Wednesday, January 14, 2009

This Writer's Journey (continued)

I received an e-mail from the publisher of my upcoming "Mom Needs Chocolate" book informing me that they have recently become an entity on Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube. Great networking idea for those in the book biz, including us writers. (Look me up - I'd love to become your friend on Facebook!)

It brought to mind a conversation I had last week with the proud new owner of a Kindle. Never heard of it? I hadn't either before my friend introduced me to her hand-held electronic bookstore, but it's time to become acquainted with the future.

Still a bit pricey ($350 range), a Kindle user can stock the little gizmo the size of a wallet with purchased e-books (less expensive than traditional hard copies), as well as subscribe to just about any newspaper, magazine, or periodical you can imagine (anything available through Amazon). Read anything...any time...anywhere.

And best of all, you can adjust the font and illuminate the screen so you don't need to haul out your reading glasses!

As a techno dinosaur, I stared open-mouthed as my friend demonstrated the myriad of publication functions available at the flick of her thumb. It occurred to me that if we authors don't hop on the cyber train of such as this and Sony's e-pub version, we may be left stranded at the station.

With improving technology, the future price of such electronic wonders will no doubt drop, and bulging bookshelves may become but a memory.

No one likes change (especially me!), but it's a solid fact that the traditional publishing business is in trouble. I've heard of several publishing companies recently closing their doors and cut-backs in many others. My publicist (through my publishing house) mentioned that her work has doubled since her administrative assistant was laid off along with a dozen other employees).

As difficult as it is, we writers need to expect flux. If we want to survive in the flood of change, it's time to get out the ole' surf boards and learn to ride the tides.

-Debora Coty