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Erik Scott de Bie
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
4550 Posts

Posted - 16 Aug 2011 :  20:06:41  Show Profile  Visit Erik Scott de Bie's Homepage  Send Erik Scott de Bie an AOL message Send Erik Scott de Bie a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Apologies to those who already know this, but I've encountered a few folks who didn't, so I'm posting it again:

My next novel SHADOWBANE (slated for a September 6 release, if Amazon is to be believed) is an e-book only release. If you see it listed on Barnes and Noble or Amazon as "unavailable," you're probably looking at the Mass Market Paperback. There are no plans to produce such a thing at this time, though who knows in the future?

If you want to continue reading the story that my last book DOWNSHADOW began, then grab an e-reader and get ready, because Kalen Dren, Champion of a Dead God, is about to rock your fantasy world.

Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Shadowbane-Forgotten-Realms-Novel-ebook/dp/B004ZZKRLS/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1313520560&sr=8-3

Barnes and Noble Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/shadowbane-erik-scott-de-bie/1102955200

Here's the WotC product page about it (this says an October release date): http://wizards.com/dnd/Product.aspx?x=dnd/products/frnovel/335130000

Cheers,
Erik Scott de Bie

Erik Scott de Bie

'Tis easier to destroy than to create.

Signature of Shameless Self-Promotion +6: Order my sixth novel, Shadow of the Winter King (Amazon, e-signing, Dragonmoon Press)

Also check out my Realms work, most recently Shadowbane: Eye of Justice, out now on e-readers everywhere! (Kindle, Nook)

jornan
Learned Scribe

Canada
249 Posts

Posted - 16 Aug 2011 :  21:40:27  Show Profile  Click to see jornan's MSN Messenger address Send jornan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So there are no plans to release this book as an actual paperback novel? When did that change? Will this trend continue into other upcoming FR releases? I think this is a huge mis-step for WotC to release this as an e-book only.

lame.

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Bakra
Senior Scribe

594 Posts

Posted - 16 Aug 2011 :  21:55:27  Show Profile Send Bakra a Private Message  Reply with Quote
What? I thought it was an e-book first then a mass paperback later.

I hope Candlekeep continues to be the friendly forum of fellow Realms-lovers that it has always been, as we all go through this together. If you don’t want to move to the “new” Realms, that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with either you or the “old” Realms. Goodness knows Candlekeep, and the hearts of its scribes, are both big enough to accommodate both. If we want them to be.
(Strikes dramatic pose, raises sword to gleam in the sunset, and hopes breeches won’t fall down.)
Enough for now. The Realms lives! I have spoken! Ale and light wines half price, served by a smiling Storm Silverhand fetchingly clad in thigh-high boots and naught else! Ahem . .
So saith Ed. <snip>
love to all,
THO
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Seravin
Senior Scribe

Canada
554 Posts

Posted - 16 Aug 2011 :  22:51:57  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
While I understand this, I hope paperbacks continue! Some of us love the feel of paper books and cover art...

Thanks for the heads up tho Erik Scott de Bie!
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
26854 Posts

Posted - 16 Aug 2011 :  23:43:52  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jornan

So there are no plans to release this book as an actual paperback novel? When did that change? Will this trend continue into other upcoming FR releases? I think this is a huge mis-step for WotC to release this as an e-book only.

lame.





Regardless of how we feel about it, the publishing industry as a whole is leaning towards e-books. Ebooks are beginning to outsell both hardbacks and paperbacks combined. I'm a huge fan of the dead tree format myself, but I can't fault WotC for following a publishing trend.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Editor and scribe for The Candlekeep Compendium

I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
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The Red Walker
Great Reader

USA
3493 Posts

Posted - 17 Aug 2011 :  00:04:37  Show Profile  Visit The Red Walker's Homepage  Send The Red Walker a Yahoo! Message Send The Red Walker a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by jornan

So there are no plans to release this book as an actual paperback novel? When did that change? Will this trend continue into other upcoming FR releases? I think this is a huge mis-step for WotC to release this as an e-book only.

lame.





Regardless of how we feel about it, the publishing industry as a whole is leaning towards e-books. Ebooks are beginning to outsell both hardbacks and paperbacks combined. I'm a huge fan of the dead tree format myself, but I can't fault WotC for following a publishing trend.




I agree with ya Wooly one. The only thing I think they have wrong is the price point. I think Elaine has it right with her thinking that it needs to be priced cheaper that a latte.

A little nonsense now and then, relished by the wisest men - Willy Wonka

"We need men who can dream of things that never were." -

John F. Kennedy, speech in Dublin, Ireland, June 28, 1963
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The Red Walker
Great Reader

USA
3493 Posts

Posted - 17 Aug 2011 :  00:11:25  Show Profile  Visit The Red Walker's Homepage  Send The Red Walker a Yahoo! Message Send The Red Walker a Private Message  Reply with Quote
While for Erik's sake I hope this sells as well or better than his prior paperbacks, I would much rather buy something Erik writes in his original setting, e-published for $2.99 (like Elaine's Honor Among Theives) and know he is getting what he deserves for his work. I feel authors are getting shorted on eBooks.....as
In the publisher is pocketing all the the savings minus the small price "discounts" (if any as many new eBooks are premium priced)

A little nonsense now and then, relished by the wisest men - Willy Wonka

"We need men who can dream of things that never were." -

John F. Kennedy, speech in Dublin, Ireland, June 28, 1963
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31414 Posts

Posted - 17 Aug 2011 :  01:49:23  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jornan

So there are no plans to release this book as an actual paperback novel? When did that change? Will this trend continue into other upcoming FR releases? I think this is a huge mis-step for WotC to release this as an e-book only.

lame.



That's a little unfair.

Especially since Wizards has only limited experience with e-book releases. Thus, we really shouldn't be too judgemental when it comes to another publisher enabling a trend that have proven somewhat popular elsewhere.

Also, as someone who lives outside the US, I'll note further that e-books are usually a delight for international Realms fans who may, at times, have to wait either weeks or months for a particular printed FR release to arrive on their distant shores.

So rather than slam the option as a negative move on Wizards' part, spare a thought for those folk who may not have ready nor immediate access to printed-format novels.

This will come as welcome relief for many... myself included.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium -- Volume IX now available (Oct 2007)

"So Saith Ed" -- the collected Candlekeep replies of Ed Greenwood

Zhoth'ilam Folio -- The Electronic Misadventures of a Rambling Sage
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Brimstone
Great Reader

USA
2595 Posts

Posted - 17 Aug 2011 :  02:42:01  Show Profile Send Brimstone a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This is unfourtunate.

I was looking forward to this book.

I wont get it until its in paperback form.

"These things also I have observed: that knowledge of our world is
to be nurtured like a precious flower, for it is the most precious
thing we have. Wherefore guard the word written and heed
words unwritten and set them down ere they fade . . . Learn
then, well, the arts of reading, writing, and listening true, and they
will lead you to the greatest art of all: understanding."
Alaundo of Candlekeep
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Caolin
Senior Scribe

497 Posts

Posted - 17 Aug 2011 :  04:49:25  Show Profile Send Caolin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

quote:
Originally posted by jornan

So there are no plans to release this book as an actual paperback novel? When did that change? Will this trend continue into other upcoming FR releases? I think this is a huge mis-step for WotC to release this as an e-book only.

lame.



That's a little unfair.

Especially since Wizards has only limited experience with e-book releases. Thus, we really shouldn't be too judgemental when it comes to another publisher enabling a trend that have proven somewhat popular elsewhere.

Also, as someone who lives outside the US, I'll note further that e-books are usually a delight for international Realms fans who may, at times, have to wait either weeks or months for a particular printed FR release to arrive on their distant shores.

So rather than slam the option as a negative move on Wizards' part, spare a thought for those folk who may not have ready nor immediate access to printed-format novels.

This will come as welcome relief for many... myself included.



Why shouldn't I slam this decision? I am being denied access to a novel that I was really looking forward to. How exactly am I supposed to be happy about this? This is an attempt by WoTC to force people into buying an eReader which will allow them to eventually abandon printed media.

This is a money grab plain and simple. They will be saving thousands if not millions in printing costs yet we the readers will only save $1.60 on the novel. How long till that 6.39 price goes to 7.99 or higher? Until they start lowering the prices on these eBooks to reasonable levels you will see an explosion in piracy. This is a yet another move by WoTC that alienates a large part of their customer base and frankly I'd rather stop reading FR novels than be force into a new format that I don't want.

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jornan
Learned Scribe

Canada
249 Posts

Posted - 17 Aug 2011 :  05:35:56  Show Profile  Click to see jornan's MSN Messenger address Send jornan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm not slamming e-books. I think it is great for those who want them and for those who they are more convient foir. But I like to have the option to buy in paperback..
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Brimstone
Great Reader

USA
2595 Posts

Posted - 17 Aug 2011 :  05:50:59  Show Profile Send Brimstone a Private Message  Reply with Quote

"These things also I have observed: that knowledge of our world is
to be nurtured like a precious flower, for it is the most precious
thing we have. Wherefore guard the word written and heed
words unwritten and set them down ere they fade . . . Learn
then, well, the arts of reading, writing, and listening true, and they
will lead you to the greatest art of all: understanding."
Alaundo of Candlekeep
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31414 Posts

Posted - 17 Aug 2011 :  06:22:24  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Caolin

Why shouldn't I slam this decision? I am being denied access to a novel that I was really looking forward to. How exactly am I supposed to be happy about this? This is an attempt by WoTC to force people into buying an eReader which will allow them to eventually abandon printed media.
I'm not suggesting that you should be happy about the decision to make Wizards' novels as e-books. But acknowledging that this move does make access to these books easier for those who live outside the US is something we can all benefit from. It ensures the spread of quality Realms fiction to wherever the world world web can reach.

And I don't necessarily see that as a bad thing.
quote:
This is a money grab plain and simple. They will be saving thousands if not millions in printing costs yet we the readers will only save $1.60 on the novel. How long till that 6.39 price goes to 7.99 or higher? Until they start lowering the prices on these eBooks to reasonable levels you will see an explosion in piracy. This is a yet another move by WoTC that alienates a large part of their customer base and frankly I'd rather stop reading FR novels than be force into a new format that I don't want.
Again, I think this is an entirely unfair judgement.

Most of the long-term Realms fans I've spoken to here, who have been purchasing printed FR novels since the publication of Darkwalker on Moonshae, applaud this move. They understand that international shipping rates and local distributors often make for overpriced imported and/or foreign produced novels, essentially making us [and by "us," I refer to all those Realms fan who reside outside the US] pay ridiculous prices for one of our favourite hobbies.

There is, after all, a very good reason for why I stopped buying hardcover releases for Realms novels. I can't justify spending [sometimes] $60AUD on one singular hardcover release each and every month [and I'm not only speaking of Wizards' novels here, either]. What I am to do when multiple hardcovers for some of my favourite series are released in the same month? Spending close to $200-$300AUD on hardcovers in one month is not something I can easily afford.

So, again, while I am a little frustrated by the prospect of not being able to hold a physical copy of Erik's next Realms masterpiece in my hand, I'm more than willing to set that aside if it means I can save a few extra gold pieces each month.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium -- Volume IX now available (Oct 2007)

"So Saith Ed" -- the collected Candlekeep replies of Ed Greenwood

Zhoth'ilam Folio -- The Electronic Misadventures of a Rambling Sage
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Caolin
Senior Scribe

497 Posts

Posted - 17 Aug 2011 :  07:15:02  Show Profile Send Caolin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

I'm not suggesting that you should be happy about the decision to make Wizards' novels as e-books. But acknowledging that this move does make access to these books easier for those who live outside the US is something we can all benefit from. It ensures the spread of quality Realms fiction to wherever the world world web can reach.

And I don't necessarily see that as a bad thing.
Again, I think this is an entirely unfair judgement.

Most of the long-term Realms fans I've spoken to here, who have been purchasing printed FR novels since the publication of Darkwalker on Moonshae, applaud this move. They understand that international shipping rates and local distributors often make for overpriced imported and/or foreign produced novels, essentially making us [and by "us," I refer to all those Realms fan who reside outside the US] pay ridiculous prices for one of our favourite hobbies.

There is, after all, a very good reason for why I stopped buying hardcover releases for Realms novels. I can't justify spending [sometimes] $60AUD on one singular hardcover release each and every month [and I'm not only speaking of Wizards' novels here, either]. What I am to do when multiple hardcovers for some of my favourite series are released in the same month? Spending close to $200-$300AUD on hardcovers in one month is not something I can easily afford.

So, again, while I am a little frustrated by the prospect of not being able to hold a physical copy of Erik's next Realms masterpiece in my hand, I'm more than willing to set that aside if it means I can save a few extra gold pieces each month.




Trust me, I sympathize with you and others who live outside the US and have to pay more due. But sacrificing the print media for your lower prices is not a good thing. You are basically taking away from one group in order to give to the other. The costs of providing both eBook and Print should be negligible.

But again, I don't see this as some plan to make things better for all. It's a straight up money grab that you and others outside the US just happen to be benefiting from, while those of us in the US are being forced into a format that we don't yet need and isn't cost effective.

It frustrates me to no end that people are blindly going into the eBook format without even realizing that prices are far above what they should be. They will stay there if people just keep pouring money into it. Now, I understand why it makes sense for you since the prices are indeed lower. But for those of us in the US it amounts to gouging. So yes, I am indeed very pissed and am willing to abandon the Realms over this issue if they indeed move to an eBook only format.

BTW, this link is a good read on the pricing issue for eBooks.

http://www.teleread.com/ebooks/calculating-a-fair-price-for-e-books/
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2004 Posts

Posted - 17 Aug 2011 :  12:15:57  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage Send ElaineCunningham a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Caolin
This is a money grab plain and simple. They will be saving thousands if not millions in printing costs yet we the readers will only save $1.60 on the novel. How long till that 6.39 price goes to 7.99 or higher? Until they start lowering the prices on these eBooks to reasonable levels you will see an explosion in piracy. This is a yet another move by WoTC that alienates a large part of their customer base and frankly I'd rather stop reading FR novels than be force into a new format that I don't want.



The industry is being forced into a new format.

When I started writing FR books, the biggest distributor was Waldenboooks. This chain's stores were located in shopping malls, making them ideal for the demographic. Waldenbooks was absorbed by Borders Books. Now, with hundreds of Borders (including many former Walderbooks)stores closing, distribution of midlist genre books will be taking a serious hit. When you consider what's going on in the publishing industy, direct-to-ebook releases make sense.

Ebook pricing is still evolving. Publishers are accustomed to pricing MMBP at $7.99. Readers are accustomed to thinking that anything in digital format should be free. It's going to take a while to find a common ground that makes sense for everyone.

Yes, the publisher saves printing and shipping costs, but there are still expenses involved in ebook production. And the ebook stores such as Amazon.com and B&M take a large cut off the cover price, just as bricks-and-mortar stores do. Independent writers get a better deal on royalties, but again, ebook sellers and publishers are still working out equitable price structures.

It is not necessary to purchase an e-reader. Kindle has apps that allow you to download to your computer. Not everyone likes reading on a monitor, but it is an option. Also, many libraries will loan reading devices, which gives another option to those who cannot afford an ereader.

Technology is forcing change. Big box stores offer a distribution channel for bestsellers, but midlist books will adapt or die. WotC is adapting. I wish them, and Erik, all the best on this venture.
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Elsenrail
Seeker

Poland
65 Posts

Posted - 17 Aug 2011 :  12:35:47  Show Profile Send Elsenrail a Private Message  Reply with Quote
An e-book only???

I really wanted to buy this book, but now I will have to skip it. :/
I'm a collector sort of guy, and I enjoy the actual physical product on the bookshelf.

Erik, do you know why WotC decided to publish it only in this format? All the other FR novels are being released as MMP.
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Dennis
Great Reader

9933 Posts

Posted - 17 Aug 2011 :  12:45:02  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

One doesn't necessarily have to choose between e-books and hardbound/paperbacks. He can have both. I perfectly understand Sage's case. Personally though, I only buy e-books when I'm dying to read the novels immediately. I'm in Asia, so US-released books take about 1-6 months before they reach us, with very few exceptions. When the hardbound (my preferred format) arrive, I buy them too, and reread every single page. Patience is my weakest virtue, that's why. Also, I've always lived by this (local) saying: “Why choose only one when you can have both?!”

Every beginning has an end.
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Elsenrail
Seeker

Poland
65 Posts

Posted - 17 Aug 2011 :  12:55:15  Show Profile Send Elsenrail a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dennis


#65533;Why choose only one when you can have both?!#65533;



That's the problem I have with Erik's latest novel. I suppose there are many others who would like to buy a paperback, but they were deprived of the possibility to do it. WotC losses some money that way. I want to find reason backing the publisher's decision, but I can't find any.

I spend 8+ hours a day working on a computer. Reading on a laptop is not for me (or Kindle device). I really relax when I have a paperback in my hands.
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2004 Posts

Posted - 17 Aug 2011 :  13:09:33  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage Send ElaineCunningham a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Caolin
But for those of us in the US it amounts to gouging.


I suppose that depends upon whether you place value upon the book as an object or the story as an experience. It would also depend upon your criteria for "price gouging." The link you quoted suggests that ebooks should be priced at the cost of deeply discounted books minus the amount the buyer would receive for reselling that book. That simply doesn't work.

Here's why.

The person who wrote that post purchases books at a used bookstore at half price. Wholesale pricing is usually 40-60% discount of the cover price. A lot of people get a cut of a book's cover price, but the largest percentage goes to the retailer. This bookstore is lowering its profit to 5-10% of cover price and passing the savings along to the buyer. But that bookseller's decision does not lower the cost of producing the book. Nor does the buyer's decision to sell the book after reading it.

It takes just as long to write a novel that will be printed electronically as one that's published as a paperbook. Ebooks need "covers" just as paper books do. Editing, copyediting, proofreading, and formatting require as much work. My experience with my first independently published ebook suggests that formatting is even MORE work intensive, since you need to adjust for the various e-formats. In short, many of the expenses associated with producing a paperback are still in place for ebooks.

For those who are interested in what these costs might be, here's an excerpt from Tara Harper's FAQ.

quote:
I've heard that it costs from $20,000 to $150,000 to produce a paperback book. The difference in costs depends on a variety of factors, including advances, cover illustration costs ($1500-$3000 for the average mass-market paperback cover painting), size of the novel (200 or 1200 pages), and so on. According to my own publisher (Del Rey/Random House), it costs approximately $150,000 to produce a mass-market paperback novel, including all costs associated with that book (rights, editing, cover art, production, printing, warehousing, distribution, sales, etc.).

For a hardback book, the breakout of costs, according to the January 12, 1998, issue of U.S. News & World Report, is as follows:

22% Royalties, rights, and permissions
8% Editorial
12% Administrative and other associated costs
16% Production
17% Paper, printing, and binding
4% Warehousing
21% Sales and marketing.


People often ask, who makes the bigger profit--the author or the publisher? In reality, the biggest money-maker is neither the author nor the publisher, but rather the retailers, who take approximately 50% of the cover price as income. With retailers taking the lion's portion, with rising costs, flat or fallen profit margins, and with other media ventures making significantly larger profits, publishers, just like other businesses, are looking for ways to cut costs and bump up profit margins.

But surely, you say, publishers make good money? Well, for a book publisher, the profit margin on a hardback book that retails for $25, is approximately $1.


Please note that paper, printing, binding, and warehousing come to a combined 21% of the costs. Granted, these figures are from 1998 and today's breakdown might be different. But I suspect it is not THAT different. Insisting that an ebook should be priced at a small fraction of the cost of a paperback is simply not realistic.

I do think, however, that ebook prices can and should be lower. I've said before that I'm a big fan of less-than-a-latte pricing. Early polls and observations of sales trends suggest that the sweet spot is between $2.99 and $3.99. For an independently published author, this isn't a bad price. Sure, you have to sell a lot of books to cover the cost of editing and cover art--out of pocket expenses for indy authors-- but since Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble Nook Bookstore give indie authors a bigger cut of the purchase price than they do publishers, an author's profit on a book priced at $2.99 is about what we'd get from the sale of a traditionally published hardcover.

I wonder, though, if pricing an ebook at $2.99 will allow publishers to recoup their fixed costs. Certainly, if the sales numbers are high enough, but what about for niche markets, such as the Forgotten Realms? I just don't have the data needed to form an intelligent opinion. My gut says the ebooks should be less expensive--certainly the reprints, which have no additional costs associated with ebook release. But for new ebooks, whether they're direct-to-ebooks or ebook editions that compete with paperback releases? I really don't know.

Edited by - ElaineCunningham on 17 Aug 2011 13:15:00
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2004 Posts

Posted - 17 Aug 2011 :  13:23:12  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage Send ElaineCunningham a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Elsenrail
I spend 8+ hours a day working on a computer. Reading on a laptop is not for me (or Kindle device). I really relax when I have a paperback in my hands.



Same here, Elsenrail. I love books. Walking into a library makes me understand what a party of adventurers must feel when they enter a dragon's hoard room. And I was very, very resistent to the idea of ebooks.

I never picked up an e-reader until December 2010. I got a Nook for Christmas and I find that reading it is a lot easier on the eyes than print. For one thing, I can adjust the font size. For another, the length of the printed line fits in my peripheral vision, so I can read whole lines and skim whole paragraphs at a glance. I really like the Nook, much more than I expected to.
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2004 Posts

Posted - 17 Aug 2011 :  13:33:45  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage Send ElaineCunningham a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Time is short, so I'll be bowing out of this thread. I understand the reticence to embrace new technology, but I also hate to see people missing a good story.

Good luck with your new book, Erik.
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Seravin
Senior Scribe

Canada
554 Posts

Posted - 17 Aug 2011 :  14:36:27  Show Profile Send Seravin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for your input Elaine (as always!)

I received a Kobo eReader as a birthday present. I hated it and returned it after trying to read an old favourite and being frustrated with the eReader experience. I guess eventually I would have adapted? But I really tried and really didn't like it. And lest this be confirmation bias, I wanted to like it before I got it (I even asked for it as a present).

Oh well. I guess it's not like the police will come in the night and steal all my old books away one day.
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Elsenrail
Seeker

Poland
65 Posts

Posted - 17 Aug 2011 :  14:50:29  Show Profile Send Elsenrail a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

Time is short, so I'll be bowing out of this thread. I understand the reticence to embrace new technology, but I also hate to see people missing a good story.

Good luck with your new book, Erik.



I'm rather keen into new technology, but what distinguishes an ereader from a real book... is that the latter, especially in fantasy genre, feels to have a soul... maybe the paper gives me this experience, maybe something else, but when all those adventurers hold their grimoires and old dusty tomes, I somehow connect with them. Not to mention the covers on the bookshelf.

If someone likes reading with an ereader, he should have a chance... just like those who prefer paperbacks. This is what drives me mad here. :/
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1639 Posts

Posted - 17 Aug 2011 :  15:14:55  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Borders is gone. Barnes & Noble is dedicating the front of every store to the Nook. I've seen it estimated (by Mike Stackpole, I believe, one of the prophets of the eBook revolution) that these two events together decreased rack space for paper-and-ink books in the US by 1/3. Given this unfortunate truth, and given all the other costs and problems related to traditional publishing, we really shouldn't blame publishers if, like B&N, they too switch their emphasis to eBooks. They're just trying to survive in a tough business.

The pricing thing is a separate issue. I believe I already wrote in a different forum that eBooks should be a lot cheaper than paper-and-ink books, or that the writer should get a bigger piece of the cover price, or both.

Bottom line, my own experience after over half a century of reading only paper-and-ink books has been that reading an eBook may take a little getting used to. But once you do, reading an author you enjoy doesn't feel any different. You still get caught up in the story. That being the case, I hope readers who enjoy certain authors will see fit to follow them into the realm of eBooks when that's necessary to check out their new material. As Elaine noted, you don't have to buy an eReader. You can download an app for free.
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Erik Scott de Bie
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
4550 Posts

Posted - 17 Aug 2011 :  16:48:36  Show Profile  Visit Erik Scott de Bie's Homepage  Send Erik Scott de Bie an AOL message Send Erik Scott de Bie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hail and Well Met, everyone!

Thanks for the opinions and feedback in the thread. I really do appreciate the strong opinions voiced on both sides.

No, the e-book only decision was not mine, but that doesn't mean I disagree with it. AFAIK, WotC is experimenting with pushing into the e-book market, in the wake of things like Borders closing, B&N converting increasingly to e-books, Amazon's ascendency, and (perhaps most importantly) Harry Potter going digital for the first time. People have given WotC a bad time in the past for not keeping up with the market--one can hardly blame them for trying to correct that. I am anxious to see if it performs well.

Also believe me, if there was some way I could make there be physical copies, I would. I am one of you guys who *loves* a book in the hand. I have heard rumblings about a solution to the "but I want it on paper" issue. It may be some sort of print-on-demand technique, but WotC has to find a way to do that that still makes money. If they don't make money, they can't justify it to their corporate masters, and then it goes away. It is in every one's best interest for them to find a technique that succeeds.

Also, I highly recommend you take your opinions to those peeps who might be able to do something about it. Go on the WotC boards and find James Wyatt (book department head), Mike Mearls (head of D&D), etc., anyone you can, and express what you think and feel about the situation. Advocate for what you want, directly to the source, and you just might get it. This is particularly true if you're not going to be able to buy the book--you need to tell them that, tell them why, and tell them how they can keep your business.

This industry we're in is a SERVICE industry. If we're not giving you what you want, then we're not doing our jobs.

And maybe I'm being naive here, but a silver lining to the e-book push might be MORE Realms books. Without the heavy overhead costs and the production cycle, WotC might reach a point where they can expand their publishing pool and bring in more authors. No one at WotC has mentioned this to me, but I can easily envision it. If e-books are successful, we might see more FR novels, and if they work out a print-on-demand that's still profitable, then everybody wins. Food for thought.

Also, finally, thanks for the well-wishes, Elaine. What you've been pulling off with electronic releases is an inspiration.

Cheers

Erik Scott de Bie

'Tis easier to destroy than to create.

Signature of Shameless Self-Promotion +6: Order my sixth novel, Shadow of the Winter King (Amazon, e-signing, Dragonmoon Press)

Also check out my Realms work, most recently Shadowbane: Eye of Justice, out now on e-readers everywhere! (Kindle, Nook)

Edited by - Erik Scott de Bie on 17 Aug 2011 16:49:49
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1639 Posts

Posted - 17 Aug 2011 :  17:31:25  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
E-publishing also provides a way to keep every piece of FR fiction readily available forever. That's good, right?
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