Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Future of Short


By

I am sorry about the shortened blog, but round 2 of a nasty sinus infection has flared up and kept me prisoner in the house all weekend and drained my energy. 

First a gentle reminder to post your 200-word short story that starts with the sentence, “If you have to die, February is the best month for it.”  On the line is a signed copy of A Reason For Dying. 

I was hoping to talk about what I see as a bit of a resurgence in short story markets.  With self-publishing routes such as Smashwords, and digital formats like Kindle, E-Reader and now the iPad, I can see the potential for easy downloads and quick reads.  Once you set up an account on Amazon or iTunes, purchasing is as simple as a single click.  I know several publishers, like Echelon Press, are beginning to venture into the world of short stories and recently our friends over at The Kill Zone put out a collection of short stories called Fresh Kills.

MP3 format (digital music) changed the music industry.  Not only did it make music portable, but it allowed us to buy a single song for about a buck instead of investing in a whole album that cost a whole lot more and never listening to half of the music you paid for.  It also opened up the industry to rampant piracy. 

A digital short story is kind of like buying that single song.  The stories are a fraction of the cost of a novel, the read is quick and can be purchased in a click.  By the way, as authors, we will be battling piracy.  Thousands upon thousands of books are out there already on P2P file sharing systems and I’m betting the authors don’t even know about it.  I had a friend do an experiment.  I asked her to search and find a specific book, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson.  It didn’t take her long to have an MS Word document in hand with the entire book.  Before I deleted it, I checked the quality.  It was a flawless copy of 736 pages. 

So as we move into the digital age of publishing, we may as well take all of the advantages, because we will be fighting the dark side that goes along with it.

4 comments:

MaryQ said...

Hope you're feeling better soon. It's never fun to be sick, but winter seems to just make it worse.
Interesting post. It seems as if those little iPods, iTouches (or whatever people have) will contain everything we need for entertainment before too long. My problem with any of the electronic devices for reading is that my eyes get tired too quickly. Old age, I guess. Give me plain old ink & paper any day.

Wilfred Bereswill said...

MaryQ, I'm with you. If I leave a book in a hotel room or on a plane, I'm out less than $20 and normally less than $10. If I leave my iPod Touch I'm out $200, eReader - $300, Kindle up to $250 to $500 iPad - $600+, etc.

I downloaded the Kindle Software on my Asus Netbook and, while I don't mind reading a short story on it, I would never read a novel that way.

However, as an author it is imperative that we explore this new media lest we get left behind.

Joyce said...

My sister bought a Kindle because she travels so much for work. One of the things she likes best about it is the ability to change the font size. She claims it's actually easier on the eyes than reading a paper book.

I wouldn't know. I can't afford one!

kanishk said...

e, I guess. Give me plain old ink & paper any day.

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