What’s coming down the pipe…Posted: March 12, 2011
I wrote some time ago that I didn’t think many advocates of ebooks and ereaders fully appreciated what the future may hold. Well I might have been wrong. People are thinking about it and I worry.
There is a very clear difference between musicians and authors. Where musicians are themselves the product and have a built-in revenue stream authors don’t and aren’t. Except for a tiny minority. Authors do not make money through performance (I wonder if that might change…) so the maths, as they are now, are clear. Don’t pay… don’t get professional* authors. It’s been pointed out to me by others that ebooks represent an opportunity. Authors will be able to interact directly with their readers and perhaps provide evolving content. Readers will be able to interact with each other. The key word is interact.
There’s a built-in problem with that notion. As a reader I do not want to interact with other readers while I am in the act of reading. That’s not what reading is about. And surely one of the things we as authors do is provide a story. An idiom I’ve heard is that poetry is always unfinished. Poets do revise their work but this seems less common for authors. After all, if you’ve spent a year working on a book do you really want to go back and revise it… again? I am not even convinced that it’s desirable. Many reworking of songs or films are just dire. It occurs to me that these interactive stories are not books and have been around for years. They’re called computer games.
* Amateurism is bad.