Saturday, 29 January 2011

E-books in the news this week

This week is was revealed that the judging panel for this year's Man Booker Prize for Fiction have been provided with e-readers.

So rather than the judges receiving a heavy delivery of books to wade through to create a longlist (for announcing in July this year) they will have the choice of reading the entries digitally- if a e-book version is available of course.

Have to say reading about 100 books in a set time span sounds easier to do if you have an e-reader you can slip in your bag or pocket.

Meanwhile Amazon has announced that in the US their Kindle books have outsold paperbacks- 115 digital to 100 books.
Obviously the US has had a head start in e-book sales as the first Kindle was sold there some time before becoming available to the UK.
The UK market is starting to see increased sales but some readers prefer to use a Tablet or their mobile phone devices to read on, rather than exclusively an e-reader.

Then there is the issue of Territorial Rights. It's easier to explain in books (the solid type) before venturing onto e-books.

For example a UK publishers has the right to publish his/her authors books in the UK and a number of other countries within a territorial agreement. A reader in another territory won't necessarily be able to obtain that book in their own country at the same time, because the rights for the territory (their location are covered by) may not yet have been agreed and sold to a publisher located there.

So with digital you have a different problem.
A digital file could be downloaded to a reader in any country who technically should not be able to obtain that book- because no territorial agreement for printing and publishing that 'book' exists in their area.
It relies upon the e-book supplier saying to the buyer, sorry you cannot buy this book because of your territorial location. (Now why should a business be expected to turn down a sale?)

It's a complicated issue which you'll see if you read this item on The website, here.

Digital keeps raising challenges in the traditional publishing world as long agreed formulae don't fit the new systems. But I'm fairly certain agreements will be made eventually.

Publishers (and writers) want to sell books, so hopefully they will get such issues over digital sorted as soon as they can.

If they get it wrong and piracy gets a boot in the door then it will be too late for everyone.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Does Writers Block exist?

I'm open-minded on whether writers block is real.

At the moment I'm having one of those blank spells in my creativity which I get whenever everyday life gets very stressful or there are long spells with no calm to concentrate on writing- perhaps they are the same thing, but they seem different to me.

The blank spell = my creative side just locking up, as if it is on a timer.

I know that when I'm very ill trying to write is frustrating and often pointless. If I wait until I'm better then I won't need to scrap all I've done previously- or at least heavily rewrite it...

This month my life has been full of appointments and important phone calls which all take time and doesn't allow for any sustained  period of writing which I need - sadly I haven't yet succeeded in the task of writing (anything) for ten minutes as all I have is a blank page ten minutes later.

I do wonder sometimes if I should give up writing. But then I know I'd need to start again as there are too many characters waiting their turn or forming in my head, then snatches of speech that linger for someone yet to be written about.

That alone reassures me I shouldn't give up...

So my idea to help revive the creative side of my brain is market research, as that can be done in short bursts while waiting for appointments and travelling to and fro on the bus. Plus reading someone else's writing often sparks my own ideas.

Do you think writers block is real, or is it all in the mind?