishers who took the raw product, massaged it, processed it, turned it into a final product, and took the sellable version to market. And there were huge barriers to entry into the market — agents wouldn’t take just anyone, publishers often wanted only agent-repped products, stores and libraries would mainly take books only from the Big Six publishers or their subsidiaries. » Read the rest
Dean Wesley Smith is one of my favorite bloggers. As another blogger described him, Dean is an ex-midlister who has drunk the self-publishing Koolaid, is happy with his success in multiple worlds, and is happy to share his approach and results with others. He has a couple of blog-based ebooks going, where he writes a chapter at a time and posts it for digestion and comment. Then he cobbles them all together into an actual book. His latest endeavour, the second edition of “Think Like a Publisher”, is being “reposted” with updates in close sequential order. Here are some excerpts from Chapter 1:
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Some of the earliest decisions a publisher has to make can be changed down the road easily. Some are difficult to change. So, I’m going to break down some of these early decisions into basic groups. And keep in mind, there are no correct answers on any of these decisions.