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Bewildering Stories

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Bewildering Stories Editorial

by Jerry Wright
The Future of Books

Gonna talk a bit more about the future of publishing. I've been downloading and reading a bunch of books to my PDA (A Handspring Treo PDA/Phone in case you are interested). It took me a while to catch on to this technology, but now, I really like it. I find reading from a PDA just as easy, and sometimes even more convenient than a "dead-tree book". I get the free Mobi-Pocket reader AND publisher, and I may eventually spring for the professional version of the Publisher simply because it has more bells and whistles. I'd move a lot more of Bewildering Stories over to the PDA format, but MobiPocket hates "smart quotes" and so when I try publishing the BWS html, all the quotes around the dialogue disappears. Arrgh. Still, not a permanent problem. I've got the e-book "Bewildering Stories--Year One" pretty much completed. I was thinking about publishing it through Double Dragon, but I found that their requirement of ownership of electronic rights for 7 years too draconian... (Yes, pun intended...) So, I'm going to put the files up in linked html, rtf and .prc format shortly. In my copious free time.

This IS the future of publishing. Cory Doctorow had a very cool presentation at O'Reilly called eBooks: neither e- nor books. Publishers, as we know them (which is relatively new--maybe 100 years old?) feel that THEY should have the say as to how books are distributed, and how authors are paid (or IF authors are paid... At last notice the author of Forrest Gump has not been paid anything in the way of royalties from the movie. You see, it hasn't earned enough to pay him. You believe that don't you? After all, the books are obviously honest, and accountants don't lie...) Piers Anthony has horror stories galore of the wonders of the publishing industry.

Does it deserve a Samson-Smash, bringing the industry and copyrights down around our ears? I don't think so, but I do believe the new technologies can and will change the way we look at books. An incredible concept called the Internet Bookmobile allows the printing of trade paperbacks for the cost of $1.00.

Life in our Alice-in-Wonderland where "things flow so" allows us to teeter on the precipice of a "truly Bewildering Story".

By the way, I highly recommend Cory's stories and novels. Just go to Craphound.Com for information and access to his works.

Copyright © 2004 by Jerry Wright for Bewildering Stories

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