The World of eBooks

Little Girl Ink

One of my older works, done in ink.

Publishing has changed since the day I first submitted my first novel for consideration. Back then, research required either buying books or going to the library. The internet didn’t have a whole lot and trusting Wikis was just plain foolish. In order to submit something to a company, you had to wait for open calls and whatnot. It also went by way of snail mail.

Times have changed. Most companies have shirked off that honored tradition of having an author send a ream’s worth of pages their way. Little electrons now carry the wanted data via a vast network of wires and cables. No more fiddling with your typewriter or printer.

It’s also opened the world to smaller works getting published in more than just magazines or anthologies. We’d never think before about shelling over 99¢ or more on one story but we do. Even if it’s a small several page document. The electronic age makes us do insane things. Honestly, the invention of the eReader was a wonderful thing. Sure I clung to my dead tree logic but the world that an eReader creates was too alluring. Instead of packing one book at a time in my purse, I could have several. No more running out of reading material while stuck at a long checkout line. My suitcase stopped feeling like I was dragging a dead body along on vacation. I was liberated!

How does this help authors out? Mind you, I’m not going to get into the discussion of self publishing. That’s a whole different animal.

For one, electronic transmissions have eased the submission process. Many of the small presses revel in this way of getting new talent. The bigger companies (at least some of them) haven’t quite been won over but they’re getting there. Follow the formatting guidelines, polish your baby, and off it goes! You’re not limited to the 80k plus novel size anymore either. Write that short little 10k story or go further with a novella. The sky’s the limit. Some companies even woo writers to make smaller works for special lines. In our busy lives, just a little nibble is satisfying and can make you feel like you accomplished reading a book.

In fact, as a reader, I’ve been enjoying the little reads inbetween the huge tomes called novels (I’m looking at you, epic fantasy writing sadists). My eReader doesn’t lose my place so if something is boring me or I’m not into it, I switch to another book without wondering what piece of scrap paper will hold my place.

It’s an exciting future for not only me as a reader, but as a writer as well. I don’t think physical books have lost their hold in the reading world. I, for one, can’t imagine reading to a child on an electronic device. The Lorax was meant to be held in your hands so your child can touch the page without you cringing about that booger hanging off the screen. I also still have plenty of paper-bound goodness to read at home. In fact, I bought one the other day and I’m just fine with walking in both worlds.

How have eBooks rocked your world?