Comes the Dawn! An Agent Admits It’s Hard to Make E-Books
Thank you, Andrew Zack, for telling the world something we’ve been preaching for years: making e-books is harder than it looks. More expensive too, as he explains in painful detail in a recent posting in Huffington Post.
They didn’t believe us when we wrote Looking for Tedium? E-Books Are Your Medium. They didn’t believe us when we wrote Metadata: Miracle Cure for Insomnia. They didn’t believe us when we wrote All About BISAC Codes. And they didn’t believe us when we wrote Mastering the Mysteries of Metadata. In vain have we chronicled in excruciating detail the technical challenges and not inconsiderable costs of manufacturing and distributing e-books. But now we have been validated.
Zack is an agent who like a growing number of his profession has launched an e-book publishing venture (a transformation that was once known as Going Over to the Dark Side but has now become as commonplace as potato chips).
“As a literary agent,” he writes, “I fell victim to the same false conclusions I think most readers do, that e-books are easily produced from paper books. But that’s not quite true.” He proceeds to recite a litany of difficulties that came as a surprise to him but come as none to those who have toiled in the rocky soil of electronic publishing for decades.
His conclusion? “The next time you pick up your eBook reader, keep in mind that just because the book doesn’t weigh four pounds doesn’t mean that the author didn’t sweat blood and cry real tears writing that book, that an editor didn’t stay up late in the night providing notes to that author to make the book better, and that copyeditors and proofreaders and other production people didn’t put the same effort into that eBook as they would a printed book. And each of those individuals deserves to make a living from their hard labor. So buy e-books, pay a fair price, and enjoy!”
Amen, Brother Andrew. Amen.
Here is Zack’s complete blog post: Making E-books Is Harder Than It Looks