The Kindle has landed

Indeed it has. Amazon have managed to grab just about everyone’s attention in the UK ebook world this week with the launch of the UK store, and the new Kindle, finally for sale over Here (as opposed to over There).  Even the BBC have got in on the act. Of course, we all knew it was coming. The part where we had to re-price all our Amazon ebook titles in £ rather than $ was a particularly fun spreadsheet to fill out (seriously, spreadsheets containing metadata are the bane of my life).  The interesting part of the story personally was the fact that publishers won’t be setting their ebook prices. Pricing seems to be the big elephant in the room that people occasionally look at and then decide that actually they don’t want to deal with just now. I’m very lucky in the fact that I don’t have the responsibility for any decisions of this nature, and I’m so new to publishing that I really wouldn’t want said responsibility!! I’m quite happy to sit back and just learn as much as I can for now. I spend awful amounts of time at work sat at my desk, realising that I’m totally out of my depth when it comes to the publishing industry.  I’m beginning to wish that I signed up for the mentoring scheme I had the opportunity to join earlier this year.  It would be great to have somebody outside of work, but inside the industry, to ask questions of.  Sadly at the time I hadn’t actually begun working at ACB so didn’t feel that I could take the place of someone else (not that getting on the scheme was a given).  This may have been an error on my part, but it can’t be helped. I’ll carry on feeling a bit like a fish out of water and trying to at least give the impression that I know what I’m doing.

So while I find the story about Amazon pricing more interesting than the Kindle being launched in the UK, I don’t feel I have the authority to comment on the story.  Apologies if you were looking for insight, that I cannot provide! Anything I say will likely be either a) mundane, or b) wrong. And I wouldn’t want to be either.  Believe me, I’d love to have the experience to be able to give an authoritative opinion on this, and on the fact that Andrew Wylie is bypassing publishers altogether. I *know* these things are of import, and I can see the consequences, but I can’t write about them.

The other fact of note here is that I’ve never bought an ebook in my life so I have no personal investment in what the cost of them is. I don’t own an ebook reader (other than my iphone) and I have no desire to buy one.  I cannot fathom the appeal of reading something electronically rather than having a physical book.  Personally, it’s not for me.  I spend all day staring at a screen at work, and do plenty of that in my free time. I don’t want to eliminate the major activity in my life that doesn’t involve pixels.  I realise that, given my job, this is a bit ridiculous, but not owning a reader doesn’t mean that I can’t be enthusiastic about producing quality ebooks. It just means that I’m not a consumer of my product. Which is fine. When I produced exam papers I wasn’t a consumer of those either.  In a way, perhaps being ‘platform neutral’ is a good thing.  I have no preference for the Kindle, or the Sony eReader, or Kobo’s reader, or even the iPad and any other reader you care to name. For me they’re all the same – devices that you can read books on. I don’t have much of an opinion on the benefits of one over another.

And so, to what conclusion do these ramblings bring me?

Well, firstly, that I have the good sense not to comment on something before I’ve learned my trade, because there are far more knowledgeable people than me out there.  Secondly, that one device is much the same as another, but this will change if not all books are available equally. Thirdly, that I really should get on with checking that epub…

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~ by kymethra on July 30, 2010.

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