I finished working through the copy edits for THE CHILD THIEF several days ago and, since then, I’ve finished editing a novel which I’m not going to tell you about – yet. So now I’m at the stage where I’m thinking about what I’m going to write next. Well, I say that, but I’ve actually been thinking about it for quite a while now – the next novel is always skulking around in a dark corner of my mind, feeding on the woodlice and the dust mites, getting bigger and bigger.

In the meantime, the Frankfurt Book Fair is now in full swing and I, like so many other authors, am nervously wondering if my publisher will manage to stir up a good amount of interest in my books. Those foreign rights sales are important, and it’s a funny old time for publishing at the moment – and by ‘funny’ I actually mean ‘scary’. Traditional publishing is being beseiged by the ever-growing boom of the self-published e-book and by the ever-growing dominance of Amazon. Already Amazon has stood toe-to-toe with publishers and demanded cut prices and all the rest of it, but now they’ve got their new hardware. And very desireable it is, too. Seems to me that with the Kindle Fire and the iPad, the world of music and books is becoming more about the delivery system than it is about the actual content.

They’ll be putting the two together next – books with integrated music. Imagine that abomination.

God help us all.



6 thoughts on “Abomination

  1. You’re right, it’s scary already and the prospect for the years to come is even scarier. Am currenly in the same position as you re. Frankfurt, a little anxious about how Buttercup Magic will go down and hoping for those lovely co-eds. Good luck with yours.

  2. I can see how enhanced ebooks would benefit, say, the textbook market, but I’d agree that if it’s applied to a narrative or literary sense it would be an abomination. Even the new breed of enhanced children’s books (will we now hear the Gruffalo growling when we try to read it to our children at bedtime?) seem unnecessary. Sure, as a new transformational format it could work — after all, films have always drawn from books, even music in some cases. But as a substitute for straight text? Never!

    Can you imagine the sounds of the rainforest, parrots, howling monkeys, etc. softly emanating from your ebook reader’s speakers as you try to read Dry Season? Argh!

  3. The joy of reading (for me) is that I can see and hear what’s happening in the story in my own head almost as clearly as if I was watching a film – everything around me disappears. But this ‘film’ is completely personal to me; having a ‘soundtrack’ would spoil it, because it’s someone else’s interpretation – them telling you how to experience the book when you should be able to decide how you experience it for yourself.

    Good luck at Frankfurt – and to Abi too!

    • Quite right. I was thinking (briefly) that maybe if the author had an idea of a soundtrack then . . . But naaa. Everyone reads at different speeds, right? It would be intrusive, weird and difficult to organise. And what would happen if you flicked back a few pages to re-read a section?

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