Sunday, September 18, 2011

Dai-San: Missing in Action?

One of the things I generally fail to understand about ebooks, is how authors with a larger backlog of books don't put their books to work for them. In some cases, the book might be so old that there is no electronic file of it to modify and upload. When doing research on various bits though, I see that you can have this done with $1 a page.

The catalog of an author can do many important things for the reader. If you find an author you enjoy, especially later in the author's writing career, or through some media coverage on the author, such as the author writing a licensed book in a genre you enjoy (Star Wars, Star Trek, Forgotten Realms, etc...), then it is handy when you can puruse and purchase at your leisure.

I suspect part of the lack of Dai-San and other books by Eric Van Lustbader, is that the new properties he is working on, from what I See, the Bourne material, takes presidence. Or it could be that like many things in the past, the rights of the electronic material are in shaky waters. Will it be a priority for Fawcette to make an ebook or do they have their own new properties that they have to promote?

From things I'm reading about ebooks, when the author needs to take control of such a situation, as putting their catalog online, they can't rely on the publisher to make that a priority. In addition, doing so for the author makes the author into a jack of all trades. The author now has to increase his skill set and knowledge pool to learn how to handle the various aspects of which digital rights he owns, what is the most efficient way to publish his backcatalog, and how can he get word out once that is done, that books released 25 years ago now have new life?

Some may feel that it's not the authors place to take control of their work like that. That they don't have to know or shouldn't need to know these things. In general labor terms, people whose skill sets aren't expanded, especially in modern America where cheap labor is found through illegal use of migrant works, minimum wage payment of migrant workers, or just offshored to another country, everyone has to step their game up.

It's like its okay for a computer to be four times as powerful and new technologies to continue to emerge, but to have people whose finances depend on those take charge of those technologies and move forward on their own? The days of the writer who only writes, if they haven't already done so, are coming dangerously close to the end.

And that's not necessarily a bad thing.