Guest Author Live Slapdash Sunday


Hosted by Kayla at The Eclectic Element
As part of Slapdash Sunday, and its premise, today started off as an idea and became a reality.  Vincent Zandri was going to do a Guest Posting regarding EReaders and Print from an author’s view and I was going to do it from a consumer, avid reader’s view.  Then he made a generous offer that he would spend the day with us replying to comments and questions that other bloggers have.   Being a semi newbie blogger, I wonder if this has ever been done before!?  So post your thoughts and questions here and during the day he will  respond.  I am beyond honored and pleased to introduce:
Mr. Zandri’s thoughts on EReaders and Print:
  E-Books vs Print?
It’s not a question of versus. It’s a question of living together. One of the reasons I still publish traditionally albeit with Indy publishers who embrace the new electronic model, is that they produce both E-Book and print versions of my work. Despite the exploding popularity of E-Books and their brilliant future, many of my fans prefer to read a real “paper” book. I like my fans. They put food on my table and often send me nice notes making me feel like a “real” writer. So even though I foresee a time when I will be publishing in E-Book format only (we all will be), for now anyway, I see myself mixing tradition publishing with major houses with that of the traditionally based indy presses along with self-publishing my OOP books and previously agented/edited manuscripts that never sold for one economically based reason or another.

How will I make the majority of my money down the road? Hands down, from E-Books. I make 50% off the price of an ebook. And they never go out of print. They are the gift that keeps on giving. We can control the price and never do I have to worry about a publisher giving up on it. Simply said, the E-Book revolution is going to bury the major New York publishers whose antiquated and broken publishing system is about to collapse not because of some bomb that’s about to explode in Times Square, but because of their model which allows for returns, and offers authors only a small percentage of sales. In fact, these houses, like the one’s I’ve published with have actually held me and my work hostage by retaining rights to books they pulled off the shelves years ago. In the words of one of my old Bantam/Dell editors, “They (the corporate head honchos) are PREVENTING you from selling books.”

My jumbled thoughts as a consumer and avid reader:
As a consumer and avid reader, I have mixed feelings with EReaders and Print.
  Let’s start with Print first since that is what I have used since I started reading. I love the smell of a book, only real addicts know what I mean, turning actual pages and sometimes just having a book in my hands. In the summer I love to sit in the pool with a paperback, that’s the only time I will allow the books to get a little abused. Cons and they are starting to pile up. Hard Cover…only have them if they have been passed on. I would never pay that kind of money for a book that I will probably be done with in a few days. Even the price of paperbacks, I feel are getting to be expensive for a few days of reading.  New releases, for library edition, will take many months to get after putting your name on the list, and by that time it is probably already in paperback. Clutter…won’t even go there. I have paperback books hidden by another level of paperbacks with even another level with newer paperbacks
  EReader…a lot more portable.  In this instant gratification society, there is a huge plus, to be able to purchase and dowload a book in seconds. So far, at least for me, ebooks are almost 1/2 price of a paperback. easier to read when in bed. easier to be mobile, no clutter..YES !!!!  The clutter can be in my EReader.  Dictionary, note taking all in one place. backlight, would never use by pool or in pool. doesn’t have the smell of a book.
  Just a few of my pros and cons…but I honestly say within a year or so when newer models have all the features I would like and more that I haven’t even thought of, I will probably upgrade from the EReader I have now and using only my EReader to buy digital books.

OK…’s your turn.  What are your thoughts on today’s topic.  Or maybe you just have a question.  Either way…..POST HERE and lets start this LIVE discussion……….

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38 thoughts on “Guest Author Live Slapdash Sunday

  1. Thank you for doing this guest spot. I also love the feel of the paper in my hands. I may eventually end up as we all will with ebooks. Nonetheless, it is hard to think of giving up the piles upon piles of books I sort through for that one book that I must reread. You know the old favorite that strikes just the right mood or the quotation that you simply must find to tell someone else about.
    My question is: I have a book available on Amazon. I would like to get them to do it ebook but am having trouble figuring out the steps they have for this any ideas?

  2. Yah it's not a question of either or, but how you want to use both. For me, when I travel, I will be using either my computer or blackberry to download books. No more running through airports with 6 pounds of books in my knapsack. If I want to buy the hardcopy for my library,I'll do it when I get back…I haven't attempted to put any of my OOP stuff up yet, but I know you go through Amazon Digital Services, but I think you have to hire a professional to do all the HTML formatting. You also need someone to do a cover. 🙂

  3. I am a klutz and love thew fact that I can abuse a book. I also feel for all the people that are going to lose their jobs to the ebook. I totally understand the advantages of the ebook, and I think they are great but I am going to go down fighting with my paper books.I am a dinosaur, yes, I know that,but I love the tactile feel of the novel and don't know if I can feel the same with a kindle or nook.Does anybody take these things into the potty?

  4. Giovanni: I would never confess to your question. I am still torn between the actual feel of a PB and EReader. Vin will be back in a while to answer your question and reply to your comment. He is out on a short run. Also, very sorry for just publishing your comment. Had a bit of computer problem.

  5. Sorry, I missed this. Great idea to have this interaction on the blog.

    I had lots of questions. I wondered about picture books as e-books and how Vincent sees that. Those might be the strongest hold out for traditional books.

    I also wondered who Vincent's indy publishers are and how he does his self-publishing.

    I publish with the big publishers – Random House, Abrams, Penguin. Penguin and Abrams are top notch, but it's very true that the money issue is a challenge, at least for non big name writers. Something may be sold, but we don't see the money for months or years. Hard to live that way.

  6. Marsha: you didn't miss it…he will be back to repoly to all comments. He went out for a quick run, I have already IM'd that he has comments to read. So please check back in a while. Wow..never thought about children's books esp since my kids are 26 and 24. Good point you make.

  7. I agree with the pro and cons of both the e-book vs the print book, ahhh nothing like the smell of a book as you turn the pages especially if it's brand new, fresh out of the box, heaven. Clutter is a huge issue with box, especially if you need to move you have to think about space to put books, e-books no problem. However, for me I know I would want to print out a few chapters for times at the pool or beach, takes care of the book need.

    Publishers are slowly killing themselves with their outdated business model, and the high cost of books, however I really don't see the book as a fading out all together. It would a great loss to see any author stop having his work in print, as technology does and will always change, and can't be guaranteed to keep something for 20 years or even 50 years, whereas the printed word has been around for over 1000 years. So while the printing houses are slowly killing themselves, may hasp there might be a light in one that will change their policies and revise their roles in authors lives and provide a service again instead of holding hostage the written word.

  8. kolleen: Vin should be back soon to reply to your comment. He went on a short run and have notified him of your comment. As a consumer and avid reader, I agree with the price of books. Especiall if, someone like me, reads one or two books a week. Vin as an author will be commenting from his perspective

  9. As a reader, I still prefer paper to the electronic version…And yah, paper is good in the can, right??? 🙂
    But as a writer who writes fulltime and must make a living from it, I welcome the EBook as a means of making considerable more profit than I do on paper. It's a dollars and cents thing…but I also see the EBook as a compliment to paper. Their just two different ways to enjoy the same piece of writing. I've published traditionally with the biggies, Delacorte, Bantam/Dell and with the indy's RJBuckley and now a multi-book deal with Stone Ink, and these firms publish in both EBook and print. I haven't yet self-published, but I am going to dive into it for my OOP books very soon. If all works out the way I think it will, I might self-indy publish a novel of mine called DEAD MAN….

  10. I appreciate your perspective on the money issue of PB vs. ebooks as a writer Vincent, but as a consumer and avid reader I just can't picture myself holding an ereader in my hand. I have over 500 books on my TBR shelves here at home and I simply can't justify purchasing an ereader of some sort and starting all over again! As for the high cost of hardcopy books–I frequent my favorite used book stores here in town and I almost never buy a hardcover brand new (unless it is one of my absolute favorite authors). So I don't see an ereader in my near future!

    (Sigh) I will probably die one of those crazy neighborhood ladies surrounded by my dogs, cats and piles of antiquated books. 🙂

  11. Julie: I agree as far as HC but there are times where I am too impatient to wait for the HC to become available.

  12. Julie: P.S. (sorry hubby was talking to me and I got distracted) Vin has been notified of your comment and will answer shortly. Thank you for stopping by.

  13. Sick the royalty police on Julie :)))
    Julie I confess I too am a big fan of used bookstores. can't tell you how many copies of my own books I've picked up there…But you know, you can download a Kindle reader for free on your computer or phone…
    Again, I don't want anyone to think I'm advocating one over the other. What I'm saying is, the future is the E-Book, can't deny it and as an author it makes good economic sense to embrace the technology….Check out this blog I wrote about another author's blog JAKonrath is the Messiah of the new Indy publishing movement…

  14. For Giovanni:
    I'm not too worried about the big editors losing their jobs over the new indy movement. Case and point. When "As Catch Can" was first pub'd in hardcover in 1999, Delacorte handed over a mid-six figure advance. All was going swimmingly for six months including a record Japanese sale, two prepub articles in Publisher's Weekly, awesome reviews like "Brilliant.." from the New York Post, etc. That is until word of dreaded corporate takeover started poisoning the entire office. Meanwhile I'd made great friend with my then editor Jacob Hoye. But suddenly all promo on the book stopped, while everyone pondered their future. I walked into the Bertlesman Building in Times Square one sunny afternoon only to run into my chief acquiring editor walking out with her desk lamp in her hand, tears flowing down her cheeks. The corporate takeover was a reality and she was out on her behind. So was everyone else including most of the authors. Bantam Dell reluctantly took over my contract and pretty much just crapped out the followup, "Godchild." After that, I was left to wallow in obscurity and it was a lot like being out of work. I lost a wife over it including my health for a while. Then I wrote "Moonlight Falls," and one of the best agents in the world gladly took it on, Suzanne Gluck. But I get rejections across the board including a nasty one from Charlie Spicer at St. Martin's Press who actually bid on "Catch" when it went out for auction. He said, "Great book but nothing here to overcome Vincent's troubled publishing past." In a word, that's slanderous. It was corporate greed that led to a troubled publishing past, not the writing. So do I care if Mr. Spicer or any of the rest of them lose their jobs? No. In fact, I'll be happy to hire him to edit DEAD MAN prior to publication….And BTW Mr. Spicer, Moonlight Falls is kicking serious ass, along with some real movie interest…

  15. Vin: even tho I am hosting today, I am also learning. I have a question..Is "Godchild" and "Catch" available for EReaders or are they available has Print? Also I am part of this "revolutionary experiment" whereas I will be downloading to my EReader "The Remains" for review. But actually is your experiment?

  16. One more thing for Vincent (a little off topic)–who are some of your favorite authors today? I mean the ones you would be willing to pay full price for a hardcover! 🙂

  17. Curiously, Cheryl, my agent is still in the process of re-acquiring the e-rights to those books. I have a solid offer from Stone House to re-pub them as E-Books, so it's coming, I just don't know when…. And as for my next novel, The Remains, it comes out in June as an EBook followed by the Trade Paper in November. Stone House Ink is the publisher…a big experiment in that it's usually the paper that comes out first, not the other way around. But Stone House believes it will be an EBook best seller right out of the gate…

  18. Hey Julie again,
    I will always pay the big bucks for Jim Harrison, Heath Lowrance (an up and coming noir author), Charlie Huston (but he's only published in trade these days like me), Ernest Hemingway, Norman Mailer, etc….

  19. Thank you all for stopping by today. The comments and questions have been fantastic.

    Vin and I are going to take a short break and be back at 2pm or there abouts. So keep those thought and questions ready and he will be replying to all. In the meantime, here is the link, where his book "Moonlight Falls" that is currently on tour, can be purchased See you at 2pm

  20. Well Vin, as I told you earlier your book is currently in the TRB pile, and would love to read DEAD MAN, and hehe review both of them for my little bit of followers and readers, and I usually donate a copy to the library in Rochester VT, even though I live here in Austin.

    So if you do go the self published route, do you think you might revive some of your older works also?

  21. I want to respond to someone who mentioned the future of picture books. I am a visual artist and image is very hard to reproduce authentically in digital form. Okay, so a flat repro is a very slim facsimile to a painting…for example surface marks, etc, BUT many of these image books are quite large, so you can get a sense of the work. Also, screen color calibration is never quite spot on, and there are some great publishers out there working very hard to get as close a representation of actual artwork as possible. SO, I would say that those publishers will never suffer, and think about how many kinds of picture books there are: Gallery/ museum catalogs, artist(sculpture, painting, multi-media, photography) monographs or complete catalogs of work, children's books. As an artist, I would be resistant to having someone view my work only in a digital platform(like my website). have a catalog of books for myself and my students to refer to. It's very hard to browse a digital bookshelf of artist books…college libraries are going to compact shelving, where my students will not have the experience of browsing an artist's work. Right now much is done by surfing the internet and with very little policing of quality…and well, that's another story. Nice discussion today, thanks!

  22. If I self-publish anything it will be older MSs that for one perceived economic reason or another didn't sell…Like DEAD MAN for instance…But I plan on continuing with traditional publishing, albeit with the new Indy EBook/Trade Paper model…The money and longevity of the book is much much better :)))

  23. Ha…just kidding, but I suspect the post left by anonymous is my girlfriend…But in any case, she has a good point…I'm not sure digital tech has yet caught up with the picture book or coffee table book. That will always be a different animal and just one example of how paper will never die a complete death….

  24. Vin: You said that "The Remains" ebook will be available in June, when will "Dead Man" be released?

  25. Hi Cheryl…no set date yet, and for all I know, Stone House might buy it and pub it under a different imprint…But if I end up DIYing it, it will come out nest spring or late winter…

  26. Vin: How did you come up with the names of your characters in "Moonlight Falls" and in your other books as well.

  27. And one other question. How do you decide on your story line? Say the plot for "Moonlight Falls". Is it an item taken from news, t.v. etc?

  28. I'm not sure about Moonlight other than I like the notion of a waning and waxing moon and I believe that character names should mean something…In other words, I'm a true believer in contrived names.:)….Max Frisch always did this very well. John Irving too.

  29. Its 3:30 pm est and a beautiful day here in New England. Vin and I are signing off. I want to thank all that were part of today's discussion. And most of all, I personally want to say THANK YOU to author VINCENT ZANDRI for generously giving us his time on such a gorgeous day. He said that if any comments are posted after we sign off, that he will check back later today at some point and respond. It just so happens that "Moonlight Falls" was the next book in my Review TBR pile, which I started this morning and am anxious to get back to reading. So again, thank you all who took part in today's event and Happy Reading!

  30. Aside from liking to hold a real book in my hand, my bookshelf is filled with books written by people I know, plus old favorites I go back to from time to time. I'm all for the convenience of e-books, but I don't see them as ever holding any particular sentimental value. Alice in Wonderland, a book I've had since childhood, still holds a place of honor in my personal library.

  31. I hope you do another session Vin, it was a pleasure to see an author talk about e-books, books, and publishing.

    I look forward to reading more of your work.

  32. Kolleen: Thank you. It was a pleasure of having him spend time with us. And getting to meet new friends, like yourself. Vin will be back in July as a Guest Author for his tour of "The Remains" which will be released next month on EReaders. And maybe we can coax him into doing another "Meet & Greet" Event. It truly was enjoyable, and thank you for stopping by.
    Cheryl "Mash"

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