As we start to wind down towards our summer break, today’s post is all about the links. Now, I don’t own an e-reader as it’s just one more thing to lose when I’ve had one too many piña coladas, but I have nothing against them, and many people seem to love them, so let’s take a quick scroll through the world of processors, electronic paper and touch sensors.
First up, Richard Russo decides to boycott publishing his work as an e-book citing the threat to local bookshops as his main reason, buttressing his argument by saying that he ‘doesn’t want online retailers to control the world’ (and he’s mentioning no names here, such as the world’s biggest retailer that’s named after a South American river, for example). Noble cause or established writer seeking to preserve the comfy status quo? I’ll let you decide. Interestingly, Stephen King states that he will not release his latest work as an e-book, citing childhood nostalgia for paperbacks as his reason.
Moving away from Luddite protests to a dark glimpse inside that cruel totalitarian machine they call publishing, The Guardian ran an interesting piece on how your e-reader sends information about your reading habits back to Room 101. This raw data is then collated and has already begun to affect the way that writers (well, those who have access to the data) are crafting their books. An effective tool for sharpening prose or a step towards mind-numbing digitally-focus-grouped paint-by-numbers formulaic schlock? I’ll let you decide. Interestingly, it’s had an early application by a company who publish ‘choose your own adventure’ romantic comedies. I found this interesting because ‘choose your own ending’ is a format that I’d always believed was an allegory for the trials of puberty, hence the people who read them.
Finally, for those wondering how e-book sales are stacking up against hardcover, Galley Cat posts that e-book revenue in the US surpassed hardcover for the first time in the first quarter of 2012. The end of the world as we know it or just an inevitable shift in consumer preferences? I’ll let you decide.
Interestingly, Unsurprisingly, there’s little to catch the eye about a bunch of sales figures other than to nod one’s head sagely at the resplendent ramifications of it all.
I’ll be back in September. Next week, Andrew Oberg will reveal how to turn two 1st generation e-readers into a George Foreman Grill capable of sizzling your two favourite passages in literature onto each side of a t-bone steak.