From April 11, 2011
I've had a lot of questions lately about why I have decided to exclusively publish Eyes in Atlantis in eBook format. Well, among many, a key reason is that eBooks are the future of literary publishing. Here's an analogy that makes the future of eBooks clear (to me at least).
About eight years ago, I was an avid listener of CDs. I had a walkman with anti-skip and I would make mix-CDs regularly with my favorite songs on them. I was not attracted to the whole digital music/mp3 player craze. That was until I got an iPod. I quickly loved the thing and realized the insanely large convenience it afforded me. I no longer had to deal with the physical hassle of switching albums and making playlists (the equivalent of a mix-CD) was as easy as dragging and dropping files. I don't know how I survived without it. Now I find myself going through the same phenomenon with books. Yeah, there are definitely great things about physical books; from the act of holding it, to the smell of the pages, even to the motion of turning pages. But...I bought a Kindle (Amazon's eReader) recently and I am in love with it. As the iPod made listening to music more convenient (and I argue enjoyable), I am finding the same result with my Kindle. They're relatively inexpensive (whether you get a Kindle, Nook, or some other e-reader) and it makes me what to read even more than before. The Kindle I bought has WiFi capabilities (there is version with 3G as well) and my favorite attribute is that you can upload mp3s to the device so that you have built-in reading music. Reading the device is easier than reading a book. I compare it to reading an etch-a-sketch, not an LCD screen. It's lighter than a paperback and...yeah, I've made my case.
Another argument I've heard regarding this transition (because, like CDs to mp3s, this is now a transition) is that people like the look of having a full book shelf. I agree. There's something sophisticated about having a large bookshelf full of novels and reference material, but...imagine the space that could be saved in your small apartment/house if at least half of your collection was electronic. My collection of Michael Crichton novels takes up most of a shelf by itself and many of my books I'll never read again, if for any reason my lack of time. Also, if you have to move a lot (like a college student), you can either move eight boxes of heavy hard cover books, or put your Kindle in your backpack. I can now carry around my entire collection (on my device that's up to 3,500 books and should I have more, I can download them to my computer to create more space) on a device the size of a Goosebumps book.
By the way, many of us already own eReaders. Your iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Blackberry, Android Phone and other smartphones already have the capability to download eReader applications like the Kindle app. I do have to say, though, my Kindle is awesome.
(I need not even mention the environmental impact of an eReader...paperless).
Now, this is not my case for everyone to switch to an eReader now, but just to display the trends in literature publishing as I see it. As we see the world continues to turn, so shall this trend, hence my decision to publish in this format.
Let me know if you have any questions about eReaders, the eBook publishing format, or anything to do with the release of Eyes in Atlantis.
If you haven't already, mark your calendars for the Eyes in Atlantis release event on May 21st at Sangha Yoga in downtown Kalamazoo. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. followed by a short presentation by me and a signing. RSVP here.