Juliana Sliema: On eBooks

19 Mar

Unfortunately, unlike the ‘It must be 5 o’clock somewhere’ doesn’t work as ‘It must be Monday somewhere.’

Today, rather than write anything steamy, I’d like to borrow a page from Nietzsche and modernize it. Actually, to be quite honest I’m not even sure it Nietzsche specifically wrote anything “On Books”, but at least I’m stealing his format.

Hate them or love them, eBooks are a revolution. Like the dot.com revolution, the vast amount of aspiring authors have caused the market to mushroom and implode, popping the eBook bubble for authors. Companies like Amazon still make great business out of self publishing authors, based on what I would like to coin, the office principle; stealing, er, I mean earning, a few cents from the millions of self-published authors. Even if you sell only one book to your mother (hopefully my mother hasn’t read my books!), if every self-published author manages this, Amazon or whatever service you’re using still comes out with a decent profit. (Although they may disagree. 🙂 )

But a digress. My English teacher would have failed me for terrible essay writing structure, but she’s probably my biggest fan without her knowing it. That’s right, you know I’m talking to you.

Back to the point I was going to make which is despite all their flaws and limitations eBooks give us authors an incredible opportunity to experiment. Basically, when cutting out the publishing costs there is no risk for us. We can write our generation’s Animal Farm without having to go from publisher to publisher and getting rejections for political reasons. Although of course it is “impossible to sell animal stories in the U.S.A.”

We as authors can bypass that bullshit now.

Content isn’t the only way we can experiment. We have complete creative freedom to do what we like with the book. Adding pictures, graphs (the little known art of erotic statistics – “show me another chart, baby” is a common phrase in many academic circles), hyperlinks, there is much more flexibility than just paper.

Now, I don’t pretend to be an expert in anything. There’s even probably a sex trick or two you could teach me, I’m talking to you English teacher. But… I don’t think this potential is fully being tapped into by authors. Especially established authors. You have the audience already, make an experiment see how it goes.

I’ve got something in mind and will let you know when it’s up. It’s just slightly more work than an ordinary story and I need the time.

The comments are open if you want to throw ideas at me, or each other. Just don’t complain when an idea hits you smack in the face.

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