Sunday, March 28, 2010

Short and Scary

It's lovely to see the news about Short and Scary getting out there. Here's a link to Sheryl Gwyther comment. And Sheryl's story is well worth reading.

Monday, March 22, 2010

no twitter or blogs in China

It was frustrating not to be able to twitter or blog from China, where I was for a week from last Wednesday. When I went to do either the message came up that I couldn't access the server. I could access Chinese language blogs (which I couldn't read) but I couldn't access English language blogs.

I assume freedom of speech, so it was a small but stark and frustrating personal reminder of what happens when it just isn't there.

ereader market research

Twice in the the last three days, while I've been reading my Sony e-reader (a manuscript), while waiting for a coffee people have come up and asked me what it is and what do I know about e-readers. Both were keen readers, both loved the printed book AND both wanted something they could take travelling. They both said they did a lot of travelling. The attraction for both readers was something light with lots of books on it. They wanted a choice of reading while they were away. The young woman this morning also wanted not only leisure reading but textbooks for the course she was studying. Maybe this is where the e-readers will establish a foothold in our market (from a giant sample of two) - people doing a lot of travel who are willing to invest in a device small enough to hold in your lap while reading and with the advantage that it gives them a huge choice in reading.

Obviously its the best way for me to do market research on e-readers is to stand around (or sit) in public, reading my e-reader, and wait for people to come and ask me.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

interactive ebooks

I haven't blogged in ages but I was inspired by this article in the Huffington Post. I like the idea of adding bells and whistles to a book - as a maker of books - but I'm not a believer. A book is not about choice; it's about an author taking the reader by the hand and leading you where they want to take you. That gives the reader a sense of security that is the pleasure of reading. Too much choice destroys the willing suspension of disbelief (in the case of fiction) Once a teen reader leaves a book for a game, they won't be coming back. I'm not convinced that more, more choice, is better.