Sunday, May 20, 2012

eBooks, pBooks; aBooks, cBooks

Hey guys! Read a fancier version of this post over at H2NH ePub now! I'd go...but I'm working.

If you want a picture of the future of publishing, imagine a book stamping on a human mind — forever. We control story, Indie, at all its levels. You are imagining that there is something called "literature" which will be outraged by what we do and will turn against us. But we create literature. Books are infinitely malleable.

I have grand visions, sometimes. Not dreams, no...more than dreams: the stuff that dreams are made of: Ideas gone mad with freedom, massing together and connecting, like manic molecules or colliding universes, and from them appear, as if from the head of Zeus, a vision of a glorious future, with me: Writer, Publisher. It's all so easy, in my visions.

But I think...I think, this time, it just might...just might be possible.

eBooks Anybody can make and publish an eBook. It's certainly much harder to write a manuscript than to publish an eBook. If you want to emulate a professional eBook, you can do it for about $500, after the costs of copy-editing and editing. Then you put it up everywhere and get on with writing the next thing. It is the ultimate passive income, but you can do so much more with it.

pBooks The most obvious way is to make a print book, and that's easy enough, thanks to the miracle of Print-on-Demand. You can get that done for less than $2000 for a trade paperback, and some larger amount (that I'd have to get around to researching) for a fancy hardcover, for your most dedicated readers. My vision of the future is eBooks as mass-market paperbacks (you know, the one's that used to be about five bucks when we were young, and 10¢ in the dim mists of pre-time), with trade paperbacks being the standard edition, and a hard-cover being a deluxe omnibus. Isn't that exciting? (You know they're already doing this, right?) But wait! There's more to do!

aBooks I love audiobooks, because I can "read" them while I'm doing mindless publisher tasks. Every book should be an audiobook, and if I have my way they will be. Short stories can be audiobooks too, although, as I prefer to enjoy all my short stories in magazine or anthology form, I'd want to consume those as part of a StarShipSofa style subscription. Although Audible could do a Kindle Singles thing, whynot? Why not indeed! Getting a quality audiobook made is, of course, a little pricey: Let's call it below $5000 for a full-length novel. But people (like me!) will buy it! The Future being now, my favorite indie, Zoe Winters, releases all her books out in eBook, print, and audio simultaneously. You can too!

cBooks But hold up, my vision ain't through yet, there's still...comic books; webcomics, if you will. Imagine a comic book adaptation of a novel, released as a webcomic, one ad-supported page a day, with an included link to buy either the print book or the graphic novel (or both) early. Hiring an artist to collaborate on all that? Who knows how much it would cost. But I bet it'd be pretty awesome. I'm going to make it happen.

That's Phase III, people...come with me, to the Future!

Thanks for reading!
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