Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

What the Kindle IS good for!

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Surprise, surprise! (said in a manner like Gomer Pyle) I'm going to close off my cogitations on electronic readers by saying something really positive about them.

I've thought long and hard on this, and being basically a positive person in outlook, I decided that, since there's a good for every bad out there, electronic readers cannot be an exception. Yin and yang is a universal concept. So here goes...

First, and this is a big one for us authors: Electronic readers mean that your books never have to go out of print again. It will be hell to figure out what the financial/contractual implications of this would be -- and maybe there's a Hollywood writers' strike looming on the horizon of their poorer print cousins -- but by and large I think this is a positive thing. Take me for an example. My sales aren't even in the tens of thousands, so if my books go out of print, that may well be it for them. Unless my publisher sees a few hundred orders for them, she's not going to throw the switch and run off another thousand. Result? A few people who really want the books have to get them from their library (not hard to do in Canada, but elsewhere?) or they buy them from some place like AbeBooks and I get doodly-squat out of the transaction.

If my books are turned into e-books at the end of their print run, people with readers will be able to get them, my publisher and I make some money and everyone is happy. Yea Kindle!

The other place where readers can excel is in book promotion. Some enterprising publisher (Hello! Hello! Is one of them out there listening?) is going to put a couple of chapters of each of their new books into electronic format where interested folks can download the whole set, sample a bit of everything and then decide which book(s) they'd like to purchase. You could even give them a special code to give them an added discount. I suppose they could then order the e-book or a print version.

Bully for Kindle!

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

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Rick Blechta

Rick Blechta is the author of the novels Knock On Wood, The Lark Ascending, Shooting Straight in the Dark, Cemetery of the Nameless, and When Hell Freezes Over. A Case of You, his latest novel, will be published in the spring of 2008 with Rendezvous Press.

Go to Rick Blechta’s Author Page