The Spice of Life

One of the first things I noticed as I began to navigate the world of e-publishing was its variety.  Anyone who has ever walked into a book store and felt ennui–been there, done that, read *that* one a million times–will understand how freakin’ AMAZING it was to discover Samhain Publishing, Loose Id, Liquid Silver Books, Lyrical Press, The Wild Rose Press and more.  Any writer who has ever been told “That isn’t done”, “You can’t do that”, “Are you crazy?” will understand the incredible lightness of being that came over me as an author when I realized there wasn’t ANYTHING I couldn’t do if I crafted an entertaining, emotional story around it.

It was like walking up to a chocolate buffet after being on a diet.


There are reasons behind the variety.  Lower overhead means e-publishers can take bigger risks.  E-publishers can push boundaries and explore fantasy worlds where brick and mortar stores fear to tread.  E-book readers can purchase whatever they want, whenever they want it in complete privacy and enjoy to their hearts’ content without having to face a bored checkout clerk who specializes in snarky cover critique to pass the time between video game marathons.

Now, don’t get me wrong, trends drive every market and e-publishing is no exception. 

Mention spice to an e-book reader and they’re likely to get a wicked grin on their face.  Variety is the spice of life, but to e-book fans spice often translate to H-O-T.  Whether it was taking that annoying checkout clerk out of the mix or whether it was giving authors the keys to the spice cabinet…e-books can get downright SCORCHING. 

But you can also still find e-publishers who specialize in sweet and there are half a dozen New York Times Best Selling authors who do sweet all the way to the bank, book after fantastic book.

All in all, if I compare the market–e-book and otherwise–to the market that existed ten years ago, as an author and a reader I can only be pleased.  We are working during a time that’s an all out SMORGASBORD of flavors.  Rules are broken left, right and sideways.  Trends are coming and going faster than we can get our fill.  And unlike those lobster tails and filet mignon that people are forced to give up during recession, books are a reasonable treat that can still be indulged in even when times are tight.

Best of all, the last time I visited a book store I discovered that variety is contagious.

I think E-publishing is spicing up the whole industry and I can’t wait to taste what comes next!

5 Responses to “The Spice of Life”
  1. Robyn Bachar says:

    Excellent post. I feel the same way. 🙂 And now I really want some chocolate…

  2. I *always* want some chocolate, Robyn. As I was writing this post I was particularly thinking about my personal fav–post apocalyptic romance–ten years ago I wouldn’t have imagined that category coming on so strong. Good for me it has since The Stand by Stephen King is one of my all time favorite books and a big inspiration.

    But look around…zombies, steampunk, space operas selling side by side with romantic suspense, cowboys and babies. I just heard Harlequin Presents is coming out with a time travel line!

    You have to love being an author, right here, right now. 😀

  3. Sue Brandes says:

    I love being a reader right now. So much to choose from and so many great authors. Great post. And I always have room for chocolate! LOL.

  4. As exciting as e-books are, they’re not the last rung on the book chain. According to Skip Pritchard, the president and CEO of Ingram Content Group, e-publishing will be replaced by something bigger and better in five years? What might that be? Skip isn’t sure, but he IS sure it will be more interactive. Publishing is one of the most creative industries around, and the new players don’t care about how it’s always been done. They don’t limit themselves. So, we are readers and writers have much more to look forward to.

  5. Suzanne Rock says:

    I agree. I love the variety that ebooks provide.

    Susan – Its interesting that Skip thinks that ebooks will be passe in 5 yrs. I don’t know if I’d call it passe, but rather transformed. I’ve already seen the Vook come out with more interactive stories – but they were mostly cookbooks where you can click a link and they will show you how to do a certain step in the recipe. I couldn’t see that happening with fiction. Click on this scene to see it acted out? It would be better to rent a movie.

    I could see ebooks having wikipedia links, links to goodreads forums for discussion, or a link to a picture of a landscape that was similar to the setting the author envisioned for the story. Stuff like that. I could see some people liking it, but I could also see it leading to lazy writing. Why describe a person’s outfit when the reader can click on a link? Same with a setting. On the flip side, I might be interested in a “behind the scenes” feature…kind of like they do with DVDs. Like what inspired an author to write a scene, etc.

    It’s an exciting time to be in publishing. There’s so much opportunity out there for writers and readers. You never know what’s going to be the next big thing. 🙂

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