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.