A column on Salon.com that was forwarded to me by a friend recently got me to thinking about my relationship with the evil empire of Amazon. The post by successful e-book writer Art Edwards reveals many of the same doubts that most of us ‘old school’ writers feel about the new world of electronic books and publishing.
My own experience is that I am certainly grateful for the opening that self-publication has provided to me and my work. I may have been able to get The Walker on the Cape published through a traditional publisher but I didn’t want to wait three years to do it. And I have had the opportunity to really understand the publishing/marketing business along the way. I have a lot of sympathies for publishers, especially small ones. They cannot afford to take too many chances nor make even one mistake.
I do however remain a skeptic when it comes to the idea that we will all become e-readers in the not too distant future and that the end of the printed book is nigh. Yes there will be a lot more books available in electronic versions but I think that we will continue to have a printed book universe, smaller but maybe more intense, as we move forward.
As for me even though I now have two books in e-print and available on the devil spawn, Amazon, I do not own an e-reader and I have no plans to get one, even to review my own books. I do not like them, any of them, and still want to curl up with a printed version of my favourite books. Can you even curl up with a Kindle?
Mike Martin is the author of The Walker on the Cape, a Sgt. Windflower mystery.