Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Pugetopolis Kindled and other news

We readers are in the middle of a revolution as daily newspapers seem to be vaporizing before our eyes and new electronic forms are taking shape. Pugetopolis is now leaping from print and being Kindled. My publisher, Sasquatch Books, tells me Pugetopolis is the first book they've made available in an electronic format for Amazon's Kindle electronic reader. So it's now available for wireless delivery. I'm planning to buy a Kindle 2 (the new version) myself when I save up the money (they run about $360).

Some people have criticized Kindle and Amazon for trying to corner the market on electronic books, or undercutting the sales of rights for audio books, etc. (Kindle has a feature that will read electronic books aloud). Also, the electronic version of the book is much cheaper than the print version: $9.99, which is roughly half of the retail price of an actual book. I certainly don't want to hurt the sales of the book book. But I think being available in multiple formats is good for readers, and I know as an avid reader and book buyer myself that getting books in more ways is a good thing overall. I buy books online, I buy in independent bookstores, I read stuff for free online, I use libraries, I buy from catalogs and specialty dealers...if there is a way to get or buy a book, I will likely use that channel. I'm excited to see how the electronic version changes the perception of the book, whether or not is finds an audience in that format, and whether the ease with which books can be downloaded helps sell more books.

In other news, Pugetopolis is mentioned in the Wall Street Journal today in a story about the recession hitting Seattle.

Also, last night I had a really great reading at Park Place Books in Kirkland, with a great discussion in the audience about the dynamics between natives and newcomers and what it's like for people who move here. I got more theories on why Seattleites are particularly sociable to add to my list.

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