Okay, so Jonathan Franzen doesn’t ‘get’ ebooks. Good for him. He needs press coverage for this? He’s got the press’ attention, so what does he say? Crawl back in the womb. The Future is BAD. Ebooks will never replace the tactile experience of reading a rotting piece of treeware. I can agree with that. Mind you, the smell of books was never as fine as the smell of a nice piece of well-preserved papyrus, in my books (you see what I just did there?).
But if what you’re saying is that E-Readers are impermanent, I beg to differ. Not only is my Kobo studier than most of the fiction novels in my collection (I can’t afford lots of hardbacks), but it won’t get dog-eared and the cover won’t fall off if I re-read it too many times. I’ll never have to go to a book store and replace entire swathes of my collection due to water or fire damage. Absolute worst comes to worst, I have to replace my computer’s ebook collection AND the books on my replacement Kobo. That should take me all of, say, ten days, tops. If I start loading my collection to a cloud storage site, make it ten minutes.
Think about THAT while you sniff your dead tree matter, Jon. I’m not a serious enough reader for you? Fucking luddite snob. In fifty years, books will be a niche market, like classic cars and vinyl records, but they’ll never truly go away. You know what will be forgotten in fifty years? You, unless you get your head out of your ass and start paying attention to your potential (and growing) audience.
Funny irony. I was in print in 2003. No, seriously. That’s when Link: West and my Dark Guild stories were first published. And you know what? I got one notice and maybe a handful of gamer fans from that… and I think that stretches the point as far as it will go. My ebooks have been sampled or read by more people than ever really cracked open a copy of Link: West, even if it did sell out in first run pre-orders. I can see the future pretty clearly from where I’m sitting.
For starters, I’ll actually make some money off of Dark Guild, because that’s a miracle that’ll never happen with Link: West. None of that money ever came my way. Not one thin dime. Keep your dead treeware, Jon. Your precious New Yorker will live on in E-Readers the world over, and your novels? Well, maybe someone will include them in their torrent collection somewhere. I don’t know. I haven’t looked.
Change of Die.