WWwP #5 Comments

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Great Idea’s

By: SRMcEvoy
on Tue June 22, 2010, 12:39:48

I think those are great idea’s. I would also add, You own the eBook and if new formats become available you can move it to them. Microsoft press does this with their digital editions. Free updates and all formats.

Re: What’s Wrong with Publishing? #5: Digital Dreams

By: Eugene
on Tue June 22, 2010, 13:40:02

I think that’s rather inspired, actually. To take it a little farther, one thing I am happy studios have finally started to do is include low-res versions of a movie on the DVD or Blu-Ray so you can watch it on your computer or iPod. If I want to make it portable, I’m just going to rip amd convert the video anyway, so they’re saving me the trouble.
If publishers offered a free or discounted e-book download with the purchase of the tree version, it wouldn’t cost them any extra and it would prevent readers from having to make the choice. Sometimes I want the convenience of an e-book, but prefer to own a hardcopy for my collection. (This is why I have mass market editions of some books like Lord of the Rings and His Dark Materials, but beautiful hardcovers editions to keep.)

Re: What’s Wrong with Publishing? #5: Digital Dreams

By: Dee Beutel
on Tue June 22, 2010, 14:41:32

Even if there was not an expert at the end of the work, a simple “Check out these other titles by Hottie McHotpants” would be useful. If a book ends well, and the reader wants more, it only takes a click or two for them to download another one of McHotpants titles. Or, you know, ALL of McHotpants titles.
Taking this one step further, there could also be a “Did you like Super Sexy Superman by Hottie McHotpants? Check out these similar titles…” If the links are there, and it is easy to click through and download, I think it would be an easy way to generate more sales.

short fiction

By: Jon Skovron
on Tue June 22, 2010, 15:51:30

These are great points, Barry. I think bonus content like deleted scenes and such would be awesome.
Also I think e-books could make the shorter forms into a more viable market. Short stories and novellas have always had distribution problems. It’s too much work for too little. It wouldn’t be worthwhile to produce a paper novella for $5 perhaps, but a digital one? Maybe so? Using iBook on my iPad, I could see myself gleefully bleeding small amounts of money on $3 short here, an $5 novella there, authors making money in a model very similar to the way iPhone App developers do. Because, “Hey, it’s just a couple bucks” adds up. Would that alone pay the rent? Probably not. But it would be a nice suppliment.

Re: What’s Wrong with Publishing? #5: Digital Dreams

By: fivecats
on Tue July 06, 2010, 08:57:19

by day i work doing IT stuff at a well-respected university press. a while back our CFO did a session on the balance sheet of our books. he took one of our most popular titles, a trade hardcover book with fairly broad, local appeal, one where the authors were out there pushing the heck out of their title.
he gave us a spreadsheet with all of the numbers and it was amazing. this was one of our best selling titles and it still hadn’t made back the initial cost of publication.
without going into detail, the in-house costs associated with acquiring, proofing, typesetting and proofing again, are very high. add in the cost of printing, shipping and warehousing and it gets even higher.
as an IT guy, i came in pushing for a paradigm shift in the way the press approached their goal. they had been thinking the goal was a printed, bound collection of folio pages (a “book”). i wanted them to refocus their goal to Content — flexible content.
that shift is taking place here (finally). the think is, however, from the publisher’s side of things, the costs associated with producing an ebook are still being worked out. you can’t just take a Word document and do a Save As… Kindle. there’s an entire process of coverting the text (and, in our case, all of the illustrations, tables, charts, maps, etc) into XHTML that can then be converted into .MOBI for the Kindle. (other e-readers use different formats, of course)
then there’s the need to proof that converted file. (another well-known university publishing house discovered this the hard way when someone purchased an e-book from them and then complained loudly because the file was missing everything after Chapter Three) actually, make that “proof each separate converted file.”
one of the things the DVD industry has learned that the recorded music industry has never gotten is the need to give consumers “something extra.” i’m one of those people who love the DVD extras. if i buy a DVD (or even rent one) that doesn’t come with extras, i feel cheated.
a while back, in my personal blog, i wrote about being disappointed that i had to cut a scene from my WIP. it was a funny scene, but one that no longer fit in the book after i restructured the first four chapters. i thought about posting it to my web site in a “deleted scenes” section. several people commented that they thought this was a great idea. doing the same thing with an e-book strikes me as a great way of combining the DVD extras with the e-book format.
and once a title has been parsed (and proofed) into e-book format it makes perfect sense to give teasers for your other titles. that is a fantastic idea.

Re: What’s Wrong with Publishing? #5: Digital Dreams

By: Barry
on Tue July 06, 2010, 10:05:36

Holy cow, everyone! Thanks for the great comments. I am SO sorry that they took so long for me to approve. For some reason, the moderating queue was jammed up and nothing came through.

The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl

By: Caitlin
on Sun July 11, 2010, 21:05:27

Mr. Lyga, if you’re the one who reads these comments i just wanted to ask you if you were planning a sequel to the second book in this series; Goth Girl Rising. An answer woul be much appreciated. Thanks so much!

Re: What’s Wrong with Publishing? #5: Digital Dreams

By: Barry
on Tue July 13, 2010, 17:35:41

Right now, there are no plans for a third book about Fanboy and Goth Girl, but you know what? I never planned to write the second book, either! So there’s no way to know — it may happen. And those two characters may show up in the background of some other books, too.

Interesting take, I must say

By: Hanna
on Fri July 16, 2010, 00:14:04

I always had a dislike for e-books because of how technologically advanced everything seemed to be getting, and we’d never be able to preserve the awesomeness of holding a bound book in our hands when the future rolls around, but your points are really good, and I cannot argue.Well, except for that last part about all independent bookstores coming together as one big “virtual chain”. I mean, the point of an independent bookstore is to be INDEPENDENT. Although as far as mood and stuff goes, each independent bookstore would remain that way, but not all of the people owning independent bookstores would exactly be happy with the idea, you know? Going in with all this digital crap– many old-fashioned book-lovers don’t like it (I being one of them 50% of the time).

But, I also understand financial issues with the shipping, binding, page folding, etcetera about physical books.

Although I must argue that staring at a screen and reading just does not appeal to me. There’s a whole feeling (for me anyway) that just overtakes me whenever I open up a book and just smell the bound pages. Same goes for walking into a library or a bookstore– the smell just hits, and I just have to delve into it. The same can’t go for digital books. You just can’t FEEL the book in your palm, with its paper-cover. I probably sound like an old crank here, but hey, whatever.

And there’s that feeling of having a big bookshelf full of books at home, you know? I come home, go into my room and see my bookshelves nearly overflowing with the books I’ve bought (mostly YA fiction, but I’ve got reference books and such), and I’m like, “Huh. This defines me.”

I’m hoping to add both “The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl” and “Goth Girl Rising” to the collection once I get the money (financial, right?), because it turns out that the stories remind me of my own life.

I first read “FB&GG” (is the acronym irritating?) a few years back after I saw it at Border’s, then I got it at the library and thought it was kinda weird. I reread it again yesterday, and then read “Goth Girl Rising” today, and my reaction had changed.

First of all, I understood more of the graphic novel references, because since I’d last read “FB&GG” I’d gone through Neil Gaiman novels and some deathly-looking graphic novels, but there was also the aspect of Kyra and Fanboy’s relationship being similar to me and my friends.

I mean, there are SOME similarities, but most of what happens in the book have not happened to me (flashing, stealing cars, kicking him in the gonads…). When I finished reading “Goth Girl Rising” (which admittedly was about twenty minutes ago), I thought back and realized how well you portrayed Kyra. The female part of her, it was just so amazing, coming from a dude. Especially because a lot of what Kyra said, I’d thought to myself before, or believed in. I thought of basically everything she said in the book, other than a) mother dying (since mine is alive), b) destroying Fanboy (just too cruel. Thought of my own friend and cringed from thinking about doing that to him), and c) calling my father by his first name.

What she said about her own body, what she thought about people, how she struggled through her release from the hospital– it felt so real and amazing to think “Oh hey, I did this…”

It truly was an amazing read. I was awed, and I’m pretty much dying to know what happens next. And believe me, I’m telling that friend (the one that’s slightly a version of Fanboy) about this book. I’m not sure what he’ll think, but I don’t think I really have anything to lose.

…This turned from an opposing argument to a fan-letter. Wow. I shall now go do something productive.

All in all, the argument about the e-book was good. Great points. I’ll keep them in mind.

Re: What’s Wrong with Publishing? #5: Digital Dreams

By: ctkierst
on Wed August 04, 2010, 12:44:51

While I love a deluxe hardcover edition, I love my ebook reader. Trying to read a 700+ page tome is a pain when you have to lug it around, and I don’t miss getting a library book that reeks of cigarette smoke or perfume. Having hundreds of books available when I’m traveling is perfect. Searchable text, integrated with a dictionary rocks!