Had a long talk with Joe (see sidebar) about the future in e-publishing. He's really excited about it; I'm very skeptical. Call me a traditionalist. The thought of ebooks being the dominant form of publication--especially when so many of them are self-published*--worries me.
Here's a bit of the Gmail convo:
if you look at the biases of the new media, it is all slanted toward the author
for anyone who wants to write books, this stuff is extremely good news
it puts things in our favor
for those who want to make a living ripping off authors, it's extremely bad
or for those whose business is built on the work of writers
it's like the mp3 revolution
it killed the record labels and helped out the struggling artists
me: There are thousands and thousands of people who want to be published, only a fraction of them are Really good. The pubilshers/agents weed out the bad ones, and the good ones get published
but with ebooks, now all those thousands and thousands can publish their books
and it floods the market
and 29 out of every 30 ebooks sucks
Not to mention that the author now takes on advertising costs, but Joe makes a good point that, unless you've written the next best-seller, the publisher won't do much to promote your book, anyway. Needless to say, I'm convinced I need to learn more about the publishing industry, and am more fervent than ever to publish before ebooks take over the world.
What are your thoughts?
*Come on, when was the last time you read a good, self-published book from a new author?