Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Heartening

I was heartened by this article in Digital Book World, of particular interest to authors and digital publishers, discussing the new and flexible contract, and the 'revolutionary' idea that, in exchange for the author signing over a 'broad basket of rights', each contract would be renegotiated after three to five years. More power to authors. More fair sharing between author and publisher. I'm offering a two-year contract. Makes perfect sense when the market, platforms, and what's implied in those rights are so rapidly changing. We can see up to the next corner but not around it.

While I don't wish to promote one reading device over another (not until I found that perfect, palpable, bendy number), I can't help marvelling at this neat little beast, the Kindle 3, not yet in NZ, but it can be ordered via Amazon. That'd slip into a handbag no trouble. Okay, so I've just promoted a reading device. Which only makes sense, given what I'm doing here. Who wants to read an ebook on their PC?

 I'm not sure I'd want to see a plastic tablet in any of these reverent hands (not unless it wore a soft, indigo cover) but for a beautiful meditation on reading, please look at the images on Steve McCurry's blog.

6 comments:

Claire Beynon said...

Hi Pen
I'm struck again by how perfect it is that you are taking up this e-publishing endeavour. As a writer, you know how essential it is to be respected, honoured and accompanied through the publishing process. As an editor, you understand how crucial it is to bring a certain empathetic ruthlessness to the task of fine-tuning work for the reading audience. As a reader, you bring wonder and appreciation to the table - also the rebellion and resistance that comes with adjusting to the unfamiliar new. As a karate kid, you know about patience with knocks and being flung to the floor. Also about meeting sparring partners eye-to-eye and without a shred of cruel intent. Even the sensei likes to return home to his/her soft couch and pile of books... I read somewhere the other day (I can't remember where) that once we make it through our (understandable, predictable?) resistances with e-books, we will consider ourselves blessed to have libraries both on our shelves and beside our beds, as well as in our hands and tents and laps...

(If this come across as a bit of a waffle, take it with a pinch of cayenne pepper? 'Tis Friday evening wine time...!)

Oh, one more thing before I post this (wv.'basom')... the meditation on reading is very beautiful. Thank you.

L, C xx

Penelope said...

Thanks, Claire, for such a vote of confidence. The proof will be in the eating but I'm confident the first books will prove delicious.

Vespersparrow said...

Dear Penelope, this is so interesting to watch you think your way through something so new, exciting, and except for the many Luddites out there who are crying in protest, clearly the way that books will be going. It is quite extraordinary that Kindle or Nook or any of the e-readers can hold such vast libraries in them--it's perfectly wonderful. And Claire's right, why can't we have both until we get used to this new kind of flivver! I'll be looking over your shoulder, smiling.

Penelope said...

Thanks so much, Vespersparrow. I'll take heart from the warmth on my shoulder. :)

Marylinn Kelly said...

I understand the benefit of e-publishing but am romantically, historically tied to holding a book in my hands. Perhaps I can evolve. Thank you for the link to Steve McCurry's photo meditation.

Penelope said...

I know, Marylinn, most of us are, but pragmatism has asserted itself in this case. And one day that perfect little ereader will make the experience so much more winsome.:)