Monday, December 5, 2011

Physical versus digital

Oh ho ho. Good one, universe. You got me again.

See, I have been making the slow transition to a cultist in the House of Digital lately all unknowing. Seamlessly, as Richard Polt might say.

Not that I haven't been utilizing to their greatest extent my analog devices—rather, I have been putting all my creative eggs in the digital basket. After all, publishing a digital file on Amazon was — well — a little too easy. Sure there were some minor formatting piccadilloes to deal with, but far fewer than you'd think, friend.

So it was that when Createspace asked me if I wanted a physical proof of Pen and Platen, I ordered one for no other reason than to have it on hand, to flip through for my own amusement. "Oh, what's that on the shelf? Just an old anthology of mine from when I was poor. Why yes, I will have some more caviar and champagne, thanks."

But then this arrived and CHANGED EVERYTHING.
 
Test, test 006

It came swaddled in a thin layer of cardboard, this harbinger of destiny, and once I got it in the house, I realized that I couldn't open it. The concept of having created a real actual book was suddenly too much for me to bear. I mean, I have created digital files legion, what's one more?

But this… I had to have Gen open it behind my back, then set it on the table so that I could turn around slowly and look at it. I opened the pages and looked through. It was a damn book.

Test, test 008

So like a literary Saint Paul on the road to Damascus, my eyes were opened. My slow slide towards the purely digital lifestyle has been upended by this one thing — this slim, six by nine manifestation of my literary labors.

I want to make books.

So once I make some changes and corral the odd formatting gremlin, I'm gonna start selling physical copies of Pen and Platen: Short Stories Written the Long Way. It'll probably take a few weeks and cost a little more, but the thought of someone else out there holding a physical copy of my words in their hand at home or at the DMV or at the park fills me with a sense of terrible import, if even on my own microcosmic level. It's proof that I wrote. That I write. And I love it.
 
Test, test 014

12 comments:

maschinengeschrieben said...

Amazing! The kindle bookstore kindled your interest in "making" books. :) Good luck!

Richard P said...

Good for you. Putting something in print, on paper, is a vote of confidence for it, a statement that it's worth surviving past the inevitable malfunction of our Kindles and the bankruptcy of Amazon.com. Maybe someone will find it in 555 years and say, "Who WAS this Speegle? Damn, he could write!"

Ted said...

Yes, please. I lack the digital reader and would very much like a physical copy (:

LeeAnna Holt said...

Give me a minute while I wrangle in the green eyed monster. He's trying to chew up my furniture again.

Now I can say that I still prefer paper to digital. In reading your work I keep wishing that I had pages to touch and smell and wave in peoples faces while I scream, "I know this guy!" I might have to buy a copy once my husband and I can afford it.

Very much enjoying the stories by the way, but they are taking me away from my own work damn you!

Bill M said...

Yes, print it. I enjoy your writing and would much rather printed format. One day I may own a Kindle or tablet PC, but I'll still read books.

Rob Bowker said...

So, Createspace hung around your school gate and said, "Go ahead, first time's on us." And now you are hooked. You have intravenous ink transfusions to look forward to until your dying day. And admit it, you smelled the book, more than once. And it smelled good. Am I right?

Cameron said...

Yes...PRINT IT, Mike!

I was impressed with Michael Clemens' hard copy of a NaNo novel he wrote; he brought it to our little type-in a couple of months ago, and it was so wonderful to hold it in my hands.

I would be much more likely to buy a physical book from you than the electronic version. Yeah, I'm old school!

Mike Speegle said...

Mschrieben: Thanks! It's actually easier than it looks.

Richard: "Surely, he was the most talented and handsomest man of his age. A veritable philosopher-king!"

Ted: I was actually surprised at how many people want a physical copy! I guess the printed word has some life in it yet!

LeeAnna: It's funny you should say that, because I demand that all my buyers brandish my wares in the faces of random passers-by.

Bill: Done and done.

Rob: I can't help it! It turns out digital publishing is just a gateway drug. Pretty soon I'm gonna be hanging out at the park in a long coat, saying things like "Hey man, I got some quality product here. Got me some short stories, got some novels, hook you up, man."

Cameron: Yeah, if only Clemens would hurry up and publish One Last Quest, I could head out and buy a copy or three!

notagain said...

I went for the proof copy of my Nano 2010, and it's definitely a rush getting it and showing it around.
At Norwescon, Jim Butcher signed someone's e-reader case. It made me snicker to see it.

Mike Speegle said...

I would have snickered also, but then I am such an audience panderer that I'd sign practically anything: books, e-readers, creepy fan-fic, children...

teeritz said...

Congrats! While I understand the allure of an e-reader, which can store a dozen books to take on a holiday, nothing (and I mean NOTHING!) beats a book printed on paper. A writer can stand back and look at all those pages bound together and know that he created that which lies between the covers. Congrats again on your hard copy.
And yeah, I'd buy it. I need the inspiration at the moment, Mike.

Duffy Moon said...

Yes, print it. Kindle is the Devil's work.