A big thank you to Fairyhedgehog in the comments for asking when I would blog again. Its more fun when someone actually notices. I've been concentrating on polishing my manuscript, but I'll need to learn to multitask. Soon I'll be writing a new novel while submitting my finished one, and fulfilling rewrite requests (hopefully) first from an agent then from a publisher.
Its a good thing I've found time to blog, since the publishing industry has clearly missed the ideal way to handle e-readers, and now I can tell them. One of the problems is that people who have spent so much money on e-readers are reluctant to spend more on e-books.
So e-readers should be given away free.
No, really. Like cell phones. Of course you have to sign a contract.
So, if you sign a contract to pay $40 a month for two years, what do you get besides a free e-reader?
Well, you get one new bestseller a month at no extra charge - at least sort of. Like cell phone minutes, the credits don't necessarily roll over if you don't use them in time, depending on your plan. But if you're careful and have some McMillan favorites, that's probably $14 or $16 of your $40 monthly fee right there.
OK, so you'll have to pay for new bestsellers for the rest of the month - but here's the publishers' chance to push the books not in bookstores anymore. You get free unlimited first chapters of novels. When you just have to read the next chapter, you get one click ordering - and you probably get credits for five or ten non best selling authors not widely back listed. You may not use them every month, but their nominal value is probably above $40 without the new book or anything. Too bad a few new books are so widely advertised that you just have to order them even if your one credit is used up, so people tend to go over their $40 frequently.
Maybe you could get a magazine subscription or two with that.
Just for fun, how about 1 genuine collectible autographed hardcover, or a few paperbacks a year to carry around when you don't want to worry about having your e-reader stolen?
A set of steak knives?
Now the hard questions - who decides how to divy your $40? And are these 'free' e-readers handled by distributors, who are the only people who actually deal directly with all major publishers? Ironic to discover that far from being cut out by e-readers, distributors are now front and center.
That's enough, I'm getting over a cold, and am still light headed. You couldn't tell - could you?