Food for thought

Hi, folks!

I came across a couple of interesting links the past day or so. This one is self-explanatory: DON’T PLAGIARIZE. It’s just plain sucky to do that to someone. Here’s one author’s experience with it. And yes, it does happen in the fanfic world. In this case, the plagiarizer posted the work on a fanfic site.

Plagiarism is theft. If you’re a writer (whether aspiring or not), show the world your individual creativity. You don’t need to steal somebody else’s work. Make your own. You’ll feel better about it. For reals.

And the second link has to do with ebooks and how they can threaten the livelihoods of aspiring writers. Award-winning author Graham Smith offers his concerns:

“The e-book does seem at the moment to threaten the livelihood of writers, because the way in which writers are paid for their work in the form of e-books is very much up in the air.

“I think the tendency will be that writers will get even less than they get now for their work and sadly that could mean that some potential writers will see that they can’t make a living, they will give up and the world would be poorer for the books they might have written, so in that way it is quite a serious prospect.”
source: The Telegraph

I think he has some valid concerns, especially when it comes to the idea that things in digital format should somehow be “cheaper” than things that are not. That’s a raging debate, by the way, in book land. The pricing of ebooks. The thing is, the same amount of work goes into creating a digital file as goes into a product that becomes a print book. That is, author time/effort, the various editors’ time/effort, the cover designer’s time/effort, and the typesetter’s time/effort. All that time and effort costs money. The only difference between a print book and an ebook is that one doesn’t go to a printer for binding. And that does save a little bit of money, but it doesn’t negate all the work and time that went into the back end. Make sense?

Anyway, just some stuff to ponder. Happy reading, happy writing!

Print ain’t dead yet

That’s the news from the BEA — BookExpo America, a giant-ass convention/conference with tons of publishing and book vendors, filled with book freaks, books, and all things books and publishing.

Publishers Weekly notes:

Despite the way e-books dominated the publishing conversation over the past year, it was obvious from the moment one set foot on the volume-packed BEA show floor that the printed book is still very much at the center of the publishing industry.

Check out that article, because it notes that the philosophy of booksellers and book publishers isn’t necessarily that electronic media will replace print, but rather that the two can complement each other.

Case in point. I purchased a Kindle for myself a few months back and what I decided is that it’s not quite like reading a book. It’s a different medium, and that doesn’t make it bad or good. It just makes it different. I appreciate the ease of taking my Kindle on a plane, and having it in my backpack when I’m out and about. I love the ease of downloading titles, and I really enjoy being able to “sample” a title before I buy it. I also like that I can buy things like The Federalist Papers, the Anti-Federalist Papers, Toqueville’s Democracy in America, and Harriet Jacobs’ Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl for around a dollar.

I also like that I can try writers out for a couple bucks or less, though I would also like an option to “rent” ebooks, too. Hell, I rent movies on Netflix. Why not do the same for ebooks?

Anyway, I like the ease of having a bunch of classics right at my fingertips. But it’s not the same as taking a book to a coffee house, opening it, and reading it. And I still use my local library quite a bit, because I like that my tax dollars pay for books and I can go and check ’em out, read ’em, and take ’em back because I’m in an anti-clutter phase at the moment and I like that anybody can have access to books that way.

So no, I don’t think ebooks will replace print books. Not any time soon. But I do think they can complement each other, and I think that’s a great and wonderful thing for publishers, readers, and authors.

Happy reading, happy writing!