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Old 01-12-2009, 12:42 PM   #106
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Understand: copy editing and proofreading are not done on computer files. They are done on paper--yes, with red pencil, or sometimes blue pencil, or even black pencil. And those corrections go back to be entered by the typesetter.
Perhaps this is true with some publishers, but all of the publishers with whom I work -- and these are mainly major publishers, for example, Elsevier, McGraw-Hill, Eye On Education, and Oxford -- copyediting is done electronically, not on paper. The last time I copyedtied a manuscript on paper was 20 years ago.

Proofreading is a mixed bag. Electronic proofreading has increased but a good portion of that is still done on paper.

One caveat: my experience is with nonfiction; it may be different with fiction.
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Old 01-12-2009, 04:26 PM   #107
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Regarding Tor - whatever I saw until now from the people from them - editors and other employees and sadly even some though luckily only a minority of writers - is just arrogance and/or cluelessness.

I never paid that much attention to the big sf houses and editors since being so big they just publish a lot, do not have a particular identity the way Baen, Daw or Pyr have - but the recent Tor.com controversies and the "we will be ready soon with e-books" attitude soured me badly on a number of people associated with them.

They still publish some of my favorite books, but it's been a big disappointment to see this.
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Old 01-12-2009, 05:40 PM   #108
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Regarding Tor - whatever I saw until now from the people from them - editors and other employees and sadly even some though luckily only a minority of writers - is just arrogance and/or cluelessness.

I never paid that much attention to the big sf houses and editors since being so big they just publish a lot, do not have a particular identity the way Baen, Daw or Pyr have - but the recent Tor.com controversies and the "we will be ready soon with e-books" attitude soured me badly on a number of people associated with them.

They still publish some of my favorite books, but it's been a big disappointment to see this.
Understood. Regarding that tempest over the Tor free ebook program last summer, I'll be the first to say they handled it badly. Very badly, from a PR point of view. So I can tell you, because I know (casually) some of the people involved, that while they really blew it totally in that exchange, I believe they are sincerely trying to put together a solid ebook program--and it's taking way longer than they imagined it would. Are they going about it the best way? I have no idea.

The basic misunderstanding about Tor.com probably didn't help, from a PR point of view. They never envisioned Tor.com as the public face of Tor Books. (How could they not think people would see it that way? you ask. And I answer, see, that just proves that even really smart people can really get it wrong. As if it needed to be proved.) They were trying to create a discussion and SF-lovers community that just happened to be hosted by the people at Tor. Guess they should have given it a different name.

Anyway. Regarding expectations and ebook programs (leave Tor aside), let me point again to ereads.com, which was one of the first major efforts to get out-of-print books back into print in ebook (and PoD) form. Ereads has been around for something like 8 or 9 years, and it's been an uphill struggle. I put a number of my books into the program, and some made it to market while others were trapped for years in a production logjam that only now is moving again. Have my books in that program (available on fictionwise and elsewhere, in multiformat non-DRM form) proven what a viable market this is? On the contrary, sales have been abysmal. I have yet to make a dime after expenses. Everyone here might think ebooks are great (I do, too), but publishers just getting into it might be forgiven for thinking this is a small niche market that has a ways to go before it'll be very profitable.

(Damn. I swore I wouldn't get sucked into this again.)
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Old 01-12-2009, 06:40 PM   #109
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At a minimum Orbit is totally doing it right. They are doing $1 books, and they are the first in the series with other books published and in ebook form.
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Old 01-12-2009, 08:14 PM   #110
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At a minimum Orbit is totally doing it right. They are doing $1 books, and they are the first in the series with other books published and in ebook form.
That does seem like a smart idea! I didn't know about that.
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Old 01-12-2009, 08:42 PM   #111
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That does seem like a smart idea! I didn't know about that.
Oh yes it's excellent. Silly them though, I realized that Karen Miller was an author I reviewed back when I had a fantasy review site and she was only published in Australia and the UK (she sent me her books and they were fantabulous). I found out now she's got her books over here and she's started a new series. I was going to buy it, then I found out they are offering her first book for $1 in March. So I'm holding out, heh.

Here's the link:
http://www.onedollarorbit.com/

It looks like it's working too- The Way of the Shadows is the #1 seller on the ebookstore, and people are getting hooked and buying the later books.
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Old 03-06-2009, 07:54 AM   #112
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Even though I am able to save a little by purchasing ebooks through various online sources than I would buying a paperback from my local bookseller, that wasn't the point of buying my first reader. I LOVE being able to have a number of books available to read no matter where I go! Saving a little money on ebooks just makes it possible for me to buy more books!!
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This is a very good point. But it has to be seen in context of the big picture and looked at from outside the niche markets that many of the contributors on this forum often discuss.

My interest is in the mainstream market because this is the market that will lift the ebook into the big league.
Most people are not, in my opinion, driven solely by price alone. They will be influenced greatly by convenience too. However, remember that in marketing as in many areas of life, perception is reality. Even though people may not be solely driven by price, they are highly influenced by the perception that they are getting ripped off. Look at how many people will drive five miles to another Shop to save 20 cents. As others here have pointed out, there are some sectors and some ebooks and some ebook sellers that provide fair value right now. But any survey of ebook sites from a mainstream reading point of view results, in my experience, in the conclusion that ebooks are being sold at the same price as p-books and often at HIGHER prices ! This is beyond bewildering . . .

At the moment ebook users are early adopters who have a very different profile than the mainstream users that will be using the ebook readers in 5-10 years time. As the market grows there will be, in my opinion, a wider dissatisfaction with the pricing, the inability to share with family, the inability to read their book on different platforms in their possession (PC, phone etc.).

I am disappointed that there is so little discussion here of the parallels with the music industry which is an excellent insight into the future of the ebook market.

The music industry kept their heads in the sand for a decade or more. They still appear mystified that people resent paying 20 dollars for many new CDs and to add insult to injury these CDs often come with no notes, no lyrics, no pictures of the band, ie NO ADDED VALUE. This practice drove people in their millions to share illegal' copies through file sharing apps etc etc. and it is only now that people like Amazon and Apple are learning that people WANT to buy legitimate product if the price is fair.

The same fate await the publishing industry. Illegal copies are already on the web. I know because I have seen and tested them. This is only a tiny taste of what will come soon if the music experience is duplicated.

It is bewildering that this industry appears to have no leaders, among the big players, willing or able to lift their head up and see the future. The future is ebook, plain and simple. There is no question of this. No, not 100% but a great majority of book reading in the near future.

The discussion of proof reading costs, text formatting cleanup costs etc is irrelevant. These are all costs that already exist for p-books. These are all costs that have already been absorbed for current publishings and back catalogues. The marginal cost of converting the electronic format that has already been put in place for paper publishing, to a format suitable for ebooks is tiny. As for future titles the model is well established for spreading what are essentially small costs over sales.

What we are left with is leadership, vision, investment, risk. The leadership and vision to make a measured investment to grow a market and a brand name against the risk of somehow being wrong.

The investment is partly the cost of file conversion and partly setting up ebook distribution outlets. This is all relatively cheap in comparison with existing publishing budget expenditure. The other investment is the potential leakage of earned margin from p-books to ebooks if those ebooks were priced at fair prices ($5 - $10) i.e. the risk that titles will sell 10,000 less p-books and 10,000 more ebooks at a time when the investment in those p-books is sunk.

However if the leadership has vision (and isn't that what they are paid the gazillions they are earning for!) they should be seeing that this is not an uncertain market. The ebook is here and it is going to dominate soon. SOON. The timeframe is now in the hands of the industry. The ones who take a leap now will be the winners and those who sit on their fat asses and puff up their pensions with not a care for the future of their shareholders or family owners will be the losers.

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Old 03-06-2009, 08:27 AM   #113
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Edit.

Last edited by dadioflex; 12-16-2010 at 04:00 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 03-06-2009, 05:48 PM   #114
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Sorry Dadio - you are right :-) I have only really been reading this thread and have not ventured around the rest of the forums. I have not seen much said about this in this thread so I made my comment. Apols.

I will spread my wings soon ...

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