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Old 02-07-2007, 10:15 AM   #1
Tenkian
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Contacting Authors about eBooks

Here is a message I am attempting to send to several of my favourite Authors to try to convince them to release eBook versions of their work.
Peter F. Hamilton
Alastair Reynolds
Neal Asher
Tony Ballantyne
Charles Stross

I know some of them have a select few books already available in electronic format.
Quote:
Firstly I would like to thank you for the many hours of enjoyment over the years reading your books. As a technical analyst, I have a great enthusiasm for technology science fiction. I know that as a science fiction author, you probably share this enthusiasm.

One of the technologies that has excited me, is the e-Ink book readers that have recently been released. I recently purchased a Sony PRS-500 Reader (www.sony.com/reader) and found that for the first time, a device offers all the benefits of paper books with many advantages. The display is different than an LCD and is as good as reading a printed page. The ability to carry around my entire book collection in one small device would be a godsend. I honestly believe that eBooks are the future of books just as MP3 has taken over from CDs. As text takes up a very small amount of space, I can literally fit thousands of books on my reader.

The device is there and exists now. The only problem that exists now is lack of content. I ask you as a fan of your work to help this technology get off the ground. I purchase your new releases as soon as they are released in book format. I would love it if I could purchase your work for use on my reader device. I believe that having a well known and popular author as yourself releasing material in this format could help kick-start the adoption of eBooks into the mainstream.

There would be a number of beneficial reasons for releasing your work electronically, the main ones being better for the environment, reduced costs to manufacture and a shorter time to “print”.

There is an internet forum that I visit regularly and all it’s users are as enthusiastic as I am about this technology www.mobileread.com . I would be most grateful if you could spend a small amount of your time and have a look at this technology and if possible, reply with your thoughts on the matter.



Regards

I would appreciate any comments/alterations.

Last edited by Tenkian; 02-07-2007 at 10:18 AM.
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Old 02-07-2007, 10:25 AM   #2
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Good idea! Don't forget to send it also to their publishers.

I've read some Alastair Reynolds (Absolution gap), he's real good!
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Old 02-07-2007, 10:27 AM   #3
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I would try and encourage them to allow their books to reproduced on as many electronic formats as possible... Not just the Reader...
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Old 02-07-2007, 11:16 AM   #4
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Good point, jęd, just 'cause we've got our favorite candy is no reason we shouldn't share the love!
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Old 02-07-2007, 11:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jęd
I would try and encourage them to allow their books to reproduced on as many electronic formats as possible... Not just the Reader...
I have to agree, the letter comes off as a specific endorsement of the Sony product. As much as I like the Sony, we all know from the discussions here that it is not the perfect, or even best, solution for everyone. If the author you write to is one of those for whom the Reader fall short in some area, whatever the area, the point of your letter is mooted.

Better to extol the virtues of the ebook trend as a whole, and get them turned on to the idea, whatever solution they prefer. If they get into the idea, they may choose another solution, in particular a sci-fi author might like the Baen model, and if you are lucky it may still be quite usable on your Sony, as the Baen files are.

In any case, great effort, and I hope you convince them all!

Jack
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Old 02-07-2007, 11:41 AM   #6
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This is the reason I posted here first, to make sure it's right before I send it on.
Looking on the authors websites, I can find the email address for Tony Ballantyne and Alastair Reynolds. Charles stross has an online form to email him. Can anyone find the address for Peter F. Hamilton or Neal Asher?

I'll edit my email and incorporate the iliad in aswell. I'll point out there are other devices also available.

As for the idea about sending to the publishers also, i'll have a go!
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Old 02-07-2007, 11:42 AM   #7
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I agree that it's e-ink that's the real star they should be looking at right now (rather than any specific e-ink device). If they get on-board the e-book wagon, then more books will become more widely available, which means we'll get them on our Readers too. That's the goal I'd like to see met.
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Old 02-07-2007, 03:28 PM   #8
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Send email to Peter F Hamilton here: http://www.peterfhamilton.co.uk/index.php?
page=Question_Form

The contact I found for Neal Asher has been disabled because of spam problems :-(
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Old 02-07-2007, 03:48 PM   #9
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Well... in this list, Charles Stross released some books under Creative Commons license, so I guess he's quite aware of what's happening on the e-book scene.
Accelerando: http://www.feedbooks.com/discover/view_book/228
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Old 02-07-2007, 06:42 PM   #10
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Peter Hamilton and Tony Ballantyne have their novels released as e-books, encrypted of course in standard formats (mslit and others). You can find them at Fictionwise and presumably other places too.

Charles Stross has a list of his releases including e-books on his site; a good start is here:

http://www.antipope.org/charlie/fiction/faq.html#ebooks

Since drm decisions are not authors to make (see above entry by Mr. Stross), contacting authors about e-books while useful has limited potential in my opinion. When Tor cancelled the Webscription deal, Mr. Stross bluntly answered a question in the Baen Bar about the cancellation, noting that e-books are too little of his earnings to make a fuss about that. And that from someone who is a true supporter of drm free e-books. That's just the way it is...
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Old 02-08-2007, 07:17 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tenkian
Can anyone find the address for Peter F. Hamilton or Neal Asher?
You can always send c/o the publisher.
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Old 02-14-2007, 10:38 AM   #12
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In my efforts promoting Read an E-book Week, I've discovered how hard it is to contact publishers and authors about anything! For example, I just tried e-mailing Charles Stross with my press release, and his site software ID'd me as a spammer! Spam is making it so hard to get legit messages through, because a lot of sites are turning their spam filters on high to break through the mass of spam e-mails.

I started out with a list of 500 e-book related sites, from which I manually searched, and found just under 300 e-mail addresses that I could send directly to. Some of those bounced back as undeliverable (a lot of sites just don't update themselves regularly). The rest are mostly message submittal pages, and many of them do not work. It can be frustrating!
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Old 02-15-2007, 01:52 PM   #13
Tenkian
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Just a quick update.

I got a reply from Alastair Reynolds and he is going to speak to his editor about it

I just emailed Neal Asher tonight and will post if he replies.

I didn't bother contacting Peter F. Hamilton, Tony Ballantyne or Charles Stross as I have found that their books are available from various eBookstores.
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Old 02-15-2007, 03:02 PM   #14
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One thing that I heard from the people I've interviewed is that authors ebook sales are not counted in usatoday, newyork times, and wall street bestselling list valuations. we should be contacting those companies and asking why not. It can be why some big time authors aren't willing to have the ebooks be released in the same time as the print version.
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Old 06-14-2007, 06:04 PM   #15
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Traditional authors

I know of some authors who are a bit prejudiced against e-books, believe it or not! They would prefer their books be read in paperback or hardcover. I can understand why, sort of, but the e-book business seems to be the "in-thing". Convenient, less expensive, and quick.
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