Fantasy author Ty Johnston’s blog tour 2011 is running from November 1 through November 30. His novels include City of Rogues, Bayne’s Climband More than Kin, all of which are available for the Kindle (http://www.amazon.com/Ty-Johnston/e/B002MCBQRU/ ), the Nook (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/ty-johnston ) and online at Smashwords (http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/darkbow ). His latest novel, Ghosts of the Asylum, will be available for e-books on November 21. To find out more, follow him at his blog tyjohnston.blogspot.com.
I love books. As a writer, that might be expected of me, but there are plenty of readers who love books. I also love e-books, which is probably not quite as common nowadays as the love of books, but it is a growing trend by leaps and bounds.
Unfortunately, during the last couple of years there has been a lot of arguing back and forth on the blogosphere between those who champion books and those who have learned to love digital publications. To some extent, I suppose this is to be expected. The technology and business models behind e-books have thrown the publishing world into a whirlwind, putting a financial crimp on publishers and bookstores while opening up new possibilities to writers and readers.
Still, I’ve yet to fully understand the animosity between the print and the digital crowds. Why is this an either-or situation? Why can’t we love books and e-books alike?
Yes, there is plenty of tumult currently in publishing, but eventually that will settle down. It might take a few more years, but sooner or later the publishers are going to find new business models that work for them. We writers and readers and fans need to be patient. It’s not as if there isn’t plenty of reading material out there in one form or another, or in several forms.
It’s also true that bookstores are closing at an alarming rate, as much because of the current economy as because of e-books. Borders is out of business. Barnes & Noble has publicly announced plans not to continue leases at a large number of its stores, effectively closing a number of stores in the coming years. Some independent bookstores are saying they are feeling the pinch from Amazon, and are fighting back however they can.
Again, the dust will settle eventually. There will still be bookstores, though obviously there will not be as many.
It seems as if a lot of people working within the publishing industry, and a number of readers, fear the sky is falling. It’s as if books will cease to exist at some point in the future, or at least all the good books, or all the properly edited and vetted books.
That simply will not be the case. Books will still be available, even in the printed form. Oh, I’ll admit print books are likely to become more rare, in a decade or two possibly being about as common as vinyl albums are today, but they will still be out there for those who want them. Meanwhile, the e-book markets are growing by leaps and bounds, drawing more and more readers.
As far as the quality of books and e-books, there are arguments all over the place. The truth is, quality will stand out. Even independent writers have learned this and are hiring professional editors.
For me, I continue to love both the printed and the digital word. I read from my Kindle daily, and I still purchase and read paper books every week. I read more now than I did 10 years ago, and my to-be-read stack of printed books is larger than ever, and that’s not including the hundreds of e-books waiting to be read on my Kindle. More and more signs are showing that I am not atypical, that more people are reading and they are reading more.
Which can’t be a bad thing, especially for the likes of me. A writer.