Thursday, December 4, 2008

Lea Schizas Discusses Publishing

Girl reading in the library

The publishing business has to be a major concern for writers and the news now is mostly bad. The big print publishers are having cut backs. Simon and Schuster has reduced their workforce by 2 percent; Thomas Nelson, by 10 percent. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has put a hold on contracting for new books. The bad news goes on. On the other hand, the Wall Street Journal today December 4, 2008, has an article about Kindle. Amazon can't keep them in stock.

Since Lea Schizas is Editor in Chief for Red Rose Publishing. I asked her for her thoughts on the future of ebooks.

Since you're an editor for Red Rose Publishing, primarily an ebook publisher, what do you think about the future of ebooks?

At first I had my reservations about ebooks because, like me, many prefer a print copy in their hands to take with them and read wherever and whenever they want. However, from the moment the handheld devices were introduced, where you can upload an x amount of ebooks, sales have been on the up rise. Ebooks are cheaper than print books and the customer gets immediate gratification when they buy. The download in most cases is immediate. Even bigger publishing houses have jumped on the bandwagon so that tells it all.

Will more and more books be published as ebooks, or will we still see the preponderance of books published as print books?

For the time being, once more understand that you can carry a novel in these handheld devices, I believe print books will still be a bigger preference over ebooks. As I explained above, there are many who believe ebooks means sitting by the computer for long periods, reading novels. That’s not the case. Although I don’t have a Kindle device or any other one, I’ve been told you read a book as though you are holding a print copy in your hands. Once the word goes out, then I do believe ebooks will begin to surpass print books.


  1. Nancy, there will always be those who enjoy print books, and I have to say I am one of them. But as more folks buy the handheld readers, they'll see the ease to hold them and read wherever they want, and not only on the computer.

  2. I agree. I am forced to read from the computer for now, but I will end up getting an ereader soon. I think it is a great addition to novels in print.

  3. Thanks for your comments, Lea. A couple of thoughts on devices. I carry a (very old) Palm in my pocket. If I'm in a line at the grocery store, waiting while my wife bird-watches, or delayed at a meeting, I can get some reading done (and in business settings, it's a lot more palatable than grabbing a lurid-covered fantasy or romance). For extended reading, I prefer a larger-screened reading device. I have an eBookWise which I recommend as an affordable alternative. If you've got the money, the Kindle or Sony Reader would be a great addition.

    The traditional publishing model is badly broken. I hope the eBook model can replace it because the alternative isn't more paper books, it's fewer books at all.

    Rob Preece

  4. Lea, what type file is needed to submit for an eBook?


  5. I saw on the news last night where the Thomas Nelson company in Nashville is closing and laying off all their workers. What a shame and a testament to the hard times right now.

    I have an ebookman that I used for quite a while. It's since gone bad and I need to replace it, but I can attest to the convenience of carrying it around rather than an actual book. Very convenient for reading in the doctor's waiting room, on an airplane, or in the bedroom while hubby sleeps (back lighting). I wish Santa would bring me a new one, but alas, I know he is broke. *sniff*

  6. I hope you're right, Lea. I'd like to see e-books in everyones hands. Besides, once we all get the kindle or sony the prices will go down! Look at cell phones.

  7. I think these are very perceptive comments. I have to agree with Ron. The present model of the publishing business is badly broken. When you realize that they print thousands of books that have to be destroyed because no one purchases them, you know there's a problem.

    I like POD, Print on Demand and ebooks because I think it's a more economic model. Besides, having talked to several print book authors, like Jonathan Mayberry, they say that the advent of ebooks and print on demand is a good thing for those of us trying to break into the business.

    Thanks for the discussion!


  8. I've asked Santa for a Kindle, but also said I'd settle for a Sony. LOL I'm to the point we either have to move to a larger home or find a way to buy "books" that will not take up more space. But as you say, I'm not thrilled with the idea of reading on a computer. I spend enough time on it writing.

  9. Nice article, Nancy and Lea. I think, perhaps, people are moving to ebooks because in the long term, they're more economical, more environmentally friendly, and more convenient. Ebooks are not used much here in New Zealand, because the exchange rates make the readers quite expensive (uneconomical). However, the game and video revolution both embrace technology, and by making books easily available in an electronic format, readers who have opted for other entertainment may now opt for graphic novels and ebooks as well.


  10. I love using my pda to read e-books but print is nice too. lol

  11. Nancy & Lea,
    I'm waiting for the day it can read to me. My computer reads ebooks to me. I miss books. (I'm legally blind and a quadriplegic.) I have to rely on ebooks at the moment. If anyone else has vision problems or likes to be read to, you can get a free trial text reader download. (Google it)
    Happy Holidays,
    J. Aday Kennedy
    The Differently-Abled Writer

  12. What about children's picture books? Young kids will still need to hold a book and browse through the pictures, right?

  13. Nancy, thanks for hosting Lea.

    Lea, I appreciate your slant on the place for ebooks in the market. I'm working on a couple of ebooks with my husband right now that will be released around the Presidential Inauguration. Your opinion helps us with our decision to publish with ebook format.

  14. Kathy, Guardian Angel has been promoting ebooks to schools for a while now and it's been doing great. They cell CDs to classrooms and kids place them in the computers and read them.

    Vivian, I have no clue about files for ebooks. Sorry.

    Nancy, I want to thank you and everyone who took the time to visit your blog this week.

    I've had a great time reading the posts.