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Watch Ridler

August 25th, 2011

Jay Ridler’s first novel, a noir wrestling thriller (!), is up now at the Kindle store:

I’ve been waiting for an opportunity like this. Amanda Hocking and Konrath have been made much of (and have made much out of themselves) as the poster/tentpole children of a brave, new, exponentially expanding market for self-published ebooks, raking it in hand over fist, generating buzz and dreams and misconceptions wherever they pass. But they appeared on this stage fully formed. They were already successful, hugely so, before most of us heard anything about them. We can go back and read about how they did it (as much as they’re willing to share), but we won’t be getting the whole story, and what we do get will be all distorted by the rah-rah haze of success. (So, nephew/son/grandson/husband/cousin/brother, when you going to write the next Harry Potter? Bleh!) And by now it’s completely unclear whether what they did will work for anyone else, because the market they’re selling through is so new and changing so rapidly. Nor does it make any sense to compare them to grassroots print self-publishing successes like Christopher Paolini (and certainly not to Rowling), because there was barely any market in place for them to target/advertise to/gladhand.

All of which makes me very excited indeed to watch Jay’s epublishing debut, because it gives me (and you, too!) the great advantage of observing from the ground up, from the inside. Yes, of course, I’m rooting for him because he’s my pal and I’m already vested in the whole ebook thing. But I also know (because I read all that stuff about Hocking and Konrath ad nauseum) he’s got a lot going for him. I know how much thought Jay has put into this. He’s a brilliant, lovable guy who keeps an entertaining blog and knows everybody. He’s incredibly prolific. He knows how to spin a yarn. I know how much heart he puts into his writing, and it shows. I guarantee Death Match will be fast-paced and gritty with a gripping emotional core. Frankly, he’s a better writer than Hocking and Konrath put together. Which may or may not mean a thing in this context. But it will be fascinating to watch. I can’t wait to see what happens–not just in the next couple of weeks, but when he puts out the next book and the one after that.

Should you care to watch him too, Jay’s blog, where I hope he will regale us with further news of his forays, is at ridlerville.wordpress.com.

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Ebooks

October 5th, 2010

I am really excited about them. Yes, they’ve existed for a long time and they still only account for a tiny portion of the books we buy. But their numbers are growing exponentially while the rest of the industry struggles along or declines. Ereaders get more and more abundant, flashier, cheaper, and their battery life gets longer. I think they’re where the world is going.

It’s hard to shout down those who feel nostalgia for the book. Books can be beautiful. The experience of reading a physical book will never be replaced by any ereader. But it’s not like books are going away. There are books from 1450 that still exist. There are more books printed every year, using up ink, paper, cloth. Forty percent of them get pulped every year. I love books. But you know what I’d rather have? Trees.

So I have thrown in with the ebook revolution. Weightless Books, if I haven’t hyped it up to you already, is an ebook website I built and am operating together with Gavin Grant of Small Beer Press. It offers ebooks, delivered to you instantly by email, from a small but growing set of independent publishers including Small Beer Press, Featherproof Press, Blind Eye Books, Fairy Tale Review Press, and, as of today, The Homeless Moon. Yes! All three of the Homeless Moon chapbooks are now available from Weightless in a variety of formats to suit most any ereader, at the low, low price of $0.99 (and yes, they’re still available for free as well, but we’re trying to be supportive and we hope you will too).

So. Read ebooks. Consume less paper, waste less energy shipping it back and forth and then paying somebody to set it on fire when you cast it aside, read more, read better, save the world.

Thank you!

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