Before I begin, I want to take a moment to reflect on the fact this post finds you on what should be the biggest day of the year, by Christian standards. I’m humbled to be the person whose post graces this page on the Sunday of Sundays—Easter. (Or Resurrection Sunday, depending on where you go to church and what jargon they’re using.)
I wish we, as a culture, gave as much attention to the Easter season as we do to the chunk of the year that stretches from October through the beginning of January. (Formerly known as the Christmas season, but has now been broadened to The Holidays.) I challenge you Christians who read this…find your way to give Easter its due. Part of that may involve taking a step back from Christmas and making less of it. Not a popular stance, I know, but let’s face it…what could we possibly do on Easter Sunday, or even the entire holy week before, to top the spectacle Christmas has become?
And yet, Easter has so much potential in terms of emotional breadth, from the agonizing anticipation of Holy Thursday, where we can place ourselves in the garden of Gethsemane, doing our best to stay awake with our Lord, to the deep mourning of that hour when the earth shook, when those without a heaven’s eye view fled a lost battle. And finally, what greater joy and triumph to celebrate that not even death can stand in the way of the divine purpose of our risen Savior. There’s a lot of material there waiting for us to work it into a season of remembrance, thanksgiving, and jubilant rejoicing.
I pray you and yours will reflect on the multifaceted emotional experience of Easter and be blessed many times over because you did.
And now, for my un-Easter related post I put together earlier this week when I was distracted from realizing the significance of the date it would run…
Beyond the Ebook
One of the most energized conversations that occurred while I was at David Wolverton’s (aka David Farland) Novel Rewriting workshop over the past week was the discussion of the future of traditional publishing and trends those on the inside are smelling on the wind.
Now not much of this, beyond details and statistics I didn’t commit to memory, is new information, really. The handwriting has been on the wall for several years that the model big publishing houses are using is a broken one. Jeff Gerke has spoken on it, as did Chip MacGregor at last year’s ACFW conference. The number of books being sold in electronic formats is growing. It only comprises about 25% of the market right now, so publishers can’t just drop their print lines as assume they will survive—not yet. But the ebook phenomenon is one publishers will have to embrace to survive.
But something I’ve heard a few folks talking about that has me pretty excited is the concept of the “enhanced ebook.” A quick Google search will show you that nobody really knows what this is, because it doesn’t exist yet—at least not in the form pioneers of the concept are proposing. It doesn’t help that the concept gives many literary purists the shivers, like it’s a really big slug has just climbed onto their backs as they sunbathe by the lake.
Why would it irk the purists? Because the enhanced ebook is a product aimed solely at the masses—people who read for entertainment first. In many ways, it will behave a lot like a book, a movie trailer, a magazine hyper-focused on your area of interest, the bonus material that right now comes with DVD box sets, and an audio/visual experience all rolled into one. The written word will not be alone in this format, and for some, that will be a turn off. For many, it will be a “coolness” factor that will add value to ebooks, and hopefully help authors and publishers defeat the $2.99 principal that currently dominates the ebook market.
Because I have film and animation background, I have to admit, I get excited when people start talking about merging books with other media. Does it cheapen the value of the written word to pair it with video enhancements? Not in my opinion. The content will still have to pass muster to make it into this format. Will people who don’t normally shop for hardback books be drawn to the concept of enhanced ebooks? They just might.
It’s all a guessing game for now, but it’s a guessing game in which I want to be riding shotgun as it hits the gas. Life gives me plenty of areas where I’ve felt I’m chasing after the rear bumper of the concept and just trying to catch hold. I fully intend to do everything I can to be in the right place at the right time as the ebook phenomenon evolves. I have a sneaking suspicion my future as an author hinges on it.