Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Kindle is Coming

Yesterday the extended Macmillan New Writing family got together for lunch and a natter in London (more about this on the MNW blog, no doubt). It was also my first opportunity to see the Amazon Kindle e-reader, about which Neil had blogged enthusiastically over on Veggiebox.

I've always been in the sceptics' camp on e-readers; I like to have a book to read. Nonetheless, I was impressed both by the aesthetics of the Kindle and its functional qualities. The screen quality is exceptional, and I could well imagine reading an entire book on it. The device itself is very thin and all but weightless. For commuting, or going on holiday, the ability to load it up with books would be very convenient.

The only remaining issue I have is with the price--both of the Kindle itself, and the books to go on it. Why would I pay the best part of two hundred quid for an e-reader when the books are little, if any, cheaper than a phyisical copy? If a Kindle was a quarter of the price (and soon, no doubt, it will be), and the books two or three pounds each, the proposition would be much more attractive.

For that to happen, publishers will need to rethink their pricing models. But without it, I think the e-book revolution is on hold.


David Isaak said...

You seem to have some Tolkeinesque tendencies (in your thinking, not in your prose).

I suppose it isn't surprising. Reaching back for the (fictional) circumstances behind the current (fictional)situation seems like the natural thing for your mind to do. You like both historical fiction and history; and you also like fantasy. Being drawn to the history of your fantasy world strikes me as almost inevitable.

And Mondia is a rich enough world to support all of this. So I can't say I think it's altogether a bad move. As Lawrence Block says, unless you are under contract, the book you should be writing is whatever book you want to write.

Elfy said...

If you can get it published Tim, I'll read it. I thought there was a lot more to be said about Mondia as well.

Tim Stretton said...

Thanks for the encouragement, guys.

100 avid readers is enough for me, although understandably not for Macmillan.