Sunday, April 25, 2010

My writing week 3 (16)

Hi all,

I just counted up my words for last week and the number fell between that of the previous two weeks. I need to up it. I am getting near the end of the novella I am writing, a science fiction fantasy story set in Broadmeadows in the not too distant future, so I will soon be back to editing the novel.

On Kerry Schafer's blog I have been debating author Graham Storrs and others on whether ebooks will destroy the Australian and then the US publishing industries. No one has yet convinced me that the cheap ebook revolution will not cause a book price race to the bottom that will eventually turn authors into free content providers for Amazon, but I am open to the persuasion of facts or a good argument.

I think ebooks might have a benefit for speculative fiction magazines. I find the few published in Australia impossible to locate in stores and I am loath to subscribe to them online due to not being a great fan of the predominance of fantasy in most of them. When I have ordered, I have had to wait for their delivery, sometimes having to send emails asking where it is. There is a real risk the magazine would have closed down. Ebook versions could change this.

If I had an ebook reader and these magazines were available for download, I would be more likely to purchase them. I wouldn't have to wait for them in the mail or risk them having gone out of business. To make it easier, individual stories could be made available for download from the magazine on a gradually increasing scale according to word count, say 20c for something under 2,000 words, 50c for 5000 words and $1.00 - $2.00 for a novella. I could then pick out all the science fiction novellas. Australian magazines would be able to print more novellas, one of the strengths of Analog and Asimov, because there would be no printing constraints.

A survey on the price members would pay for ebooks has $7.99 as the average price for a new novel and $2.30 for a short piece. Considering there is usually substantially more work in writing a novel than a short story, I think the price difference between them is nowhere near what it should be. If I paid $2.30 for a 2,000 word short story, I would think I should pay $115 for a 100,000 word novel. Ridiculous of course. I think the price difference occurs because most critters are writing short stories and they want their efforts to be worth something if they get published.


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