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Old 12-05-2011, 11:16 AM   #1
stonetools
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E-books are more than a publishing platform—they’re a *whole new literary Form

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In a year when Amazon sold more e-books than dead trees and publishers poured precious funds into actual tech ventures, a few hazy harbingers of the Future of Publishing began coming into focus. One is an emerging format that this year encompassed works by Jon Krakauer, Walter Mosley, Tyler Cowen, Amy Tan, and more than one vampire romance writer: the short book.
LINK

More evidence that ebooks are revolutionizing the book industry - the long form journalistic article is migrating out out of its previous home in the magazine and into short ebooks like the Kindle Single and iBooks Quick Reads. In addition, on the fiction side, the novella is coming back on that format as well. I think that's great. Their are plenty of stories that can best be told in 100 pages, not 300.
I kinda hope that the ACE Double of two short novels for the price of one will come back , too. I used to enjoy those.

Last edited by stonetools; 12-05-2011 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 12-05-2011, 11:39 AM   #2
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If it makes publishing short-stories, novelettes and novellas easier|financially viable, I think that's great. But I think calling it a "whole new literary form" is a little misleading. It's more like:

"ebooks revitalize the short format."
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Old 12-05-2011, 01:59 PM   #3
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If it makes publishing short-stories, novelettes and novellas easier|financially viable, I think that's great. But I think calling it a "whole new literary form" is a little misleading. It's more like:

"ebooks revitalize the short format."


I agree that its more accurate. But its less exciting!!!!!
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Old 12-05-2011, 02:47 PM   #4
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I thought the "whole new literary form" meant multimedia books--interactive content, video and audio, etc. How are books with fewer pages a "whole new literary form"?
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Old 12-05-2011, 03:23 PM   #5
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"ebooks revitalize the short format."
Here here. It's nice seeing short stories/books/etc come back.
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Old 12-05-2011, 03:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
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I thought the "whole new literary form" meant multimedia books--interactive content, video and audio, etc. How are books with fewer pages a "whole new literary form"?

There is absolutely nothing new about this. It is merely a minor tweak (moving to electronic distribution) on the chapbook (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chapbook), something thats been with us for a very long time.
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Old 12-05-2011, 03:37 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Catlady View Post
I thought the "whole new literary form" meant multimedia books--interactive content, video and audio, etc. How are books with fewer pages a "whole new literary form"?
Agreed. It's a news story just trying to be more provocative than it is. It has certainly made it more cost-effective to publish shorter works and to package shorter works separately, but these aren't new literary forms, only forms that we have forgotten about with the printed book.

Now interactive and reader-led publishing through the Web are very interesting things to me, but an e-reader didn't make that possible, the Web did.
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Old 12-05-2011, 04:06 PM   #8
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Well, to be fair to the writer, he is focusing on the nonfiction side.

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The great hidden virtue of e-books—hidden beneath the chatter about their effect on the bottom line—is that they allow stories to be exactly as long as we want them to be. It turns out that many of them work best between 10,000 and 35,000 words long—the makings of a whole new nonfiction genre occupying the virgin territory between articles and hardcovers. It may even be the case that Americans can tolerate serious policy work by academics (like economist Cowen’s e-book hit The Great Stagnation) so long as it isn’t padded out to 500 pages.
He is right in that long form nonfiction articles above magazine length and below book length could not be sold by themselves. They either had to be padded out into books or excerpted in magazines. Now they can be done as ebooks.
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Old 12-06-2011, 11:43 AM   #9
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Everyone has been able to do the self-publishing thing ever since the internet came around, first in "homepages" (remember that? the ugly and open facebook pages of then?), then in sites aggregating user-content, then in blogs etc.

now, as for monetizing from it...
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Old 12-06-2011, 11:46 PM   #10
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Do crappy OCR jobs and poorly proofed copies count as whole new literary form?
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Old 12-07-2011, 12:36 AM   #11
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Do crappy OCR jobs and poorly proofed copies count as whole new literary form?
No. That carries on the tradition of p0orly typed coppies with the carb0n papersmeared .
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Old 12-07-2011, 02:59 AM   #12
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ebooks might enable the instantiation of a new mode of thinking about literature, but the jury is still out as they say.
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Old 12-07-2011, 09:26 AM   #13
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... and consumers must be vigilant against "normal" pricing on shorter novels. While the size of a book is not necessarily an indication of it's literary quality, and some excellent cases can be made for excess padding, we are also seeing examples of downsizing with no downward price adjustment. How many consumer items can I count where quantities have decreased but not prices -- coffee, candy, etc. I may consider purchase of a normal 350-400 page eBook novel for $9.99 from a favorite author, but I'm not likely to purchase a 150-200 page novelette for the same price.
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Old 12-07-2011, 01:23 PM   #14
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... and consumers must be vigilant against "normal" pricing on shorter novels. While the size of a book is not necessarily an indication of it's literary quality, and some excellent cases can be made for excess padding, we are also seeing examples of downsizing with no downward price adjustment. How many consumer items can I count where quantities have decreased but not prices -- coffee, candy, etc. I may consider purchase of a normal 350-400 page eBook novel for $9.99 from a favorite author, but I'm not likely to purchase a 150-200 page novelette for the same price.
Most of the shorter stuff is priced around 2.99 or less. But I agree, you do have to take a good look at the length of what you are buying
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Old 12-07-2011, 01:35 PM   #15
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ebooks might enable the instantiation of a new mode of thinking about literature, but the jury is still out as they say.
How so? I am serious. Just what about the delivery as a digital file to be viewed on an e-book reader, or for that matter just a tablet or computer monitor will greatly change how one thinks about literature?

I can see that ebooks (with the book designation a question mark) will provide sort of one format shopping for everything from something like War and Peace to a collection of some celebrities Tweets, but that is not changing thinking about literature. War and Peace will still be literature and Ashton Kutcher's Tweets will still be what those are.
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