Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Why eBooks Are the Best...and the Worst

This week, I finished my third eBook.  Actually, I hesitate to call them "mine" because they were ghostwritten for clients.  The topics were not mine for the choosing, although I do only bid on writing jobs for which I have a personal passion or interest, or the posted job covers topic on which I have experience.

Each of the three books, though widely varied in their subject matter, tone, and target market, had a surprising number of commonalities.

  1. It was requested that each book be only 10,000-20,000 words - much shorter than most published books (though I anticipate they'll be sold for the same price...).
  2. Each book targets, specifically, a very niche market or type of individual.
  3. I was given a lot of free-reign on how and what to write (even when admitting non-expertise in the subject matter).  I'll admit, I'm used to pretty specific assignment instructions from seasoned authors and the newspaper and magazine editors for whom I write weekly or monthly.
I could go on, but thus far I've come to both love the introduction of but question the integrity of eBooks.  While I think an endless sea of downloadable information about a very specific subject, aimed for a very specific audience is widely alluring, the fact that non-experts are hiring other non-experts (at least in that subject matter) to compile, quickly, an "item for sale" will eventually bring down the integrity of electronic media (if it hasn't already).

It's obvious that eBooks save paper.  You can hit Apple-F and locate the paragraph or key phrase you're looking for.  If you're so inclined, you can copy and paste a quote from an eBook into your e-mail signature.  You can read the book on your Kindle, or iPad and your 1-year old won't chew on the corners (or, at least won't rip the pages when he does).  The realities and possibilities of eBooks are exciting.

It's the idea of everyone being their own self-publisher that scares me.

And here I am, self publishing my own blog.

No one is editing.

This could be pure rubbish.  Chaos.  Completely unchecked and untrue.

While the eBooks I have ghostwritten are actually, in my humble opinion, quite stellar (especially considering the paper-thin and questionably written source materials provided) I still have to warn readers to be skeptical about throwing out the idea of print books.  There is something to be said for the publishing houses who weed out all of the junk that Amazon does not.

'Nough said.

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