Monday, August 23, 2010

Guest Blog by Ben Brown

When I started this blog I wanted to make sure I included other voices to my usual rants about e-books and give guest bloggers a chance to weigh in. My first guest blogger is Ben Brown. Ben lives in Australia and is about to have his first book published by AKW Books. The book's title is 'Enhanced' and will be be released in e-book format hopefully in the next couple of months.  Sample pages of 'Enchanced' can be found at Ben can be followed on Twitter @beninoz. 
Thanks Ben for doing a guest blog for me, and the best of luck with your upcoming book release!
Guest Blog - 
By Ben Brown -
A while back I started a discussion on in regard to eBooks and their place within today’s book market. I must say I was surprised by the level of response.
I have read on many websites that the eBook and the iPad will be the great champion of the publishing industry. However, looking at the responses to the eBook discussion, I would say that these sites have overestimated the impact of the iPad on the book industry.
I would agree that the eBook may find a larger place within the mainstream market because of the iPad. It may even do for books what iTunes has done for music, but I think it will take time. I still think that the good old fashioned paperback will win out for most people in the end.
Based on the responses made by the book lovers on bookblogs, most people still like the feel of a book in their hands. I think the pleasure felt by an individual as they browse through a good book store, feeling the books as they pick them up to read the cover, will be hard to beat. My wife even loves the smell of a new book. No eBook can compete with that!
I am a great lover of the eBook, don’t get me wrong. I first discovered them back in the mid-nineties. I have dyslexia and until I bought my first computer and connected to the internet, I struggled with reading. The internet offered me a place to learn, and read at my own pace. One of the consequences of my dyslexia was, I always found going into a book shop or a library very daunting. Then I discovered the Gutenberg Project.   This site opened up a whole world of literature to me, and I have not looked back. I personally love the benefit of having hundreds of eBooks on a relatively small digital device, in my case a Kobo. For this reason, I think the eBook may find a niche market for people who travel or wish to have a full library with them at all times. I love the fact that I don’t need to leave the house to buy a good book. I simply go online and choose from the millions of titles available to me.
I frequently hunt for books on the net; as a result, I have noticed many small e-publishers springing up. Most seem to be pinning their hopes on the eBook and the iPad. I wonder if these companies will still be here next year. I think most may fold. That being said, there are many great e-publishers out there who offer new authors an opportunity that ordinarily, they would not get. I have read many amazing books that simply would never have seen the light of day if it wasn’t for e-publishing. E-publishing offers a small but vital service to both readers and authors.
Whilst I think the iPad will have an impact on increasing eBook sales. I also believe Apple have made the epub file format too hard for the average author and small publisher to produce. My book ‘Enhanced’ has been picked up by an e-publisher, AKW Books. I discussed with them whether or not my book would be available through the iBook store. When they explained the costs involved in placing their publications on iBooks, it soon became apparent that it simply wasn’t viable for them. At least not until iBooks represent a larger share of the market. 
Another reason I think the eBook will take some time to catch on, is the price. Most books are far too expensive. Once the book has been created all that is needed is a small amount of space on a server, there are no further production costs or shipping costs what so ever. In spite of this many eBooks from mainstream authors are only a few dollars less than their paperback counterparts. This is clearly a rip-off. In my opinion, there is no reason for any eBook to cost more than ten dollars, and in most cases, much less.
In conclusion, I think the paperback and hardback is here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. However, the eBook has a small but important place in today’s market. What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed writing this blog, I hope you have all enjoyed reading it.