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Thread: The changing face of publishing

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    Default The changing face of publishing



    Unless you are JK Rowling or Steven King, it is a tough time for authors at the moment but, in my opinion, great for the reader! I have had four books published by the traditional route and three shorter works self-published. As my first four books were published by Springer they reached a wide audience. However, I had always wanted to write a beginner book but Springer (quite understandably!) didn't want to do one, neither with me nor anybody else.

    I'd tried a few other publishers but was turned down. Eventually I self-published one. If you trawl the writing forums, there is a lot of opposition to self-publishing and I can see why. Why would someone spend about £25-£30 for a professionally-written and published book when you can read a lot for free on the 'net.

    The problem is that the traditional book is dying a slow death, while there is a lot of self-published stuff of (apparently) dubious quality. I am not alone in one way: many people who have been traditionally published, use the self-publishing route because we have what we think are good ideas that traditional publishers don't feel fit in with their collection. However, I must admit that my traditionally-published books are way outselling the self-published ones.

    I think, in most eyes, a something via a publisher has more credibility. Many full-time writers consider that self-published books are harming their living, as it gives less talented writers the ability to put trash out there that would never see the light of day. On the other hand I have read some interesting free books using a Kindle app (although not astronomy-related).

    One advantage I consider with writing for Kindle is that the traditional route can take months for a published book to appear. Revising a book to keep up with current trends is just too expensive in many cases. What I'm doing with some of my low-cost shorter works is keeping them up-to-date and, in my case, replacing images with better versions.

    Whilst many people do much of their reading online, I think there is still a place for printed books and, from a consumer's perspective, enjoy both.

    I'm interested to know what your reading likes/dislikes are and how you see the industry going.
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    Default Re: The changing face of publishing

    j.gardavsky and Clouded Out like this.
    .

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    Default Re: The changing face of publishing

    I have purchased a few hard copy/printed astronomy books over the past couple of years.



    Maybe it's just me, but I'm reluctant to actually buy a downloaded book, and tend to prefer old fashioned paper. Possibly as I don't own anything that can actually use the Kindle format. I might be wrong about this but AFAIK there is an Amazon lock-in with Kindle.

    https://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Guten...le_Fire_Review

    However, I do tend to read downloads from Project Gutenberg as my Android tablet (Nexus 7), ChromeBook and my Lenovo G500 (running Ubuntu) can read in the ePub format.



    FB Reader is available for most Debian based Linux systems and ePub's can also be read on Windows with Sumatra.

    https://www.sumatrapdfreader.org/free-pdf-reader.html

    There is a self-publishing Gutenberg site: Project Gutenberg Self-Publishing - eBooks | Read eBooks online | Free eBooks

    I think this lack of standardisation in formatting is what makes me prefer buying printed books on astronomy. Well, that and they don't need anything with batteries. The actual cost of an individual book is an important factor. I understand amateur astronomy is a bit niche but it can be disappointing to discover printing errors, loose pages or badly realised photographs, especially if the book was comparatively expensive. I assume these problems are all connected to the actual economics of printing specialised 'hobbyist' books.

    Sorry, I probably haven't actually answered your original question lol.
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    Default Re: The changing face of publishing

    I guess maybe I'm old fashioned also, but I do prefer printed media when it comes to books and magazines and the like. I do a ton of research and reading of articles online, but for "volume" work or writing I don not want to be tethered to the internet or an electronic device to enjoy a good read. I still prefer to sit down with a book in hand and be able to enjoy that material connection. It saddens me to see the trend to electronic media. Ohhh, the sensation of walking into an old fashioned book store and breathing in the aroma of paper parchment and print. That is a world of its own, and one in which I can get completely lost in my own little world.
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    Default Re: The changing face of publishing

    Quote Originally Posted by SpyderwerX View Post
    . Ohhh, the sensation of walking into an old fashioned book store and breathing in the aroma of paper parchment and print. That is a world of its own, and one in which I can get completely lost in my own little world.
    This is something I can relate to!
    Where I work the folks across from us in the complex do book binding. The owner invited me for a tour of the facilities just this week.
    Walking in you are bashed over the head with that new book smell, it felt like I had died and gone to heaven.
    .

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    Default Re: The changing face of publishing

    Quote Originally Posted by Shorty Barlow View Post
    I have purchased a few hard copy/printed astronomy books over the past couple of years.



    Maybe it's just me, but I'm reluctant to actually buy a downloaded book, and tend to prefer old fashioned paper. Possibly as I don't own anything that can actually use the Kindle format. I might be wrong about this but AFAIK there is an Amazon lock-in with Kindle.

    https://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Guten...le_Fire_Review

    However, I do tend to read downloads from Project Gutenberg as my Android tablet (Nexus 7), ChromeBook and my Lenovo G500 (running Ubuntu) can read in the ePub format.



    FB Reader is available for most Debian based Linux systems and ePub's can also be read on Windows with Sumatra.

    https://www.sumatrapdfreader.org/free-pdf-reader.html

    There is a self-publishing Gutenberg site: Project Gutenberg Self-Publishing - eBooks | Read eBooks online | Free eBooks

    I think this lack of standardisation in formatting is what makes me prefer buying printed books on astronomy. Well, that and they don't need anything with batteries. The actual cost of an individual book is an important factor. I understand amateur astronomy is a bit niche but it can be disappointing to discover printing errors, loose pages or badly realised photographs, especially if the book was comparatively expensive. I assume these problems are all connected to the actual economics of printing specialised 'hobbyist' books.

    Sorry, I probably haven't actually answered your original question lol.
    You can install the Kindle app on most PCs and tablets. You have given an interesting answer, thanks.
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    Default Re: The changing face of publishing

    I guess there is the question of whether you read primarily for information or interest. I do both. I read the Astronomy FM online mag most of all.
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    Default Re: The changing face of publishing

    when travelling books are weight. I used to do a lot of projects where I was on site for 6 to 8 weeks at a time. To take enough book to read for that period would take a lot of space and be heavy (you would be surprised at what paper weighs). In this scenario e-books win.

    That said there is nothing like a nice thick solid book in your hands.
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    Default Re: The changing face of publishing

    My main issue is not the format (I read hard copies and books on my phone), but how to find a good read in the sea of garbage, no matter self-published or not. I appreciate chapter previews on Kindle, but often I waste hours sifting through those previews trying to find something worth reading. More often than not I end up going back to classics.

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    Default Re: The changing face of publishing

    I much prefer a book to reading something on a electronic device.
    I have to be around computers all day and the last thing I want to do is stare at a screen to read something... (a bit contrary being a mod here)
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