Monday, August 22, 2011

Why are Certain Writers Still Afraid of Ebooks?

I read this article titled "E-books Threaten Livelihoods of Aspiring Writers" and became quite annoyed. Booker winner Graham Swift is moaning about the fact that up and coming writers may not make enough money with ebooks so will leave writing altogether, leaving the world minus the stories these writers would have left behind.

I really wonder what world Mr Swift occupies because it has nothing to do with mine. Unless you're the top dog on the publishing mountain you probably don't make a livable wage now- anywhere in the world! And that's with paper books and the old system. Ebooks can ONLY be good for new writers. Their options have opened up. They can publish stories that would have been stopped by the gatekeepers of the past- traditional publishers and agents.

For African writers, ebooks are going to be the big equaliser. Right now our biggest problem is distribution. Our books just do not get off the continent and if they do they're relegated to the Africa section of the bookstore, the place no one ventures. With ebooks that will be a thing of the past.

Mr Swift needs to put his glasses on and take another look. In the past any story not deemed "marketable" never saw the light of day. If there was a time to worry about good stories not getting the chance to be told the time was then. The world of publishing is changing, and at least from my seat, for the better.


Sonia Marsh/Gutsy Living said...

Lauri, this is a great piece of advice, and I'd like you to join the SCWA (Southern California Writers Association) FaceBook group. Are you on FaceBook? I can add you to it, as this would open up doors to speak to others in the US. I'm the meeting coordinator there and try to get useful information on the site.Also, I mentioned you on my blog as I talked about Botswana and thought it would be interesting to hear your opinion. It's not related to writing though. Thanks, Sonia. You can e-mail me separately if you wish, as I'd love to help you network with my writer contacts in California.

Kiru Taye said...

Hi Lauri ,I completely agree. Ebooks are good news to new writers and have opened up doors of opportunities that wouldn't have been there previously.

Joyful said...

I think you're right! Ebooks will open up a new world for African writers or other writers whom no one ever things to read. It will make it easier in general for these kinds of writers to distribute their works.

Enid Wilson said...

I agree with you Lauri. Ebooks open new avenue for self published authors like myself too. I can't believe I've sold over 5000 copies in short two years (around 80% are in ebook format).

Every Savage Can Reproduce

Lauri said...

Sonia- yes I'm on Facebook and yes I'd love to be added to the group. Thanks!
Enid- WOW!!! Congrats on your sales!
Kiru- You're absolutely right, we have far more options as writers.

Joyful-You can't believe the headache it is to try and get other Africans' books. You know where I get those books (not South African but other countries in Africa) - in London!!!

Judy Croome | @judy_croome said...

I read that article too and it's just such sour grapes (or fear mongering)the only thing to do is to ignore it. Ebooks are a great equaliser and I, for one, am thrilled at their advent!

Judy, South Africa