by Jewel Stone (awa Dominique Sinclair)
Epublishing. The word evokes an emotional response in all who hear the word. Fear, doubt, question, possibilities are some of the words that flutter through the mind when epublishing is brought up. Many fear epublishing will someday take over print books. Some doubt epublishing will evolve. Others question the technology. And yet, the possibilities . . . they are endless.
As a writer and an author, I have mused over all these feelings. I would be saddened if the day came when I could not curl up in my bed, or soak in the bathtub with my beloved books. They are dear to me, the way they feel, look, and read. I doubt sitting at a computer or hold a palm reader could ever replace my paperback book. And still I wonder about the children who are being raised on computers, for them it is a natural place to be. Will reading from a techno gizmo be as comfortable to them as a paper book is to me? Quite possibly. There has been recent talk about putting student textbooks on palm readers to lighten the load of heavy backpacks that can damage a child’s back. I would never have imagined such a thing twenty years ago lugging my stuffed bag to and from school. At first glance, I felt unsure of these ebooks, even skeptical. Realizing my feelings rooted from a fear of my printed book being taken away, I then analyzed the possibilities.
Only after confronting my fear was I able to understand the advantages of ebooks. I no longer view ebooks as a threat, but as an additional tool to quench my thirst for written script. Should I find myself without something to read, I can simply go to my computer and select a novel to read from a potpourri of talented authors. At the office, I can click onto a novel and relax a few minutes without my coworkers knowing I’m taking a break. If I’m flying across country and have nothing to occupy my time, I can open my laptop, log on and enjoy a delightful tale. Should I not find anything refreshing to read on the bookshelf, I can check out a new author with a unique writing style that traditional publishers would shy away from.
All of these possibilities occurred to me, then I realized that ebooks could benefit other people even more greatly than I. A person who has lost the ability to hold objects with their hands would be unable to hold a book and turn the pages. What a disappointing way to live out the rest of your life, especially for someone who has always loved reading. This person could download a book on the computer and with a simple movement of the mouse be able to read unassisted. For those who have trouble reading the small script in a book, an ebook comes up on a larger screen, and some programs even allow you to enlarge the text. Someone with limited mobility may not be able to go to town often enough to buy books, or the mail order hasn’t arrived. An ebook can be downloaded in minutes without bothering to call for a ride or ask someone to bring books. Epublishing not only offers books on the web, but a wealth of online articles and information available at your fingertips. Fear put aside, the possibilities are endless.
Coming to understand this led me to the decision to contract two of my books with epublishers. Although a rather new concept, I believe my novel will find it’s way to many people looking for an alternate method of reading. As an author, this is the greatest gift of all, knowing my story will touch someone’s life. And with that, a part of me will live in their dreams and fantasies.