Thursday, July 8, 2010

Take it E-asy with Guest Blogger: T.M. Hunter

Win a Free Book and chat with author T.M. Hunter who is here to discuss the ever evolving world of e-book publication!

Here's what he had to say...

The E-volution of Reading

Anyone who’s been following the news lately has likely heard Amazon and Barnes & Noble are both undergoing a price war on their e-readers (Kindle and Nook). Although neither has dropped below the hundred-dollar mark yet, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it happen in the next year or so. We have Joe Konrath running statistics on his blog where Kindle sales have netted him ten thousand dollars last month. Yet, I hear so many people claim they just can’t get into reading a book on a computer screen, that the smell and feel of a book is just too overwhelming to switch. So, the question is: What does the future hold?

In my personal opinion, e-readers and e-books will become the reading method of choice. Much like most mediums of entertainment (8-tracks to CDs, VHS to downloading off the internet, etc.), people have eventually embraced new technologies once they became cost-effective to use. Let’s face it, younger generations will come along, and many of them will have never lived in an era where they couldn’t do all of their communication and viewing of entertainment on a personal cell phone. An e-reader is just the natural extension of this phenomenon. Someday, you likely won’t even see hardbacks or paperbacks unless you’re visiting an antique store.

Add on top of that, publishers won’t be able to ignore the cost advantages of distributing their books in electronic medium. Printing books is expensive, and with publishing undergoing such a shock to the system during this last economic downturn (if we’re even out of it yet), there has to be someone in a place of authority wondering why they’re spending money on so many books which may or may not sell. There’s something to be said about a fixed cost model where each book takes the same amount of editing and up-front costs. With an electronic sales model, there’s no guesswork on how many copies need to be printed, wondering whether you’ll have excess inventory to dispose of months down the road. In the end, publishers will have no choice but to switch to e-books. And for folks who can’t get away from a printed book, they’ll print it on-demand and make the reader pay for the privilege.

So, what’s an author to do?

Change is hard, and so is embracing it. But ultimately we as authors must do so. Not to say we shouldn’t continue striving towards print deals and the like (even if authors like Konrath can make far more money off the material that the big publishers rejected) in the interim. The future is not yet here, but it’s not far away. We must be ready. That means cultivating those contacts now which will lead to our material being available in e-books and other online media in the future. Once it arrives, it’ll come crashing down on us all in a whirlwind. So, get your foot in the door now, and you’ll have the inroads needed when e-readers become the primary reading method.

The future is coming, folks, and we must embrace this inevitable change.

A Note from the Book Boost: As a published author of both e-books and print books, I can understand the dilemma that many go through at the thought of completely "giving up" our print books. Great insight here, T.M. and thanks for sharing your views with us today. Now let's hear more about you and your book!

T. M. Hunter has always had a fascination with interstellar travel, spacecraft (and aircraft) and beings from other worlds. Twice a top ten finisher in the P&E Readers Poll for his short stories (2007, 2009), his book Heroes Die Young earned Champagne Books’ Best-Selling Book of 2008 award. Friends In Deed is his latest novel.


Aston West was condemned to life on the prison planet Lycus IV for spitting in a man’s face. Being forced to reside with the likes of murderers and thieves, he owes his freedom to Lars and Elijah Cassus, who orchestrated an escape. Now the twin brothers call in the favour and force him to return with their team to Lycus IV to rescue crewmate Leah Jordan.

Aston discovers Leah’s desire to leave the twins forever, but Lars and Elijah use fear and intimidation to control their group and no one leaves alive. It’s a case of kill or be killed and Aston will need to become more like the brothers than he ever wanted.


Even in the depth of my nightmares, Lycus IV was a formidable hell. The scenery misled one to think of mighty grandeur. Lush green trees lined the banks. Sporadic cloud cover offered broken views of a pale blue mountain range.

This prison planet’s terror was not found in its natural surroundings, but from its unwilling inhabitants.

A wide, slow-moving river flowed in front of me over a deep bed of rocks. My filthy clothing was ripped and shredded, and exposed bloody skin. I gazed back across the clear, inviting water.

A bellow filled the air and I turned. A pale, naked giant rumbled through the brush, still yelling at the top of his lungs. High above his head, he gripped his makeshift mallet, a boulder strapped into the fork of a tree branch. I jumped aside as the weapon crashed down.

He stared with one wide eye and the other glazed over. Saliva dribbled from his lips.

“I am King of the wooded realm! You dare invade my territory?”

This wasn’t a fight I planned to stick around for. Psychotics were the worst type of violent.

He hoisted his club and swung it at me. I stumbled back and it came so close I felt the breeze. I turned toward the opposite bank and sprinted across the riverbed.

“Your punishment is death! Vengeance is demanded!”

I high-stepped through calf-deep water while the beast screamed bloody murder. I dared not look back, because there was no doubt he gained on me with every step.

My foot caught a cluster of rocks under the surface and I splashed down, drenched by the cool, clear water. I flipped over and faced my attacker as he left me in a cold, dark shadow. Milky-white foam oozed over his lower lip.

“Prepare to meet your maker!”

He raised the mallet high above his head. At least death would be quick, but I couldn’t say much for painless. I closed my eyes and waited for the crushing blow.

A whistle filled the air and the giant beast gasped and choked. My eyes flashed open as the beast dropped his weapon into the river behind him.

Only one object stood between me and oblivion, a homemade arrow buried in his neck. He couldn’t pull it from the front, so reached back. His mind gave up hope as soon as his fingers probed the stone tip. The monster’s eyes rolled up out of the way, then his body fell backward.

The corpse splashed down and huge waves rolled past me. I scrambled around and gazed at the opposite bank. There, a bow in his left hand and more arrows strapped to his back, stood the man who’d just saved my life.

Elijah Cassus.

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TK Toppin said...

Thumbs post comments should have a Thumbs Up feature like FBook. Sometimes, that all that's needed. Very insightful...gonna retweet this.

T. M. Hunter said...

I think there may be a way to integrate a "Like" button on blogs, but that's a blog owner thing. I haven't messed with it on my personal one either (depressing enough seeing the number of comments most days :-P )

Thanks for stopping by, and good luck in the contest!

Judy said...

I agree with your comments. I know this is going to happen and probably sooner than I really want. I am a reader who loves their print books. I am older and probably set in my ways. I have been thinking about an ereader. I have decided to ask for one at Christmas. I know and realize all the pros for electronic books, so I bite the bullet and read ebooks:)

T. M. Hunter said...

I myself am waiting for the price to come down, but am also wanting to get an e-reader. I currently have 14 books on my to-read list (and am currently reading 2 others), and can't find a way to cart them all around everywhere I go.

Thanks for stopping by!