Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Touching Base

Just a quick update of what's going on with me. There are a number of things on my "To Do" list, but my time seems to be shrinking awfully fast! But here are a few things that I have planned or that are in the pipeline:

1. I WILL write a review of Scott Nicholson's Speed Dating with the Dead. I finished this ebook (my first one on my new reader) last week, and it was a very enjoyable read. A bit different from Mr. Nicholson's other books I've read. I'd definitely recommend it.

2. I WILL get my "Books Read" section updated on the main page here. I believe it stops at 34 or 35, and as of right now I've finished 54 books this calender year. By far my best year ever for reading.

3. I am currently Beta reading a new Scott Nicholson book, and enjoying the heck out of it. It's the best "worst" novel I've ever read.

4. I plan on posting here more consistently. I know, I know, I've said it before. But I really want to use this blog to share my love for books, and I feel it is a good way for me to practice my writing skills. Just need to find where I placed all my time.

5. This weekend I'm going to a signing with Brian Keene and Mary Sangiovanni in Williamsburg, VA. Needless to say, I'm super stoked about this!

6. I plan on sharing more about my experience with ebooks. I'm a newbie to them, but folks like Scott Nicholson and J. A. Konrath have me really excited about them. Plus, they're doing some cool stuff and there are some awesome books available in ebook form only.

I think that about covers it for now. I'm going to probably start pecking away at this list tomorrow, as I've been up for 28 hours right now, and I'm a bit tired. I'd like to have a clear mind so I can enjoy things!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Continuing Shifts

As I blogged about last night, Dorchester Publishing is currently in a state of flux. Today, probably their most prominent horror author, Brian Keene, announced he is parting ways with Dorchester. I can't say that I'm really surprised by this decision. It does highlight my gut feeling that things at Dorchester are not good right now. And now, things have gotten even worse with one of their heavyweights leaving.

I believe this is a good move for Brian Keene. He has name recognition and a loyal fanbase, he is tech savvy when it comes to social networking (Twitter, Facebook, blog, etc.), and he has a tremendous amount of drive. I have no doubt that he will find success whatever route he ends up taking. I look at the success that J. A. Konrath has found by handling his own books, and very much believe Brian can do just as well, if not better.

I think we are about to embark upon a time of great upheaval in the publishing industry. We all knew ebooks were something that were going to have to dealt with at some time, but the poor economy has acted as a catalyst to speed up the process. I think we will see some major changes in the next year or two. Do I think print books will disappear? No, not totally. Will ebooks permenantly change the landscape of publishing? Yes, I wholeheartedly believe so. I see a time in the next couple of years when bookstores start closing, ereaders take off in popularity, and ebooks become the norm, instead of luxury items. I don't have a bunch of data upon which to base my opionions. They are exactly that, my opinions. But I do believe the writing is on the wall, er, on the ereader. This next generation has grown up on game consoles, the internet, and iphones. Honestly, the only way a number of them will probably ever enjoy a good novel is through electronic means. I'm as nostalgic as the next person. However, I'm already excited about this new world that is being opened up before me. I can't wait to enjoy the works of authors I would have probably never tried before.

Don't get me wrong. This is going to be a turbulent time ahead. Traditional publishers are not going to go down without a fight. But I think it's inevitable. Change is coming.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Landscape Shifts

Recently, Dorchester Publishing announced that it is going ebooks only for the next six to eight months, and then they will be printing trade paperbacks (tpb) instead of mass market paperbacks (mmpb). There seems to be some confusion on their part as to how they are going to execute this shift, as evidenced by this article. Whatever they plan to do, this is a major gamble on Dorchester's part, in my opinion. For one thing, they risk losing current customers by suspending their mmpb line immediately. I haven't seen a clear explanation as to the suddenness of this move and why there is no transition period, so I'm not sure what the logic is behind it. My gut tells me business must have been pretty bad to require such an abrupt shift. But there are relatively few people who own ereaders at this time, so it seems a tremendous gamble to go ebook only for the next few months.

From a personal standpoint, I'm not thrilled by this decision. I am a horror book club member, and one of the things I looked forward to each month was getting my book club books in the mail. I enjoy reading stuff by authors I have never read before, and I've been pleased by the variety of authors in Dorchester's stable. Now I feel bad for many of those authors. The horror genre is not huge, and a number of talented writers seem to be caught in the middle of this mess. One of my favorites, Gord Rollo, just had the carpet pulled from under his feet by discovering his new book, coming out in September, will be one of the first books affected by this change. I'm not lying when I say this is probably the book I most anticipated from Dorchester this year. I anticipated it even more than Brian Keene's A Gathering of Crows (which was excellent, by the way). But now I feel really bad for Gord; who really knows how this will affect his sales? And what can he really do right now? And what options do the other mid-list horror writers have? It's not like there are a lot of publishers jumping up and down for horror books, even if they are written by some very talented people.

I hope this works out for Dorchester. I really do. They have put out some great works, and there are a number of upcoming books that should be really good. I just hope they are better organized and have more a plan than what they have portrayed so far.

On a side note, my personal landscape has shifted. I purchased my first ereader this past week, a Sony Reader Touch. So I am now officially part of the digital age. Despite my previous questions and concerns, I'm enjoying the experience of reading my first ebook on it, Scott Nicholson's Speed Dating with the Dead (and the book itself is pretty darn good). I think I can get used to this ebook stuff. Yes, I still love my paper books and will be reading them for a long time to come. But now I can get my hands on a number of books by a wide variety of authors that I normally probably wouldn't have in the past. So I'm very excited so far; I'll keep you posted on my thoughts on the whole ebook experience.