Back from New York

I’ve just come back from New York and an interesting conversation with my agent, who has been in the business thirty years. She asked me to send my next manuscript to her either PDF or as a word document because she was going to read it on her Sony Reader. She said that many publishing houses have bought their editors Sony Readers (Amazon has the Kindle) and that no one is lugging around big manuscripts anymore. Piles of paper are disappearing.

I asked her if reading on a Reader would be different from the flat page, and she said she didn’t know. I don’t like scrolling back to find something, am more comfortable with turning pages. I don’t like reading anything long on the computer. Is it all a matter of perception and use and custom? School children in some districts get more and more material digitally. Ten to fifteen years ago my son never thought of opening an encyclopedia but went regularly to the Internet for research. 

My agent doesn’t see the end of books as we know them, but she does say that publishing is floundering as sales and reading habits shift and change. Perhaps hard covers might become a thing of the past, as people don’t want to lug around heavy books and have the option not to. I don’t know how this affects me as a writer. It feels strange to be fretting over a Louis XIV plot line during this tense election and economic times anyway. I’m guessing there will always be a market for good stories; it is the presentation of them to readers, or maybe the scope of presentation, that changes. Certainly the way one submits a manuscript is. Wow.

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3 responses to “Back from New York

  1. Entiendo tu preocupacin ante las nuevas tecnologas. Me encanta leer, me encantan tus libros (sus personajes, sus aventuras y sus historias reales). No me imagino leerlos en un mvil o en un Sony reader de esos, en formato digital porque perdera el encanto de los libros. De momento esos aparatos cansan demasiado la vista y son muy caros (no disponibles para todo el mundo). Ser til para una editora que tenga que manejar o leer muchos documentos y los tenga que llevar encima, o para alguien que viaje y lo lleve como un MP3 o MP4, pero no para los que leen por placer recreandose en la lectura si necesidad de ms energa que la luz que ilumine las palabras. Sin embargo la utilidad de estas tecnologas es lo que me ha permitido leer tu ultimo libro, ya que lo pude comprar por internet al otro lado del Atlntico, o traducir la pgina web de Angeles Negros para leer los pensamientos del Prncipe Rupert e incluso mandarte mi humilde opinin a tu blog. La tecnologa tambin nos abre otros horizontes. Despues de leer tus dos primeros libros busqu en mi pas algo parecido y encontr “Alma ” Un libro de una editorial de mi ciudad (Sevilla) “La Maquina China” que utiliz su pgina web de una forma similar a la de ngeles Negros, para: Hablar de la poca (costumbres, vestuarios, incluso hablaban de recetas de cocina de la poca), completar el perfil de sus personajes, e incluso editar algun captulo indito; adems organizaban viajes o recorridos por los escenarios donde transcurrian sus libros. Fue un descubrimiento que tu y tu editorial hicirais algo parecido! Creo que tus fans te lo agradecemos de todo corazn. Podrais traducirla a Castellano? Espero que mi comentario tambien os de ideas.

    Un saludo desde Espaa de una admiradora.
    P.D: Por cierto las fotos de tu blog son preciosas.

  2. IMO, the obsession for online readers like Kindle and Sony leaves out the casual reader. I want to curl up in bed, not sit down with a Kindle reader that I have to hold up. It’s an artificial shift in the market being driven. My daughters complain often that in their age group, there are few good books with plots that make sense. Most are being driven by “formula” and have no originality. Those that do show originality are read to ribbons in our household.

    Also IMO, books are showing lower numbers in sales because there are frankly too many of them. Most are unimaginative and you could get the same information online in forums, etc. if it’s a non-fiction. The information in non-fiction is no longer trustworthy because anyone can say anything. Historical fiction is a big item with a lot of my friends simply because they are real and involved and required to revolve around a plotline that requires thought processes. Add to that the issue with resale…people don’t keep a book any more. I have a library of thousands of books. So do my children. We’re odd. 🙂

    Anyway, found the blog while searching for the books on the net. Bought the books. WIll donate them to the library when I’m done. Liked Dark Angels much better than Face to Face so far.
    Always good to find a new author.

  3. Presentation is part of the whole. Nothing is the same wtih a piece gone. The feel of the binding, the smell of an aged book, the slight yellowing of the edges and the whisper of a crackle as a 100 year old page turns are all part of the enchantment. Knowing that you are about to share in both the intimate creation of someones imaginary world and the enjoyment – or disappointment – of a reader past is all part of the fascination the written word has for me. And it’s not the same with electronic books. Would you rather have a meal seated at the French Laundry attended by chef and waiters, or have it launched to you, muddy and cold, out the back door in a styrofoam to-go box?

    I enjoy your writing tremendously, and only wish you wrote faster – and continued the story of Through a Glass Darkly.

    Thanks for setting up a web site.

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