Desert of Man

Writing. Culture. Politics. Wandering.

Connecting books and ebooks?

A continuation of the previous post, something which has been spinning in the back of my mind for quite a while now. Ever since I adopted digital reading really, and made the switch from paperbacks as consumables to ebooks as consumable in an adaptation to, well, a changing life really. Quite interesting in its own right, and I am not young enough to have grown up with a predisposition towards ebooks through overwhelming exposure to them.

But yes, it’s intruiging me, and to a degree bugging me a bit. These days we see and read so much about the publishing sector, the rise of self publishing, the rise of the lock-in markets and so forth. And I wonder, are we as authors or publishers really making the best connections for marketing and sales between our works, or products, depending on which side of the table one might sit 🙂

A good story will capture the reader, and the reader will always be inclined to make his or her own choices on how to read, where and when. This industry in that regard is no different from any other. But where other industries make connections between products, this is something which in this industry is still exceedingly rare. Yes, connections are made in advertising. And yes, connections are established in catalogues. Both of which are marketing. And let’s be honest for a moment, there is so much of that. So much that it is becoming ever harder to sift through the overflow of exposure and information out there.

It’s a bit more clear when you restrict yourself to a single author, and pursue his or her works. Most sellers, online and retail, provide their versions of catalogues of works of the author. Sometimes even of the authors per publishers. And a lot of authors are discovering ways to guide the reader from one work to the next.

But from the looks of it, and Publisher Weekly’s reports from this and last year sofar seem to indicate the same, this connection is generally within the constraints of the distribution type. Predominantly the realm of digital distribution. Something intruiging, in the rise of self publishing as the focus definately appears to reside there, rarely crossing to the realm of physical editions & distribution. Print to order is a concept which definately provides options there, but still, that does leave a gap of connections which can be made in order to guide the reader between those two realms.

To be blunt, that is not something which has to be restricted to a single author. I can see no reason why particularly self publishing authors could not explore such connections together. But that on the side, obviously. It’s something I would love to see happen, especially in the presence today of so many new talents exploring and reaching audiences. There is more than just the choice of seeking the publisher or flying solo. But let’s leave that discussion for another time 🙂

Paperbacks used to be our typical consumables of reading. Habits of reading subject to life and its patterns, which have changed – as they always do throughout our human history. Ebooks are increasingly the consumable of our time, so to speak. Considering the options we have at our disposal, why not explore the potential of making connections between worlds, crossing habits and patterns, catering to the entire potential without making the mistakes of older business models?

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This entry was posted on July 12, 2012 by in Muse and tagged .
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