Had a sobering thought yesterday when I heard mail delivery (i.e. by the postman) being described as a ‘sunset industry’. Hang on, I thought, as a novelist whose primary aspiration is to get into print, am I also part of a sunset medium, soon to be supplanted by e-books, downloads or just one big blogosphere?
It’s not that I consider e-books to be works of the devil. Readers may note that a Kindle or Sony Reader in my Christmas stocking would be more than accceptable. But for the book to die out altogether? Well, call me nostalgic, but that is very scary indeed.
Luckily I recently discovered Nathan Bransford’s blog (now on the sidebar) and he has such an up-beat take on this (and publishing life in general) that I’m taking the liberty of quoting directly.
“don’t panic. Things are changing, it’s going to be an interesting/challenging couple of years as we gradually succumb to our coming e-book overlords, but it doesn’t mean the novel is going to disappear or that we’re all going to hell in a handbasket. Things aren’t going to be worse (at least in the long term), they’re just going to be different. And in 50 years when we’re making the transition from reading e-books on screens to having them beamed directly into our heads we’ll wax nostalgic about the charming blink of electronic pages and the smell of plastic and people will get angry about the change and say that you can pry their e-books from their cold dead hands.”
Not quite sure why this cheered me, but it did! Do get along there if you haven’t been already.
Next on my to do list is to look at all of Nathan’s advice on getting published, but a more pressing problem is the WIP. As I pass the 10,000 mark of my Water’s Edge rewrite, I’m wondering, in view of previous reactions, why I have retained the first person? I tell myself that every scene is now told in a way that would work in third person.
So why on earth don”t I just do it?