After a little break, my series of guest posts continues. This time it’s Karen Lee Field’s turn, owner/operator of new kid on the block, Kayelle Press.
In an Instant World…
Once, long ago, I stated quite loudly that traditional publishers were the only way to get published. And I meant it. I believed it to be 100% true. These days, however, that statement is not only stupid, it’s incorrect on so many levels.
The world has changed. Technology has changed. More importantly, readers have changed. In a world where we expect everything instantly, we can now purchase books from anywhere, at any time of the day or night, and start reading them straight away. Not tomorrow or next week. Right now! Young readers expect nothing less. What’s more, the older readers, people who have only ever had access to printed books, are also discovering these new, exciting methods of reading.
…We Turn to Digital Books…
Being an older reader, it took me a while to grasp the idea of digital books. I love the feel of a book in my hands. I love the smell of the pages. I love seeing my favourite books lined up on the bookshelf. It’s wonderful to settle on the lounge on a cold evening with a good book. However, I also love technology, but I found it difficult to accept the changes taking place right under my nose.
In fact, it was less than twelve months ago when I finally embraced the change and purchased my first ebook reader – an iPod Touch. Living in Australia has its draw backs as, at the time, there were very few options available. When a friend suggested the iPod Touch, I admit I was a little dubious. Have you seen the size of the screen? It’s so small! How could I possibly read anything on that? Well, I brought the device and tried it anyway. The screen is small but it’s easy to read from. I’ve never experienced eye strain and I’ve read dozens of books over the months that followed. The iPod is light and easy to carry. It is nothing to carry 20 or 50 or even hundreds of books around with me, no matter where I go. I can read whatever takes my fancy, without the weight, without worrying about creasing pages and wrecking covers. Suddenly, I found myself wanting to embrace this new technology with every fibre of my being. And, as a writer, I wanted to be a part of the ever changing face of the new era of publishing.
I thought about it for many weeks before deciding to start a publishing company. I asked friends about their experiences. I did loads of research. And then I set about putting my plan into action and created Kayelle Press. It was decided early on that if I was going to take this big step, it would be done correctly. It’s been a long, hard slog and I expect the hard work to continue long into the future, but each step taken will take me closer to my ultimate goal.
On 10 December 2010, Kayelle Press published its first book — “Cat’s Eyes”, a fantasy book for younger readers. As the author, it has been exciting. As the publisher, I discovered that location can be a disadvantage, especially for Australians (being so far away from everyone else). Finding a printer who can supply books at a reasonable price is difficult. Being forced to use an overseas printer often results in extremely high postage fees being added to the cost, which sometimes negates the lower price per book negotiated. Yet, despite this, I’m confident that things will change in the future for Australian publishing. The planned opening of the new Lightning Source office in Australia in mid 2011 may be the start of that change.
These are exciting times. We are witnessing a swing towards something new and fresh. In twenty or so years there’s a possibility that people will be saying “remember when books were printed on paper”.
…But Printed Books Will Not Disappear Yet.
The time will come when printed books will be a thing of the past, but that time isn’t here yet. Printed books continue to be the main source of our reading material. However, due to more people screaming “save the trees”, that will change at some point in the future (unless another form of “paper” is discovered).
Digital books will continue to grow strong and we will be lucky enough to watch it happen. I want to be right in the middle of it when it does and that’s why I believe all upcoming titles should be made available in as many formats as possible.
Print-on-Demand technology will allow printed books to be purchased online and through brick and mortar bookstores. It will also put to rest that awful “out of print” phrase that can be quite disappointing to see. In the meantime, digital technology will allow books to remain “on the shelf” forever instead of the short time now permissible by traditional standards and lack of space in a book shop.
Times are changing, but there is room for all types of books – whether they are printed or digital – just as there is always room for more books to be made available for avid readers to enjoy. And with this change we will see more unknown authors finding the spotlight as their work becomes readily available through untraditional methods of publishing.
Born within the sound of the Bow bells in London, Karen Lee Field was seven when her parents decided to move to the “Lucky Country”. They settled in Sydney, Australia, and have enjoyed the outdoor life ever since. Apart from enjoying time with her family and pets, Karen enjoys escaping to fantasy worlds – places where her sometimes ordinary life is transformed into an exciting adventure and her imagination is set free.
To find out more about Karen and her writing, visit her website The Desk of Karen Lee Field