Daily Archives: August 10, 2012

E-Books – Is it a genre thing?

A couple of weeks ago a gent named Ewan Morrison wrote an article in The Guardian entitled “Why Social Media Isn’t The Magic Bullet for Self-epublished Authors”.


Basically – what he said was that I’m wasting my time writing this blog entry or posting on my Facebook or even tweeting on Twitter. I ought to just sit down and write and save all of that virtual-shmoozing for the pop icons.

I wasn’t offended. It never bothers me to hear from another viewpoint. Besides, in some ways he is absolutely right. I’ve always known that my next book is going to be sold by my last book which might even sell my book after the next – especially if it is a sequel!

(I may have just given myself an aneurysm with that last sentence – goddamn, did it parse???)

He is likewise right in saying that Twitter and Facebook will someday die. Sure they will. But by then they’ll have been replaced with Nosebook – in which you can virtually sniff your friend’s armpits. The whole world will go around like a pack of wild dogs, sniffing each other’s butts and books on Nosebook.

Look for it in the spring of 2017!

The really interesting part of the story is in the comments section. There are six pages of comments. There would most likely be more – but the comment section was closed off. It’s an old article and I suppose they want to save on bandwidth – but it also felt a little like someone sending in the brute squad to keep a lid on things.

Joe Konrath – e-book champion and writer of the enormously entertaining Jack Daniels series and many other e-books besides – stepped in to comment on how he basically agrees with a lot of what the author had to say but disagreed with the whole notion that e-books were a bubble-phenomenon that would go the way of eight-tracks and Beta digital.

A passing fad.

Now that is blatant bullshit. The e-book is definitely here to stay, in my opinion. They’re still selling calculators, they’re still selling television sets and they’re still selling cellular phones. Some gadgets don’t go away. E-books are one of them.

The thing that folks need to realize is that an e-book is just the same as a traditionally published trade paperback – just in a different format is all. So saying the e-book is the death of the traditionally published book is a little like saying that your kids will be the death of you!

Then Ewan Morrison went on to step over a line.

E-books – he said – are primarily for “genre” writers.

I read a little further, moving my lips while I read, and Ewan Morrison went on to explain that “real” “literary” writers will continue to eschew the e-book.

More bullshit.

When you get right down to it – your average “literary” author is no better or no worse than a “genre” author. The fact is both genre and literary authors have one factor in common.

They’re storytellers.

Oh sure, one of them uses a lot more literary technique and undoubtedly holds his pinky finger extended while he types – but that writer is still nothing more than a storyteller.

And a storyteller wants – more than anything on earth – a consenting audience.

That’s right. We want someone to read our stories or listen to stories.

So most “literary” authors are eventually going to realize that the e-book is nothing more than another avenue towards that most desirable of resources – READERS!!!

That’s right.

Literary authors might be fancy. They might indeed hold their pinky finger extended while they type – but they aren’t stupid!

E-books are here to stay.

Genre authors are welcome to the medium.

Literary authors are welcome to the medium.

There is room in this boat for all us!

Yours in storytelling,

Steve Vernon