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Old 01-05-2010, 10:50 AM   #1
zerospinboson
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Salon.com article: Don't fear the e-reader (Although it's more about epublishing)

I found a nice article on Salon.com today, which is fairly comprehensive in listing the new possibilities ebook publishing offers, rather than talking about how they're currently still not very usable or expensive, etc.
Article can be found here
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heather Michon, Salon
Galassi's argument is, essentially, that there is no "I" in "book." Bill Styron's genius as an author wasn't enough. It needed an infrastructure of editors to recognize the genius, mold it and shape it into its best work. Then it needed an army of artists, typesetters and printers to shape it into a physical book. Then it needed a publicity and distribution network to bring the physical book to the audience.
As far as it goes, the argument has merit. Books are a team effort. Almost any work is improved by careful editing. The more attractively packaged and widely distributed, the more likely a book is to end up on someone's bedside table.
But there are some serious flaws, too. The traditional system makes the author -- the creator -- almost a bit player in the process, with the publishing house winning the lion's share of the profits to help support its big, expensive infrastructure. Since each book is an investment, the primary concern has to be commercial viability. This shuts any number of talented unknowns out of the system, particularly in the nonfiction categories. Meanwhile, the price of physical books has increased to the point where a lot of readers have also been shut out of the system.
E-books change the equation. Yes, you still need an editorial staff and you still need publicists and you absolutely need a top-flight team of computer geeks. But gone are the cover artists and typesetters, the huge printing presses, the giant rolls of paper, the warehouses full of books, the fleet of trucks to bring the books to far-flung Borders and Barnes & Nobles. The price point for titles will have to be somewhat lower, but the investment is less, and the risks fewer.
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Old 01-05-2010, 12:03 PM   #2
rhadin
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zero, I noticed your Brandeis quote. I highly recommend Louis Brandeis: A Life by Melvin Urofsky (2009), a new biography of Brandeis that is available in both p and e versions. It is eminently readable. I reviewed it at my blog: www.americaneditor.wordpress.com.
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Old 08-27-2010, 06:38 PM   #3
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Slate had a neat take on the environmental impact of an ereader vs a book.

http://www.slate.com/id/2264363
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