Publishing Is Tilting Toward Authors and Readers

Publishing Is Tilting Toward Authors and Readers July 8, 2011

In this week’s post about preaching from an iPad, I referenced an article in the UM Reporter.  Later in that article, I am quoted as saying about the new era in e-publishing,

“It’s great for writers and for readers, and it’s horrible for publishers and agents.”

I firmly believe that.  I love my agent, and I love (almost) all of the editors I’ve worked with at publishing houses.  But I feel badly for them as we enter a new epoch of content delivery.

Last year, bestselling author Seth Godin made waves when he announced that all of his future books would be ebooks.  My next two books will be ebooks — coming straight to your Kindle this summer:

  • The Church Is Flat: The Relational Ecclesiology of the Emerging Church Movement
  • But How Does Love Win? A Friendly Rejoinder to Rob Bell

I hope that, after that, I’ll have another traditional book in the queue — probably on prayer.  My agent and I are working on that idea at the moment.

So I’ve still got a foot in each world.  But my success (or failure) in the ebook world will likely dictate the direction of my literary career over the next decade.

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  • Dale Friesen

    Any idea when your two ebooks will be out?

  • Tony,
    There is one aspect to this whole shift that I don’t hear much about which is that the number of people who are actually reading books, e-book or otherwise, is declining. I’d love to be shown that I’m wrong but my sense is that people are reading small chunks of text via blogs and free previews on Google books and the mental capacity of readers to hang with a narrative for 200 pages is on the decline.

  • I’m currently writing my MA thesis on how Love Wins fits into emerging and postmodern views of Christianity. I’d love to read what you’ve written as soon as possible. Is there any chance of a preview copy – I’d gladly write a review!

  • What about those of us that don’t have e-bok readers? Not only am I a totally broke grad student who can’t afford a reader, I also find it increasingly hard to read electronic type.

    I can sit with a hard copy of a book for hours reading, yet if I try to read from a reader (borrowed from the university library) I can only read for about 20 minutes at a time. Also, as a tactile learner and reader I need to be able to highlight, underline, make notes etc.

    I think that e-books, in principle, are great. I know people who swear by their kindles/nooks/ipads. But some of us are just not going to be willing adopters of this tech. Should we get left out in the cold?

    • Carter, You can download the free Kindle app on any computer or smartphone. Try that and lemme know what you think.

  • Like Carter, I don’t have a Kindle. I’m not a poor student; I just don’t want one. I’m not comfortable reading at the computer for any length of time, and I definitely don’t want to read anything on the teensy-weensy screen of my phone! I’m much more inclined toward holding an actual book, remembering how far back something is I want to re-read, or which side of the open page it’s on. I’d be interested in what you have to say about Love Wins, for instance, but I’m not changing formats just for that. In my opinion, you’re cutting out potential readers – not to mention libraries, including those in churches.

  • I don’t know anyone that owns an ipad, my dad may have bought some computer meant for reading, but in general I don’t know of anyone that would go to strictly a computer for reading books yet, nor anyone that has the $$ to buy one yet.

    Every industry is having to change with this digital era hitting. What I wonder is what the library systems will look like when the new circulation is predominately ebooks.