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“My name’s Andrew and my first book’s coming out digitally” and other musings about e books

It’s official. The merits of digital versus print books now shares top billing with ‘why don’t mainstream Australian publishers do more genre fiction’ (they just don’t and probably won’t in the near future, so just get over it and write), as literary conversations I now try to avoid.

This was confirmed for me at an event I attended as part of the wonderful Emerging Writers’ Festival, which ended in Melbourne last week. I’d muscled in on a conversation between a book industry person (they wouldn’t tell me exactly what they did) and another emerging writer whose first novel is due out soon through one of Melbourne’s independent publishing houses.

When I told the industry person my first book was coming out through a digital only publisher in the States, they looked at me and said. “Is it going to be another of those 99 cent jobs? They just devalue you and your writing.”

When the person started to criticise digital books, I suggested they were dealing with an outmoded business model. The person then accused me of being anti-publisher.

As I’ve said on this site before, I love dead tree books. I love their smell, their feel, the companies that produce them, the shops that sell them, the whole box and dice.… Read more