I had a blog prepared, bemoaning the lack of interest re-electronic books as portrayed by the media in general but was neatly intercepted by a good friend who was kind enough to point out a quite glaring faux-pas in my presumptions. The gist of the blog remains true to what I firmly believe but I have been saved from embarrassing myself by that timely intervention.
Anyway, suffice to say I'm delighted to be part of what could prove to be a shot in the arm to independent online publishing.
That most vociferous of authors, Stephen King, experimented some years ago with Ebooks by releasing a new novel via the internet to gauge how it would be received by the public at large. I didn't hear tell of any complaints from the man, nor from his vast readership, so I presumed all had gone well. Imagine my surprise then-and this is where that aforementioned intervention kicks in-when Mr King, the multimillionaire, multimillion selling, best-selling author Mr Stephen King, announced that his next-presumed to be best-selling blockbuster novel-would NOT be made available in digital format. What chance then for the rainforests, and indeed the planet, when modern technology is so callously ignored in respect of the mighty dollar? The poor man must surely be down to his last 100 million or so to act so irresponsibly, so downright greedily for the sake of that few extra quid. In his own words, he wants people to get up off their respective arses and go to the nearest bookstore to purchase. Easier said than done these days.
What Ebook publishing needs, I think, is a champion. Perhaps a high profile author who is prepared to stand up and stick two fingers in the face of the establishment and take the opposite route from King by presenting his/her next masterpiece as Ebook only. Readers these days have the unprecedented option of perusing the first few chapters of any novel before buying, thus proving to themselves, and indeed the world at large, that they are capable of absorbing the written word via the screen. Why then, should they feel the urge to rush out and buy the physical tome when purchasing the electronic version would work out both cheaper and less harmful to the environment?
Back to today, and, for the first time since I moved back to my homeland almost seven years ago, I actually failed to get out of Glasgow Street.
I set off, as usual, with the intention of walking the shoreline in search of inspiration and a generous helping of fresh air...
My first port of call is usually the indoor bowling club, workplace of my good friend Ronnie. I call him uncle Ronnie because he's a good eighteen months older than me, and he doesn't seem to be the least bit offended by that. Ronnie, the chef, often provides me with a couple of scones for another friend of mine, Grace, who once lived in the same block as myself but had to give her flat up because of the stairs; she's getting on a bit. Being (so called) summer, Ronnie has a well earned rest on Wednesdays so I headed straight for Grace's new ground-level flat to say hello in passing. The telly is always loud, she never hears me coming in although I give a hearty cooeee when I enter. Grace was talking to the remote, shouting at it and I saw why when I entered the living room. The menu box took up half of the screen and the remote wasn't responding to her touch. I fiddled with it, pressed every key, twice, switched the set on and off, twice, then spent a good ten minutes rooting in her kitchen drawer for new batteries; that did the trick. I gave Grace half an hour of my patter before continuing on my way.
I encounter many acquaintances on Glasgow Street and often stop for a chat. For that reason, there's never any real sense in inserting the ipod rabbit ears until I get beyond the post office, where I tend to cross the road, but once across I'm engrossed in the music. I heard my name being called above the dulcet tones of Steve Forbert and turned to see James, the tree surgeon, waving to me from the doorway of Charlie's bar, and walked back the few paces to shake his hand and to ask after his health. As is ever the case, one pint begged another and I found myself belly-up to the bar for the half dozen, or was it seven? Having walked past the hole-in-the-wall at the post office, I found myself back there in order to fund my stay in the pub; it would have been rude not to. James took his leave and I followed suit, calling at Albert's chippy for a special fish supper before heading for home. I stacked up a few choice albums on the media player, polished off the fish and washed it down with a nice cup of coffee. The sun woke me. Before opening my eyes I was sure I was in bed, it was so warm, but the sun hit my face and had me wondering why I was still fully clothed. I made another coffee and realised I hadn't left the street all day. All being well, it'll be a double walk tomorrow.
By the way: I've never ever wished this on any author, but, I hope no one bothers to buy that fellow King's new book... I really do.