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On E-books vs. Print
Books
Jenna

There has been a lot of talk recently about e-books and the death of the printed page, American novelist Jonathan Franzen made some comments at The Hay Festival in Cartegena, Colombia that have started a dialogue we are jumping into here with some thoughts of our own. As an interactive publisher who believes that books are about the magic of a good story regardless of where they are read we take some umbrage at much of Franzen’s comments.

Such as this one about  e-books from the Telegraph:

“I think, for serious readers, a sense of permanence has always been part of the experience. Everything else in your life is fluid, but here is this text that doesn’t change. …

A screen always feels like we could delete that, change that, move it around. So for a literature-crazed person like me, it’s just not permanent enough. …

The Great Gatsby was last updated in 1924. You don’t need it to be refreshed, do you?”

The problem with these statements is that the basic logic is wrong, his assumption is that technology inherently equals impermanence when we believe the opposite is true. Good interactive publishing is not about change, but about the ability to imbue a classic tale with new magic. That magic, inherent in the story and brought to life in a new way opens the door to new readers who will cherish in the same way Franzen cherishes his old paperbacks.

Don’t get me wrong, we love and cherish books, all books. But we like what Lance Ulanof at Mashable had to say:
“…….ebooks are the future. They’re cheaper to produce, easier to distribute and, dare I say it, probably promote reading better than your local library. And while Franzen is concerned about ebook versions differing from their real-world counterparts, I’m cheering the emergence of new kinds of ebooks that take the IRL reading experiences to places we scarcely imagined on the printed page. One need only look to interactive children’s books and etextbooks for evidence.”
We genuinely have a passion for reading and literature that we apply to all of our titles we produce. We don’t believe that medium dictates how serious you are about reading and the depth of love you can have for the magic of a “book” in your hands.

2 Comments

  1. Robert the Dragon

    Hi There Spacedogbooks,
    Thanks for that, With the recession still taking its toll, the publishers as well as the authors of books seem to be in a dilemma – how many copies of a new book should be printed. Well, the problem was not an indigenous product of recession anyway. In fact, it is one of the predicaments that the authors and publishers have always found themselves with. However, in recent times, a new trend seems to have brought a happy solution to this immensely critical question. The solution is called short run book printing. This is a unique approach that takes minimum risk while assessing the response that the book gets from the market.
    Catch you again soon!

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