Cover of "Kindle Wireless Reading Device,...

Cover via Amazon

A couple of weeks ago, through David Gaughran’s blog (via The Word Cloud forum), I discovered the wonderful world of JA Konrath. Over the past few years, Joe Konrath has been rather taken by the possibilities of digital. He now whole-heartedly endorses self-pubbing e-books for writers old and new (mid-listers and newbies). This has been a shift for Mr Konrath and after poring over his blog, an outright epiphany for me.

I really haven’t been convinced by the Kindle/iPad/Nook/Sony e-reader phenomenon – I was definitely in the ‘but I love the smell of books’ camp. But after a trip to NYC and seeing four or five e-readers per subway carriage I’m thinking I may have been very misguided. Luddite is another word that springs to mind. I still don’t personally know that many people who read their books digitally – but given my mother-in-law just got an e-reader for her birthday (and loves it), I’m reassessing my whole backwards-looking attitude.

So far I haven’t put my money where my mouth is – a 3G Kindle still hasn’t found its way into my Amazon basket – but I imagine it’s only a matter of time. And after the recent report at The Shatzkin Files, it may be a lot sooner than I previously thought. They’re predicting (based on sales info released by Simon and Schuster and Penguin) that in only two years digital will be the dominant format for narrative books (ie not illustrated ones).

Time to get with the 21st century…

EDIT: Andrew Wiley on the future of publishing on World at One on BBC Radio 4 – he seems to think Amazon will adopt the pile ’em high sell ’em cheap model.



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