Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I'm of Two Minds- Where's Two-Face When You Need a Coin?

Watching the e-books and audiobooks world after the Macmillin/Amazon skirmish and the introduction of the I-pad has been frustrating. I sit in two seats ringside- one as a writer and one as a voice-over artist. I'm all over the place in terms of my reactions.

Part of me loves hard copy books, and part of me loves e and audibooks, and both parts of me really want both to exist (duh). But the e-books world is becoming very complicated for readers. Used to be if you wanted something to read, you went somewhere, you looked around and picked something and bought it. Now, in addition to just thinking about what to read, a reader has to decide what physical form to read in (physical copy, digital copy or strictly audio?), what device to read on if it is electronic and where to get it, since certain devices only play certain formats, and certain publishers are only distributing through certain content providers...sigh. I like the idea of an e-reader and would love to buy one- I'm usually an early adopter in terms of technology, but having device, file type etc. layering even more decisions on top of my already overloaded consumer brain is annoying.

I'd love to be able to just flip a coin a la Harvey Dent, but this involves coins with many sides in a variety of metals and sizes, all minted by different countries- how to know what toss wins?

The question is what will consumers do? Some interesting opinions are voiced in this post on the The Beat (Publisher's Weekly Blog on Comics and Graphic Novels). For more background, read the NY Times on the Amazon/ MacMillin situation here, and check out Cory Doctorow's thoughts on Boing-Boing, not to mention following his With a Little Help project

When the dust settles I don't know what handful of change we'll be left with, but if you make your living off of creative endeavors, hopefully it'll be legal tender.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

iPad (POW!) A Blue Chip Bet (WHAM!) for Comics and Graphic Novels? (AUUGHGHG!)

You know about the Kindle and other black and white e-readers, but now the iPad arrives and the key here is it is in COLOR, and it's a BIG screen. I personally witnessed editors from big NY publishing houses saying re: Kindle and company, that although the e-reader may affect novels and chapter books for kids, picture books, graphic novels, etc., would not be hit as hard because the readers were in black and white, and those materials would not translate well to the digital form becuase they are so illustration intensive.

In this article at Publisher's Weekly, a number of comic book and graphic novel publishers are showing enthusiasm for the iPad.

Something to ponder if you are a creator.