the future begins tomorrow!

Ten points if you can name the movie that came from.

Another twenty points if you realize that actually, the future is here. The future that is eBooks, I mean.

I remember, back in the early days, when I started writing seriously – not when I started writing, mind you, but when I started to realize I could find an audience online – the Interwebbies were still quite young, and I was stretching my fingers and enjoying myself, publishing online and having a good time.

Back then, the idea of being published was a far-fetched dream that I really didn’t fuss to much about. I was happy putting my fiction up on an old-style website, where readers could sit back and bask in the glow of the computer screen, reading their nights away. Ssince I’d just spent so much time in front of the computer writing these stories, I couldn’t fathom wanting to sit down and read them that way.

I always figured people just printed them out, then curled up on the couch somewhere comfy and read the printed papers, at their leisure. I mean, hell, this was back in the days of dial up! Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and your ISP had to have a local area code. You’d smack a few rocks together to make fire, then dial up and hope you could connect.

Yet, time after time I’d get an email from a fan who’d just spent the whole evening in front of his or her computer, reading the entire thing.

Boggled my brain, I don’t mind sayin’. But then, I figured, they hadn’t just spent several months in front of the monitor typing out the whole thing, so maybe reading a book on a screen wasn’t really all that big of a deal to most people.

I love the printed word, my self. I love buying physical books, flipping through the pages, bending the corners back while I read so my fingers can fidget with the edges. Curling up in whatever chair happens to be handy, or relaxing at the beach. I love the feel of paper, the smell of a book.

Then along came eReaders, like the Kindle or the Sony or this new Nook, not to mention the smartphones and the list grows daily.

I figured they were just fads, or something for the younger set who probably don’t even buy actual “books” anymore. Kids who were raised with these computer thingies, who don’t think twice about having a constant connection to the outside world, plugged in and glowing back at them 24-7.

Yeah, I know, pretty short sighted of me. They’re not my thing – I still prefer a physical book for a lot of reasons, most of which involve the needless spending of real money to do something I can already do without. But that’s not to say they’re not popular.

When I created Midnight Reading, I figured Lulu was my best bet for sales. I figured, based on my own shortsightedness, that folk would still prefer to purchase a hard copy and have a physical book. But knowing I could be wrong, I decided to also use the Lulu eBook feature.

I was sure, in my own little way, that I’d sell maybe 2 or 3 eBooks, tops.

Well, color me corrected ! Thanks to Smashwords and their ability to provide eBooks in every electronic format there is – I can honestly say I’ve become more of an eBook author than I’d ever expected.

If I had to ratio this to make sense, I’d have to say that for every 1 hard copy of my work that goes out the door, another 10 eBooks take flight. They’re incredibly popular, and thanks to technology, they can be easily sampled first. Add to that the ability to sell the work at a greatly reduced price, and who can blame Today’s reader for making the eBook choice?

And if you don’t want to shell out a few hundred for a dedicated reader, eBooks fit nicely on a smartphone, or PDA. Even the computer you already own, that you’re using to read this blog post with.

There’s no reason any eBook should cost you more than a couple of bucks – but I’ve seen quite a few listed at ridiculous prices. Both Smashwords and Lulu are taking a cut, so if the author wants to make a few pennies for his or her efforts, there’s nothing wrong with a full-length novel selling for $2.00 or less. But again, I have motives that differ from other writers.

I work on an alternate revenue stream. (another 5 bonus points if you know where that’s from)

Granted, I personally still prefer hard copies. After all, we can still read the Dead Sea Scrolls, but I can’t access data from 10 years ago that was saved on an old tape drive.

But far be it for me to stand in the way of progress! And in light of that, I’ll have a special eBook Christmas surprise for my long-time reading fans.

Power to the People!

Make Love, Not War!

Hey, who let the pterodactyl out ?

 

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2 thoughts on “the future begins tomorrow!

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