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What happens if e-book prices drop?

Got a question/comment about the business of writing or about the publishing industry? Here's your place to post it!
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EC2
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Post by EC2 » Thu February 24th, 2011, 11:02 pm

I have just been to a marketing meeting with my UK publisher and discussions re future directions. Enhanced digital is the way things are going. Historical fiction is a particularly good medium for the enhanced experience. They've had a massive upsurge in e-reader book sales. USA publisher says the same. The tipping point is coming faster than anyone thought. As an author, if you want to stay ahead of the game in HF, you're going to need extra digital content. It's not enough to just write the book any more. I was also interested to hear my agent say that some major publishers such as Orion are now taking some of their authors straight to e-book rather than print.
As a reader I admit, I'm not bothered whether I get the bells and whistles or not, but obviously a lot want the gizmos. I don't have an e-reader yet, but I intend to buy one soon, because I need to know the nature of the beast - for my day job prospects if nothing else...
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal

www.elizabethchadwick.com

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Thu February 24th, 2011, 11:10 pm

All this discussion has inspired me to actually check out the other features on my kindle. I just changed the default dictionary to Spanish--I almost never need to look up an English word, my vocabulary is fairly wide. But I do a lot of my research in Spanish, and now that I have the Spanish dictionary set up, any time I don't know a word, I move the cursor next to it and the dictionary gives the meaning at the bottom (or top) of the page.

Very handy, except that unfortunately about half of the words I puzzle over are 16th-century words that the Spanish dictionary doesn't recognize either. :rolleyes:
(It doesn't help that these documents have very creative spelling, and tend to use x where modern Spanish uses j.

Now if the Kindle only sold a dictionary in Quechua...

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Margaret
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Interest in HF: I can't answer this in 100 characters. Sorry.
Favourite HF book: Checkmate, the final novel in the Lymond series
Preferred HF: Literary novels. Late medieval and Renaissance.
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Post by Margaret » Fri February 25th, 2011, 2:05 am

As an author, if you want to stay ahead of the game in HF, you're going to need extra digital content.
This sounds really interesting. More work for the author, of course, but it could be kind of fun. What sort of content? Pictures? Links to websites?
Browse over 5000 historical novel listings (probably well over 5000 by now, but I haven't re-counted lately) and over 700 reviews at www.HistoricalNovels.info

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Divia
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Post by Divia » Fri February 25th, 2011, 4:19 am

[quote=""Margaret""]This sounds really interesting. More work for the author, of course, but it could be kind of fun. What sort of content? Pictures? Links to websites?[/quote]

I wondered about this too. I mean some people write about famous figures, but others don't...so what do they do? Perhaps fashion of the time period? period photos , paintings? Weird facts. hmmmm.
News, views, and reviews on books and graphic novels for young adult.
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MLE (Emily Cotton)
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 3562
Joined: August 2008
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Fri February 25th, 2011, 6:15 am

I don't know about everyone else, but I can hardly wait for 'book 2.0' as they were calling it at a publishing seminar. I know that as a storyteller I can't put in more than a fraction of my research, but I just LOVE doing the research, and I get all excited about being able to link to it in an ebook. And as to my propensity to go over on word-count, some of those really juicy scenes that have to be cut for the sake of brevity-- I'm going to post them as promotional extra content for those who want more. Sort of an 'editors cut' of the movie.

And there are photos of places, and recipes of period foods, and explanations of inside language jokes, and lots of commentary on the uses and training of animals, and crops, and the psychological effects of various stiuations and personalities, and historical repercussions of events mentioned in the story -- *rubs hands in glee at the prospect*

Weapons! did I mention weapons and military tactics? Something to do with all that research, hurrah!

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EC2
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Post by EC2 » Fri February 25th, 2011, 2:34 pm

[quote=""Margaret""]This sounds really interesting. More work for the author, of course, but it could be kind of fun. What sort of content? Pictures? Links to websites?[/quote]

Photos, maps, book trailers, articles about the characrters or aspects of the book, bonus chapters, out-take scenes etc - All the sort of stuff that you get as extras on a DVD but that can now be added to e-book content.
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal

www.elizabethchadwick.com

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fljustice
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Post by fljustice » Fri February 25th, 2011, 5:07 pm

Here's an interesting article by the CEO of Sourcebooks on the publisher's take on the digital revolution. Quote: "Labyrinthine as it might be, making the ebook isn't the hard part, nor is making them available at various e-tailers. The hard part, and indeed the ultimate job of any publisher, is helping the author find their readers, making those connections that enhance, enlighten and maybe even change people's lives." http://www.sourcebooks.com/next-ebooks/ ... ation.html

I agree, that would be marvelous, but how many publishers actually do that? For the traditionally published authors in our group--how helpful have your publishers been in helping you reach your readers? What do they do for you above and beyond printing and distributing your books? What do you do for yourselves?
Faith L. Justice, Author Website
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N. Gemini Sasson
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Post by N. Gemini Sasson » Fri February 25th, 2011, 5:23 pm

[quote=""EC2""]Photos, maps, book trailers, articles about the characrters or aspects of the book, bonus chapters, out-take scenes etc - All the sort of stuff that you get as extras on a DVD but that can now be added to e-book content.[/quote]

Interesting to know. I can see how HF would be an especially good genre for those elements.

Maybe this is getting way ahead of myself, but I wonder how long it will be before the line between books and movies/video becomes blurred? Of course, money and resources are a barrier there, but it's not beyond the realm of possibility.

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