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April 9, 2010

I Meet the iPad

Yesterday Jim brought me to Best Buy to look at iPads.  I say he brought me because he's the one interested in tech and who has been looking into various e-readers, mobiles, etc. for months.  The trip to Best Buy felt alot like visting the pet store with my sister to play with the puppies--provoking the same urge to wash my hands and recurrent longing to go back and buy what I'd played with.  It will be a while before I buy an iPad (or a puppy, for that matter), but I liked the iPad more than I expected.  I'd pictured it just a little too large to be handy.  In reality it was lighter and smaller than I'd imagined; the display was crisp; navigation quick and easy.  I might be in love.

I'm excited, too, about the expanding market for e-readers and the subsequent opportunities that are arising for new writers like myself.  Until recently, I hadn't considered self-publishing as an option.  But there is quite a buzz about how e-readers are changing the publishing industry and the possibility for independent writers to make money outside traditional publishing channels. 

A couple days ago Joe Konrath posted an interesting blog entry that mentioned his success self-publishing on Kindle (A Newbie's Guide to Publishing: Publishers + Ebooks = Epic Fail).  Konrath's post led to insightful discussion as well as questions about how writers, both published and as-yet unpublished, can benefit from the expansion of e-publishing.  I'll be watching this discussion over the next few months as I continue polishing my manuscripts. 

Experts are predicting multi-function devices such as the iPad will increase the market for e-books even more as those unwilling to buy dedicated e-readers purchase iPads and buy e-books as an afterthought (IPad May Be ‘Black Ship’ That Shakes Up Japan’s Book Industry and How the iPad Could Make Books Go Viral). At a recent e-book conference in Australia, Dr. Richard Seymour of the University of Sydney stated that a third of books will be read on e-readers within the next five years (Third of books to be read on e-readers within 5 years).  I sense that when my work is ready, I'll have options for reaching readers.


James said...

Ok, I admit it...I dream of walking hand-in-hand through a park with an iPad as Celine Dion's 'Because You Love Me' plays in the background. Looking down, with its soft glow returning my affections I wake up and realize I'm a sad sad man. Sad for having read so many paperback books that entertained me but did not play with me.

I can see where a multimedia Alice in Wonderland might be sellable as a children's e-book, but is this a viable selling strategy for 'adult' orientated novels. I love the idea of being able to readily find the definition of a ambiguous word or maybe access a map or some graphic art at the touch of my finger. But seriously, do I want to shake my Agatha Christie novel on my iPad and have a series of knives come tumbling down on some helpless victim.

Ok,...that does sound like fun, but I don't think I'd pay more for it. ;)

Traci said...

That Alice in Wonderland was pretty cool. It'll be exciting to see how technology shapes our relationship to books. Reminds me of the museum field's continual endeavor to find new ways to engage visitors and combine learning with entertainment.

James said...

Apple announces approximate iPad sales as below:

May 31, 2010 - 2 million
May 3, 2010 - 1 million
April 8, 2010 - 450,000
April 5, 2010 - 300,000

That's one heck of a lot of sales in such a short period of time! I think the iPad revolution has come, and I'm going to be on that bandwagon once 1)iPads are supported through Verison, 2) They have multifunctional capabilities, 3)The iPad supports true GPS, and 4)They've gone 4G.

Maybe next year?