Real Mistakes, Real Laughs:

Air bases were built on captured islands of Tinian, Saipan, and Guam but they were barley within the range of the long-range bombers.

(hope the bombadiers weren't on gluten-free diets)

Didn't catch the typo? Scroll to bottom of page

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Gimme an E...book

It's been ten years (really five, in technology years) since the eBook first appeared on the scene to change reading life as we know it. I'm talking way back, before Facebook and Twitter, when DOS was still a viable part of our techno-reality. I was still hunting for a publisher for Far Above Rubies when my then-agent hooked introduced me to a man with a vision: treat eBooks with the same respect as we do print books, and the industry will sit up and take notice. He started an e-publishing house that considered only agented submissions. Their eBooks were inexpensive downloads available in eReader-friendly formats. eBooks were, as they say, the wave of the future.

Many predicted it wouldn't last, this newfangled eBook nonsense. eReaders were strange, pricey, cumbersome gadgets that didn't work well in bright sunlight's glare. PDF downloads were cheap and easy, but reading an entire book on your PC monitor? Besides, nothing would supplant a real book, the way a hefty hardcover felt in your hands, the convenience of reading a paperback at the beach or in the tub, the beautifully designed dust jacket or parchment pages converting your particle-board bookshelves into a dignified library.

eBooks kept a small cult following but faded into relative obscurity. All but the strongest e-publishers folded, and the print publishing industry -- whether they'll admit it today or not -- breathed a collective sigh of relief.

But the times, they are a-changin' and Americans were bitten by the "green" bug. Suddenly eReaders became the perfect alternative to pulp, and along came a little device called Kindle. So what's different now? Certainly an endorsement by Amazon doesn't hurt. Perhaps it's just that the eReader's time has come. eBook Week is a good indication. But don't be surprised when the next generation of cell phones boast an e-Book application. You won't even need to use the built-in GPS to find a physical book store.

Celebrate eBook Week with paranormal women's novel Remote Control, available electronically from Echelon Press, Fictionwise, and of course from Amazon Kindle. Visit www.cynthiapolansky.com

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