Friday, 10 September 2010

E? Y? M... O! a. G. I C, I Z.

I was once accused of being a printist, a label I wear with pride. But times change, and, kicking and screaming, Five Leaves may also have to change. Just come back from meeting Russell Press in Nottingham, who'd set up one of our books by e-pub (I think they called it). This was a book of fiction, readable on an iPad, a Sony reader, and - if you like small screens - on an iPhone. Ned Ludd and King Canute are two of my favourite characters... but it was exciting to see a fully searchable book, where the reader can change the typeface and the font size, and click on any url's quoted (though none were in that particular book). It looked good and was easy to handle. Maybe not in the bath, but nothing is perfect. The next step is to make it suitable for Kindle, which Amazon is linked up with, and then talk money. This may be old hat to some publishers, but all new to me. I'd be interested to hear from Five Leaves readers and writers. Would anyone buy e-books of Five Leaves's titles? Would it be worth my time and money in making them available?
I had thought I'd be browsing through that great bookshop in the sky by the time Five Leaves had to do anything about any of this stuff, but the e-train is leaving and I need to decide whether to be on it.

2 comments:

david said...

I bought an eBook this morning and within two minutes I was reading new poems by Michael Rosen and Andy Croft. Will I read the rest of the poems in Emergency Verse? Maybe, a few, but for a £2.99 impulse buy I supported a good cause (and Five Leaves is a good cause, by most standards) and enjoyed some good poems. And I don't possess an e-reader or iPhone. I figure if they're at impulse buy prices, people will come...

Ross Bradshaw said...

Indeed. I've just ordered a copy as well - I'd meant to before - but the publisher says that they hope by selling e versions of this to raise enough money to print the material in a book. This indicates that somehow they see the e version as second best. On the other hand, Emergency Verse was published very quickly, whereas the book trade insists that physical books are planned and repped about nine months in advance of publication, which is not exactly suitable for an Emergency.