Saturday 27 August 2011

Free Ereaders Coming Soon!

I’ve been thinking about the publishing industry and, more specifically, about where the publishing industry is headed and what it will mean for readers and authors - the rise of ebooks, the decline of print books etc etc. And then something occurred to me. Ereaders will soon be free.

Of course they will. It’s blindingly obvious to me now. Kindles and Nooks and Kobo Readers will be given away or sold for a fraction of their current price. Surely the real revenue is in the thousands of books we download each month. If Amazon wants to sell Kindle books, it has to make sure everyone owns a Kindle.

Maybe readers will pay a monthly subscription, like a mobile phone tariff. For example: Get a free Kindle 3G for a monthly payment of $20 and receive 4 free downloads.

As authors, we might even be given the opportunity to opt in to the ‘monthly subscription programme’, where we receive a set fee each time a reader chooses our ebook as one of their monthly downloads.

At the moment, a lot of video games consoles are sold at a huge loss because the games themselves are where the money is. So it follows that the same could happen with Ereaders.

And where would this leave the author? Wouldn’t it eventually make more sense to go directly to the ereader manufacturer rather than via a traditional publisher?

So this takes me back to my initial pondering about where the publishing industry is heading. What of the traditional publisher? In the short term, print books will still be around, but if everyone owns a free ereader, why would anyone want a paperback? Aside from nostalgic and aesthetic reasons, of course.

As an author, I can buy in editing, design and formatting from freelancers, get it straight from Amazon or do it myself. Which means, one day maybe we’ll all be indie authors. Interesting times.

Sunday 21 August 2011

Author: Winslow Eliot

Bad things happen to other people. Not to us. Crista's husband says this often, right up to the day his car goes off the cliff, killing him. Then she learns he was married to someone else. She's fired from her job and evicted. She and her two children move to Tahton, the small town she fled 25 years earlier, vowing never to return. As she begins to recover from the shock of betrayal, his ‘real’ wife contacts her, looking for something valuable…that Crista doesn’t even know she has.

What will readers like about your book?
Any reader who enjoys romantic, suspenseful page turners I hope will like A Perfect Gem. My books are written for pleasure and entertainment. My greatest joy is when a reader tells me they stayed up all night reading one of my books. I write to make readers happy. I have a happiness guarantee on them – if you don’t like it - and you’ve bought it from my website – I’ll give you a 100% refund.

What inspired you to write it?
Two things came together one hot summer afternoon: First, I was driving along a quiet country road after a fabulous encounter with a wonderful man - Bernie Fallon (author of 'Goodology.') At the time he owned the Public Market in my village, and he's very much like Gareth in 'A Perfect Gem.'

Then, on my way home, I noticed a small, handmade sign by the side of the road that said "Crystals and Gems" and a funny arrow pointing up a driveway I'd never seen it before, even though I know this road by heart! Of course I pulled in. There was no one around, so I went around the side of the house to a small barn in the back and there were these two odd-looking gentlemen with a barn full of the most amazing crystals and gems you've ever seen. (This is all true, I swear.) I spent hours and hours with them, touching the stones, learning all about them, sitting in the sun as I held one, talking about their travels... That whole experience seems other-worldly. Afterward, I tried to get in touch with them, but never saw either them or that barn again.

Do you have any new works in the pipeline?
Yes – PURSUED will be published in fall 2011. Here’s the blurb: “A storm–a disaster–a theft. When Kale Trenton’s most valuable possession is stolen, investigative reporter Leigh Gardner vows to go to the ends of the earth to bring it back. She chases every lead, explores every possibility, and hunts down Kale’s rival, Peregrine, to find it. How far will Leigh go to bring it back, and will she survive?”

Who are your favorite authors?
I have so many! Daphne Du Maurier, Georgette Heyer, Susan Elizabeth Phillips. But probably the author who has had the most influence is my grandmother, Ethel Cook Eliot. She wrote wonderful children’s books (The House Above the Trees, The Wind Boy). She also wrote teenage mysteries, way before the term Young Adult was coined. She’s mystical, romantic, wise, and, best of all, a good story-teller. That’s my ideal writer.

Tell us something about yourself that not many people know.
I’m a belly dancer!

Thanks so much for sharing a bit about yourself, Winslow. I'm really looking forward to reading A Perfect Gem.

If you’d like to learn more, here’s Winslow’s website and you can find her books at Amazon and Smashwords.

Winslow Eliot's Author Bio:
My greatest pleasure is entertaining readers with tales of romance and thought-provoking posts about writing in general, and poetry, teaching, and inspiration in particular. My free online newsletter, WriteSpa – Oasis for Writers, welcomes visitors from all over the world. Besides writing novels and my WriteSpa, I teach high school English (not sure if that’s a hobby or a job, or both!).