Thoughts on eBooks

Over the past week or so, I’ve being mak­ing rounds to vari­ous blogs. Over at Scott Pack’s place, I’ve been writ­ing about my exper­i­ences of pub­lish­ing Déjà Vu:

So I’m look­ing at this Amanda Hocking head­line. Flecks of tea are mov­ing down the screen of my laptop like the raw Matrix. The half-formed idea in my head — that I can make a book avail­able and I don’t need to have a pub­lish­er — becomes about three-quar­ters formed. My audi­ence is going to be lim­ited to a few mil­lion Kindle cus­tom­ers, but that’s like say­ing my writ­ing is lim­ited by the alpha­bet; it’s enough, and nobody is going to tell me that only Random House can use the ‘Q’.

More of my epic wis­dom can be found over at Futurismic, where Paul Graham Raven has been ask­ing me ques­tions about the pub­lish­ing industry at large. I have no real basis for my appar­ent expert­ise in this area — which is, of course, part of the fun of inter­views.

Various stat­ist­ics have been ban­died about show­ing that while growth in phys­ic­al book sales is slow­ing, growth in ebooks is accel­er­at­ing. As a per­son who owns a Kindle, it’s easy to see why. The buy­ing is imme­di­ate, cheap, and fric­tion­less; the device weighs less than my watch (so I have a heavy watch).

All good fun.

A Little Help from Friends

I’ve just been read­ing very kind words by writer Ken MacLeod on Déjà Vu:

I wasn’t the only review­er who thought the book, and the writer, deserved a lot bet­ter. Ian’s efforts to become a prop­erly pub­lished writer were ser­i­ous, unavail­ing, and in the end heart­break­ing. He had anoth­er life than being a writer, and reckoned it was time he got on with it.

It was a day in the Christmas hol­i­day imme­di­ately fol­low­ing pub­lic­a­tion of the book that I got Ken’s email telling me how much he liked it (togeth­er with some busi­ness advice). That was the moment I breathed a sigh of relief. If Ken liked it, there was good chance it wasn’t rub­bish. Grand days.

Random Feedback

Reader, it has been a long day. I spent the early part of this morn­ing prep­ping for two hours of sem­inars on mul­tiple regres­sion (if you don’t know what this is, you don’t want to; if you do know what this, you prob­ably still don’t want to), and this after­noon was whittled away prep­ping for four hours of sem­inars start­ing at 9 a.m. tomor­row morn­ing.

In sum­mary, I’m often grumpy on Tuesday after­noons.

And then I received this email:

I just wanted to say thank you for releas­ing your book as an audio book — I’ve thor­oughly enjoyed listen­ing to it!

Hope you release anoth­er one soon!

This is, of course, lovely.

Déjà Vu (the first edi­tion) is avail­able as an audiobook here. (Though the improved spe­cial edi­tion is here.)