Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Today's trend is tomorrow's old-fashioned.

Happy New Year 2015.

This last year has just whizzed past. Electronic publishing is beginning to find its level. It’s not all that innovative now. I think my first ebook was published about 14 years ago, when the Rocket was the reading device of the day. I do know that last year, for one publisher I sold many more print books than I did the electronic versions.

 There are many more writers on the market now, many of them doing their own publishing, so it’s getting a little crowded. Amongst all the hype of this newness, business begins to take the gloss from the newly minted masterpiece. The same enquiries pop up on the lists that did the rounds twenty-five years ago. What to do about copyright, public lending rights, writing rules, house styles. Agents, advances, royalties, percentages, tax forms. The time for these tasks must come out of the writing time. All have to be dealt with.

I must admit I prefer to see my books in print form, though they all have electronic versions. To start with the print books won’t disappear into the ether, unless you’re a magician. There are some books that I know I’ll want to read again down the track. They are on my keeper shelf. Books by Sharon Penman . . . Mary Stewart . . . the dreaded Thomas Hardy. I love his poetry because it grounds me. I get him. I get his slowness and his meandering sentences that wind like a path through the heath lands. Perhaps our souls will meet one day in the future – The return of “two natives” perhaps.

Some say print books are old-fashioned, but then, so are many of their readers. They were brought up without television and read books for entertainment. They are familiar with the words and phrasing . . . the style. What's wrong with being old-fashioned, anyway?  Today’s trend is tomorrow’s old-fashioned. We only have one life, so why rush through it?

The year has started off well for me. Two of my print books are to be part of a Mother’s Day promotion in the UK. Published by Simon & Schuster, they will be available through Sainsbury’s and Morrison stores.

That’s at the same price as an electronic book, and just the thing to wrap up with a box of chocolates. As a bonus you can tie a red ribbon round it. You can’t do that with an ebook!