David J. West recently wrote an article called Pulps and Pixelry over at his blog. You might want to read that before this, so you get some kind of context. Anyway, it got me to thinking. What follows is likely to be fairly stream-of-consciousness. Sorry. Someday, I’ll be more focused.
I don’t know about other people, but I can’t remember ever looking at the publisher of a book before I read it. I certainly never had a “I don’t read works by independent, self-published authors” rule. Maybe I’m just morally superior to the rest of the market. I’ve pretty much always read based on personal suggestions, and occasionally national trends like Harry Potter. Also, a story has to be pretty abysmal for me to quit reading in the middle.
I know some people just love love love the feel of books. I get that, and I do like physical books plenty. But when I learned about ebooks, holy crap I was excited. I’ve owned a couple of nooks (tablet and eink versions), an ebookman (old school back-lit lcd. best ergonomic reader ever, but hard to get files onto it), 2 Kindles (currently on a paperwhite) and a couple of tablets. I’ve settled down recently. and have gone down to one eink device and one tablet. But I put all my favorite books into Calibre, where I can easily find anything, and I love it. Also, I don’t have a room like David (see the picture at the top of the linked interview) does in which I can stack hundreds upon thousands of books.
And like I said, I still buy and read based on friends / already-liked-authors recommendations, so the torrent of digital slush out there doesn’t bother me.
You know what bugs, me though, is when the publisher sets the ebook price at or higher than the print version. When I encounter that with a non-fiction book, I’ll often just search the net for a few synopses and call it done.
Speaking of pulps, I have thought about putting together an anthology/starting a magazine/something that is printed in the size/paper of the Farmer’s almanacs. I think it’d be fun. With none of those boring non-fiction articles you see in some mags. Only action adventure stories. I wonder how cheaply those can be made? Doing black and white (or color) interiors on a POD like MagCloud makes a high quality product. However, copies can be cost prohibitive. I did play with that once, though. I want to produce something that could be theoretically handed to a fan with out huge expense.
Of course, I’ll need to get a few fans before that becomes an option. I’d better get writing.