Writers’ Wednesday #5: E-Publishing & The Author

Allow me to introduce new author, Whit Howland. Whit has recently had his first novella published by Untreed Reads, my review of which can be read here. He’s popped over to have a natter about e-publishing, and tells us just why he thinks it’s a good thing.

E-Publishing & The Author by Whit Howland

Before now I’ve always been sceptical of the digitalisation of information. I was, and to some degree, still am, a bibliophile. I love paperback books: the feel, the smell, and the look.

I especially love the old pulp paperbacks and their wonderful and sometimes lurid cover art. I can’t imagine a world where these books no longer exist. But is that what’s coming?  Are we racing toward a future where at the beach, instead of reading one of those chubby romances we bought at the supermarket on impulse, we will be reading the story on our  E Reader? Some say we are already there.

Regardless of where we are, or where we are going, I’ve decided to embrace this trend. And because I have, I’ve concluded the E Reader is a magnificent invention and does for humans what technology is supposed to do; it makes our lives easier in many ways.

We can store a larger quantity of books in our E Readers than on shelves. And we don’t have to break our backs carrying those god-awful heavy boxes of tomes we just can’t get rid of when it’s time to move. Looking at and reading the screen is a lot better for our eyes than reading print on paper. And, it is sometimes cheaper and always faster to purchase a story. But, the main reason I like this brave new world has to do with e-publishing.

E-publishing is an author’s version of winning the lottery. Before digital, it was very tough for an aspiring author to get past the gate keeper of a big publishing house or literary agency. This was especially true if your work was said not to have any commercial value. With E-Publishing all of that has changed.

Today, we have effectively slipped that gate keeper a Mickey Finn and he is down for the count. This is due to the fact that it is cheaper to publish an e-book than it is a hardcover or paperback. Also, it is much easier to distribute it. As a result, e-publishers are more open to unusual works. They are also eager to publish smaller pieces such as novellas and novelettes. With all this in mind, what’s not to like about E Readers and E-Publishing?

Well, for me being published has softened the blow and realisation of the possible demise of hardcopy. But for others who haven’t had that good fortune, I can see how a world where we are always plugged in can be daunting. Even I imagine a dark existence where instead of Borders and Barnes and Noble having rows of books, they will have rows of ports were we can all plug our E Readers into – and maybe someday the stories will be down loaded to a chip in our head.

But again, as an author, this technology is your friend. You should take advantage of this small window in time where you can publish just about anything you want because for me, the darker future is where the big publishing companies step in and again make it impossible for us new authors to publish our stories.

Text © 2010 Whit Howland
Author Photograph © 2010 Whit Howland
Cover © 2010 Untreed Reads Publishing, All Rights Reserved



2 thoughts on “Writers’ Wednesday #5: E-Publishing & The Author”

  1. I’m not convinced by the notion that looking at words on a screen is better for your eyes than looking at words on paper. Surely, as people have learned over and over again via PC monitors, you get severe eye strain if you look too long at a screen. Must be even worse reading from a small screen, no?

    1. Oh yeah. Add to that; there were a bunch of Chinese tourists at my coffee shop today with i-readers. To me they just looked dumb – and defo not a replacement for a good tangible book.

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