Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday Forays In Fiction: The Future?


I've been seeing these around all over the book blogs and wondering what they were about exactly. I wasn't immediately excited because recent experience with electronic screens had dampened my enthusiasm. I was, for example, extremely disappointed when I bought my laptop in 2005 to discover that I could not read the screen outdoors in daylight. The same thing happened with my new digital camera I got for Christmas last year. I can't see the image in the LED screen in sunlight. Even on cloudy days it is only very faint. So I feared the same problem would hold for an e-book device. But ever since I read the product description last Sunday and learned that the Kindle's screen is not backlit and can be read from any angle either indoors or out, I was intrigued. More than intrigued. I started to drool (in a virtual way) and the more I read about it the more I liked what I saw.

These are the features I like:

  • A readable screen
  • Long battery life for reading (less long when useing the wireless) and quick recharge
  • Adjustable font size--my poor eyes just looooove this.
  • An onboard dictionary to look up words encountered while reading.
  • An ability to subscribe to newspapers and blogs
  • A QUERTY keyboard for typing search terms, orders from the Kindle store and notes on reading
  • It comes with room to store approximately 200 books but a memory card can be added to expand that to 4000. sigh. droooool. No more second bag for my traveling library.
  • But if you run out of room and need to delete material to make room for new orders or you loose your Kindle--no worries Amazon stores your Media library for you and it can be downloaded again at anytime.
  • The cost of recently released hardbacks in Kindle format is only $9.99! That is like one half to one third of the cost of most new books! In fact fairly close to the price of the mass market paperback that isn't released for over a year. And no trees have to die!

But alas. With a ticket price of $359 and our current circumstances, I'm sure Suze Orman would say DENIED! So for now I drool.

But none of the above really qualifies this for a topic in Friday Forays in Fiction which is reserved for topics relevant to the craft and business of writing fiction. What I got to thinkng about after I got an email from NaNoWriMo a couple days ago made it relevant to the publishing of one's fiction though which is a topic concidered very relevent by most fiction writers.

The email from NaNoWriMo announced that a deal had been struck with CreateSpace which is owned by Amazon to provide every NaNoWriMo winner with a free proof copy of their NaNo novel. Beginning retroactively with 2007 winners. Not only can they get that free paperback proof copy but they can choose to offer their novel for sale on the CreateSpace site.

My mind instantly made the connections between the two Amazon endeavors and saw a future in which fiction writers could bypass the tyranny of the publishing industry gatekeepers: agents, editors, bean counters, the hostage holding of manuscripts, the catch 22 of needing to be published in order to get published and all of the rest of the hurdles that tend to curdle the aspiring writer's soul.

Self-publishing using methods that would combine the potential of the Kindle technology with that of CreateSpace and the promotional potential of blogs and websites could put the power back in the hands of the writers. The creators, the providers of content could dictate the terms instead of groveling at the gates of industry moguls who have to care more about buildings, printing presses, payroll, paper, ink and advertising than they do about art.

And oh yes more trees would live!

BTW Oprah announced the Kindle as her new fav gadget today and gave them to her audience with the current book club selection, The Story of Edgar Sawtell loaded already. And for the watching audience Amazon is providing $50 off for anyone using the special code at checkout. You'll find that special code at Oprah.com. The offer is good only through November 1st.

$50 off $359 is a significant savings but not enough to get me the Suze Orman APPROVED. Sigh.

OK I've been watching too much CNBC this month.

0 tell me a story:

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