Quill and Quire points out to the oncoming revolution that e-books are about to bring to what we read and write.
With the growing onslaught of e-readers and e-books, will readers see a shift in the average length of new books? Might we see longer books, because publishers are no longer constrained by the costs and sheer weight of a War and Peace-sized tome? Or will there be a deluge of novellas by authors freed from the pressure of writing a book of a certain length?
As a writer you cannot look at it without your heart beating stronger. Do you smell it? Yes, that’s what creative freedom smells like, it’s the lack of constraints. Today, if your write and want to publish in North America (particularly when you write genre fiction), you have to ensure that your novel fulfills certain requirements. Unfamiliar with the North American publishing model? Think of it as a chain store, for instance HomeDepot — big box, but in reality very limited choice. Call it uniformity. It comprises several points: broadly, if vaguely defined quality, book length, title, characters, even setting. These are all part of the scheme that you have to employ if you want to be considered for publication. At least one of those may be waved now and become irrelevant as far as production costs vs profit are concerned: book length. You may be able to forget the 100,000 word requirement, forget about filling blanks with scenery descriptions and pronouns. You can let your creativity reign, and pour out of you, even if it works out to “only” 70,000 words.
From a reader’s standpoint, this is just as important. Were you putting away all seven volumes of Marcel Proust’s classic, or that bulky War and Peace, afraid that they won’t fit into your holiday suitcase, or on the subway? This all becomes irrelevant now. You can fit thousands more into your pocket, and it won’t break your back. Do you like to read several books simultaneously, few pages here, few pages there? Good news: now you can carry your entire library with you, and dive into it anytime, wherever you are.
Welcome revolution. Welcome Che… I mean: eReader!