Friday, April 5, 2013

A-Z Challenge E is for Ebooks

By: William G. Muir
E is for Ebook. Which funny enough Julie and I were just discussing the other day. We were talking about how it would be nice to one day start up our own publishing company and give up and coming authors a place to break into the business. I asked Julie if she thought going with traditional printed book would be a good place start off, or should we maybe consider just doing ebooks. Her answer was along the same lines I had been thinking. Start off just doing ebooks.

Not that either one of use have anything against traditional books. It just starting off it makes better sense. A small business like that would need to spend it's startup capital wisely. There is a need to keep cost down as much possible and have very little overhead. Which I think this is were digital books have the advantage over paper book.

Plus you want to talk about green, ebooks are totally green. First off you are not cutting down trees
just so you can turnout millions of copies of schlock like 50 Shades of Grey. You are not fueling the heavy equipment or the semi truck that are needed to get the books from the forest to paper mills. Neither is some chap consuming gasoline just so he can go to the mall and pick up the lasted X-Men comic. And let us not forget about the pollution the whole paper making process spews into the air. From the heavy equipment, the trucks and cars we are pumping so much CO2 into the air I'm surprised we are not all wearing gas mask right now.

Now ebooks on the other hand are so much friendlier to the environment. With just one click, say on a site like or, a digital copy of your book is sent  from their servers to which ever device you use to read your ebooks on. It is just that simple, you can do it in your pajamas. And all it takes is some electricity. And once we start getting more of our electrical power from alternative sources such as wind and solar the process will be ever healthier for the planet.

For those of us that still love to curl up on the couch with a good book, I have bit of bad news for you. It looks like the printed word is not long for this world. While we might enjoy the feel of paper beneath our fingertips, today's kids do not share those feelings. For them the norm is hand held electrical devices. For them it much more romantic to read it off an LCD screen than it is to flip through pages.

But just maybe printed books will survive for those of us who still love them. Maybe books will become like vinyl is to mp3s. It will become a nitch market and hipsters will spend their days in bookstore talking to each other about the superiority of a book over an ebook. As they are holding a copy of The Complete Works William Shakespeare the whole time.

A man can dream, can't he?


  1. E-books are great for the environment and easier to carry several in a tablet than in a backpack, that's true. I was commenting this with my mother this morning but the other problem is that tablets are not so cheap as to be available for everybody. The other con is that whether no one would mug you for a paper book, it would be different for a tablet, mostly here. And lastly, you cannot borrow the ebook so easily. Still I like e-books a lot.

    1. You bring up some good points there, Al. But I think if mp3s have shown anything, the move to a digital format in all medias is the way of the future. I remember seeing a news piece when I was younger about ebooks (this was back in the 80's) and the report conclude her piece by saying, still you can't curl up in bed with a computer (not a direct quote). Well I think with tablets and cellphones that problem has been solved. -William G. Muir

  2. Very good, well written article. I loved that you talked about the 'Green' of E-Books.
    I will miss the paperbacks, too. I guess that's why I'm so reluctant to let any of mine go.
    A to Z April Blogging Challenge

    1. Thank you Debra! While I do enjoy the conveniences of the ebooks, I do find that I do miss aspects of physical book. There is just something romantic about being able to pull out a book you have read several times and seeing all the dog eared pages and the broken spine of the book. Those are things you will never get with an ebook. -William G. Muir

  3. Two weeks ago, I was in Barnes and Noble looking for a print copy of Hugy Howie's book "Wool". I had read a blog post about his experiences with finding a publisher who was willing to do a print only deal. It made me want read the book.

    They didn't have it. I pulled up my Kindle app, typed in Wool and bought it from Amazon before I was even out of the store.

    That being said, if you are going to do a publishing company, you might as well do both and offer print, that is how many self-pub do it.

    I've just started using Scrivener and the extra time to compile a print version is only about ten minutes. Some people will still want something that can be signed by the author. Just my two cents. GL with your new venture.

    1. I will take your advice in to consideration, Extremely Average. Like I said it is all about spending your start up capital wisely. Who knows maybe physical copies are cheaper.

      As for "still want to something that can be signed by the author," i there is an app for that.
      -William G. Muir