Yesterday Sydney Morning Herald ran a story about a book that started online, went to an e-book, and is now a published book ready to hit Australian bookshelves in April/May this year.
For me this brought up a few interesting things. The first being with the internet, and the ability for people to make a splash who are unknown, the world has changed. We saw it recently with Kony 2012, it was a big part of Lady Gaga’s rise to fame and it made Rebecca Black a household name. With the internet, anyone can say or do anything at all and can be an overnight sensation.
This may be the first of many, but it’s turned the publishing world upside down. No longer are you competing for a much sought after book deal, but you can build your fan base first and instead of having to anticipating how many people would read it, you can prove it!
The other thing is raised for me was the link between a bit of a trashy read and the rise of e-books.
We all have guilty secrets. We all enjoy a bit of fluff to read, something that we might be ashamed of. It might be erotic fiction, or it might just be that we really want to read Lockie Leonard, a book aimed at early teens, and don’t want to be judged as a 50 year old lawyer for it. Maybe you really like Twilight, or Sophie Kinsella (I do! Well, Sophie Kinsella, not Twilight). With the rise of the e-book we no longer have to worry about the giant “Mills and Boon” label giving us away, or a sea of pastel book covers and red apples. We can read anything we want and no one will be any the wiser.
It also means buying a book without setting foot in a store. Without a package being delivered or anyone having a peek at the book lying on the side of your desk. We can now completely conceal what we are reading.
So it’s no surprise people are taking the opportunity to read some erotic fiction, now, is it?
Honestly I think Fifty Shades of Grey is a fantastic success story. Thanks to the internet a tiny start up by a couple of women in Hornsby, NSW managed to contact one of the biggest publishing companies in the world, Random House, and secure a deal to print 750,000 copies.
Similar to the music industry’s revolution and the self-publicising of such artists as Amanda Palmer, the e-book revolution is doing away with traditional avenues. Gone are the days of trying in vain to have your book published, with the internet and the invention of e-books you can do it yourself!
Makes you feel a bit more empowered, doesn’t it? It certainly gives me hope.
What do you think? Do you think the invention of e-books has changed the way we look at publishing? Do you think the internet has made it easier to be famous?