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    Location: Aberystwyth, Wales, United Kingdom

    I am the owner and managing director of Information Automation Limited (IAL), a company that specialises in research, consultancy and training for the information profession. We are particularly interested in all forms of electronic information resources (e-journals, e-books, etc) and I teach a course in electronic publishing at the Department of Information Studies in Aberystwyth. Drilling down still further(!), my interests centre on the quality and evaluation of electronic information, and in the thinking that underpins activities in library and information science.
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    Tuesday, June 05, 2007

    e-Books: an author's view

    For a change - instead of looking at e-books in libraries or e-book readers - here is a view of e-books from an author's - well, several authors'... actually several science fiction authors' points of view.

    An interesting view point... Which presents a few hard truths that both publishers and authors might need to face, if the format is going to be a long-term success. e-Books have a limited audience; small sales and limited exposure (or even availability); they suffer from a lack of professional credit; there is certainly a lack of marketing; and e-book publishers apparently do not pay advances. Other issues (there are more?):
    the ebook audience is self-selecting, and not representative of the general book-reading public. Brisk sales in the electronic marketplace won't necessarily translate into print popularity. Also, many commercial publishers want to purchase electronic rights as part of a total package. If your electronic rights are tied up with an epublisher, it may make your work a harder sell in the print market.
    The article - from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America in a Writers Beware series - suggests that e-publishers "run the gamut from very amateurish to very professional" and goes on to offer some tips for choosing a publisher to depend on. They also link readers to the EPIC (Electronically Published Internet Connection) site which has some serious and very sensible hints on negotiating a contract.

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