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Tuesday, 9 February 2010

E Books

The future of the book seems to be unclear; sometimes we writers are told that everything will be electronic and the book, with leaves, will cease to exist. There is all the controversy over Google getting the rights to publish works and make them available for free. This seems to be having an understandably negative impact on the opportunities afforded to struggling writers like me who are anxious to get one toe in the door.

So with technology taking over, with the recent birth of the Apple IPAD, the impressive sales of the Nintendo DS and those ridiculously named e-books, it seems that writers and maybe publishers need to widen our options. Perhaps embrace the technology and see it as a new and exciting way of bringing our words to a readers eyes.

With this in mind I set my thoughts in motion and have come up with something. I’ve written a book that needs illustrations; I am not a great artist, stick men or what I try to pass as Picasso imitations are about all I can muster. But illustrations have been a part of books for centuries and not only for children’s book, they are used widely in Dickens books to create a scene in the readers mind. Then I thought, moving illustrations, not unlike the hanging pictures in the Harry Potter movies.

On Hubpages people add Youtube images to their hubs, a good idea. But what if you specifically made a film that complemented the story you were working on. It may even be such a piece that the story would move along in a five second short film.

So I’ve conducted an experiment and written a short story with film. The story itself is about 1,000 words and I’ve pieced it together with four short bursts of ‘moving illustrations’ to create the scene for the reader.

I don’t feel this is lazy, although I do understand that the words themselves should be enough. But what it could do is create a different take on a media and nudge it into the digital age.

I love books; I love books with beautifully hand drawn illustrations. I hope that they don’t get shoved off of the shelves. But we are edging towards a paperless world, we are living firmly in a digital age and we should look at it without fear in our eyes.

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