Today we welcome out special guest, Kim Harrison. Kim has agreed to post here a few times a year, whenever she has something interesting to offer about the business. Welcome Kim!
The battle of the e-books has spilled onto my desk.
I’m great at staying out of trouble most times. You may have noticed that I’ve been very tight lipped lately about the recent drama concerning e-books, saying only that because of their increased popularity, many publishers have begun giving e-books their own release date, aligning them more closely to mass markets than hard covers, (since the price of many e-books are more inline with that format)
Things have been shifting radically in the last month, with shoving contests between retailers and publishers seeming to hurt only the authors and readers. (For a more business slant, check out Richard Curtis’s blog. It’s been hopping with industry news.)
The drama hit kind of close lately, and I’ve been trying to educate myself, learning a few things. E-book is not a generic term (which I thought), but refers to more of a type of electronic book. If you’ve ever bought an e-book, you know they don’t all work on all devices. You buy a Kindle to access Amazon, or a Nook to access B&N’s shelves. What we’re seeing now is Amazon trying to corner the market and everyone else fighting back. You can guess what will happen to those nice low prices when someone comes out on top. I saw this with Beta and the VCR players when I was a kid, and I saw it again just a few years ago between Blue Ray and HD players. It’s just the nature of the beast.
So until the battle is won by the way of the pocketbook, the state of e-books will be unsettled. Please don’t take it out on your favorite authors by leaving bad reviews. Us author types have little to no say, and no one really knows what’s going to happen any more than you do.
What does this mean to you, the consumer? From what I’ve been told, the delayed release of the Black Magic Sanction e-book is affecting Kindles, Fictionwise, Nooks, Soney e-readers, along with a handful of others. (April 6th Go ahead, groan. Amazon priced them as a mass market, so that’s where they are sliding.) However . . . there are alternatives as I’ve been finding out.
Harpercollins/Eos was looking ahead, and though no one had a clue that the e-book situation was going to explode, they had someone out at my office with a camera about a month or so ago, gathering content for an enhanced e-book. This enhanced e-book content was designed for Iphones and Itouch, and since everything went boom, they decided to release it the same day as the hard cover, February 23rd. If you have a Iphone or Itouch and access to ITunes, you’re good to go. And you should see where you’re going! (grin)
So what’s the difference between the e-book (4/6) and enhanced e-book (2/23)? OMGosh, you’ve no idea how hard it’s been to keep quiet about this. There are videos of me talking about the Hollows, how the books came together, and how I work. There are several audio commentaries by me concerning key scenes and characters, and how things didn’t always go as I had planned. One of the coolest things you will get with the enhanced e-book is the entire audio book synced to the text, which means you can listen in the car, then shift to the text when you get home without losing your place. Ms. Gavin is reading, and she’s done her usual fabulous job. There’s a book trailer in there, too, and a couple of cool bits and bobs revolving around the Hollows. Lots of fun stuff. And you get to see me in my natural habitat of my office and graveyard. (grin)
I’m not taking sides. I’m not a business person. I’m a storyteller, and I just want to tell my stories, to see your eyes light up and live the dream with me if only for the span the pages are moving.
So there it is, citizens. Nothing to see here, move along. (grin)