Like a lot of people today, I often feel that I don’t have enough time to do all the things I need to do. I look around my office and wonder, if it was ransacked, would I notice? So many things are happening in my life at the moment that it’s difficult to see spare time landing in my lap so I can do those chores that pile up, like going through my winter wardrobe now the colder weather is here. After all, I’d planned to go through my summer clothing several months ago, failed miserably, and ended up wearing old faithfuls that I knew I didn’t have to make a decision about.
Organising WriteFest has taken a bigger chunk out of my time this year. So many glitches – even the flights I’d booked for the workshop presenters were changed by the airline almost before the confirmation email arrived in my in-box. But everyone I’ve spoken with seems to be having just as hectic and chaotic a year.
So is it a universal happening? On the news tonight it showed the unrest in Europe, the governments that are changing, the possible collapse of the European Union. Is the continuing fallout from the global financial crisis gathering like a snowball down a slope, pulling everyone into its ever-growing unrest? We in Australia have been relatively isolated from the terrible effects of the GFC felt by other countries, but I doubt this will continue for much longer as we are part of the global market. Publishing is part of that global market, and the caution being displayed by publishers here in Oz makes it harder than ever for writers to sell their manuscript. The other side of that coin is the rise in e-book publishers and the increase in e-book sales.
As an author with books in both mediums, print and electronic, I am filled with hope that e-publishing allows my stories to reach a wider readership than my print books ever could. But I’m also sad that the time might come that a print version of my books simply won’t exist.
How do you, the readers, feel about e-books? Do you rejoice at the lower price, the lack of cluttered bookcases, the joy of many many books on one slim e-reader? Or do you crave the tactile sensation of turning a page, of smoothing your hand across the cover of your favourite book? I’d love to hear your feelings about this.