I Love the Smell of Paper Pulp in the Morning…

I think about it sometimes. How would I feel if my work was published in an eBook format? I mean it’s publication right? It’s getting my stuff out there? So what that it’s electronic? After all most of my work appears on the internet as pixels vibrating on your computer monitor, exactly as it is happening right now as you read this blog, so how would it be different? And yet it is. @mikecane is a huge advocate of eBooks and he’s got me convinced that I need to invest in a reader – but still something more emotional and archaic tugs at my heartstrings when I think about myself as a published author.

I want to hold a book in my hands. I want the smell of paper, possibly the stain of ink on the pads of my finger. If I could have it I would want rag paper with watermarks and a stitched binding with a nice sturdy hardcover and fancy dust jacket. On the cover itself it would be nice if there was embossing, say in that beautiful glossy ink, or maybe in gold. Remember that scene in American Psycho where Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) shows off his business card only to be outdone by his rival? Here was something so low-tech in a high powered high tech environment but the touch of the rag card, the subtle embossing, the texture of the raised text with the right depth of ink…

Ok, I admit it. I could get worked up over a paperbound edition of my work way more than I could over a virtual facsimile downloadable from Amazon.com. So while I would get very excited to see big fat royalties checks because my novel was selling in the thousands across the world, I would miss it if it were not also sitting on my book shelf. Just ask @fannyfae has she feels about ‘real’ books as opposed to eBooks.

With all this in mind I hope to relaunch Pan Press by the end of the year – creating beautiful editions, print on demand, of work by collaborative and solo writers from the Pan Historia community. Of course I will be looking into the option of eBook versions, I believe that most people, myself included, will want a copy of their own book on their bookshelf. While I appreciate that much of the sales of such volumes will be to friends and families, it’s not inconceivable that full length novels and anthologies of completed works could garner wider appeal – who knows? We may one day produce a best seller. There is certainly enough talent on the site.

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About panhistoria

writer, online community creator, and artist View all posts by panhistoria

5 responses to “I Love the Smell of Paper Pulp in the Morning…

  • fannyfae

    I can see the usefulness of both eBooks as well as regular books. What I don’t like is how rabid some of the eBook supporters are. I am absolutely unimpressed with the Amazon Kindle. I resent a new electronic device being created and being so proprietary as to make eBooks almost as prohibitively expensive in terms of turnkey price as what print books are. It would be one thing if the files could be purchased for PDF formats or other types of open source readers – but that isn’t the point Like anything else, publishers et al are looking at it as a purely for profit venture.

    Besides that, most of what I read – it isn’t available on any type of eBook format -Google, Kindle or otherwise.

    • panhistoria

      Oh yeah, a Kindle will never do it for me. It bites ass.

      Of course you’re a big online publisher yourself, Fanny, so I think your POV re: paper editions is close to mine.

  • Mike Newton

    The smell of the pages, turning them around, carry the book…All of that is magic for me and eBooks would never be able to subsistute what I like to call “reading experience”.

    Like Fanny i can see that they’re usefull. But they’re not the same thing as paper books.

  • Mike Cane

    Yo, if you get published — and *sell* — in e, you can go POD yourself a fetish copy anytime.

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