Are Commercial eBooks the Only Things You Can Write to Make Money?

278221145_758080af62_b Jane Friedman thinks that self-published eBooks are going to have depend on a “readership that consumes books like candy.”

The idea is that you should write a lot of stuff. Publish it. Then, you repeat until you make a profit.

Essentially, this means the books themselves will be like candy. Sweet, short-lived, instantly gratifying… and maybe a little unhealthy for literature.

Here’s what Friedman, an editor at The Virginia Quarterly Review, says the basic model for these sugary eBooks is:

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Why Can’t I Click Your Book?


Engrossing vessels of unparalleled knowledge, learning, and experience… or obsolete hunks  of text that can’t hope to compete in an era of relentlessly over-stimulated people?

The question struck me when I was reading Christopher McDougall’s Born to Run recently.

I like to run. I like learning things. And I’m not adverse to being taken to far-off, fantastical lands.

But, about halfway through, I was growing increasingly frustrated that I couldn’t actually see the things that McDougall was talking about.

The feeling left me with one pressing question:

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The Death of the eReader

ebookereadersalesI think I’m a prophet. At least when it comes to the future of books and eReaders (like the Kindle or Nook).

A prophet that has the impressive power to tell… the present.

As I was swirling around in my office chair, ruminating about eReaders and how they’re probably going to be obsolete in the next few years, BAM.

A study conducted by IHS iSuppli confirms that eReader sales have dropped by 36% this year and are expected to plunge another 27% next year.

The reason?

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The Future of Books (Calm Down Edition)

Let’s talk about the future of books by stating the obvious: books take a long time to write.

In fact, per hour, I think they’re definitely one of the top most time-consuming forms of art.

Writing a book in a year is considered almost a heroic effort.

Two, three years, well, that’s about normal.

A lot of books are late-bloomers, too, and won’t get finished for years and years.

Authors are willing to put in the sweat, blood, and missed Life Opportunities to write.

When it’s done, we put every sentence to a magnifying glass, carefully scan the pages… then promptly decide we hate it, ALL OF IT.

We write and rewrite, which adds more time to the process.

But is that the way writers should be writing in the 21st century?

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eBooks: The Future of Writing, Once Everyone Gets Over It

Reading Time: ~5 minutes

When the Kindle first came out, I remember a distinct feeling as my heart sunk into a swamp of pessimism. This is it, I thought. I am an English major, an aspiring novelist, a “writer,” at literally the worst time in American history of the world to be one. In other countries, of course, any time is a bad time.

My friend’s mom owns an independent bookstore, one of those rare and beautiful things that now primarily feasts on the wallets of tourists and upper middle class locals. He frothed at the mouth when Amazon released the Kindle, decrying the institution and talking about how this would essentially murder books and those who try to write them.

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