Who knows where ebooks will end up once we’re through this one-time-in-a-few-centuries shake-up of publishing, but it’s time for me to make more of some of their early apparent advantages.
Here are three of them:
1. Old stories never die. Books no longer need to go out of print. While this comes with the downside of potentially turning retailers into an endless thicket of old (and new) stories, I think and hope it’ll worth it for what we’ll no longer be losing. We also now have a chance to put out-of-print work back into print.
2. Size isn’t important (and I’ve been waiting a long time to hear that). Historically, short stories have found their homes in other, bigger things (journals, anthologies, collections) and novellas have had trouble finding homes at all. With ebooks, that’s all changed.
3. Prices are often lower. There are fewer steps in bringing a story to market in e-form and the steps that add fixed costs (paper, ink, fuel) are the ones that have gone. Publishing industries in some countries (I’m looking at you, Australia) are still sorting out how the new supply chain works and how to price accordingly, but there’s scope for prices significantly lower than paper books, with a reasonable return to the people who together make the chain that leads from idea to e-reader.
So today I’m adding 1, 2 and 3 together to make, um, 5. Five short stories of mine from the late 90s and early this century will, for a limited time, be available worldwide (ie, now including Australia and New Zealand) through Exciting Books on Kindle. I’m assuming that includes the Kindle app for iPads etc. The US price will be 99c, and I hope the prices in other markets will be comparable.
And sometimes the price will be zero. We’ll start that today, with Problems with a Girl and a Unicorn set to go free for two days from 2pm Australian EST (ie, midnight US Eastern and 5am UK, if I’ve got my calculations right)*. If you have any capacity to read Kindle-formatted stories, please get yourself a copy by clicking here. And if you don’t, maybe download the Kindle app and then get yourself a copy.
* Note: If the timing doesn’t work out exactly like that, you have my apologies. Please check again later, since it’s booked to happen today. And if the link doesn’t work where you are, please check for the story in the Kindle Store.