A conversation I had with Eric Orchard on Twitter last week, on the subject of digital publishing. Eric just self-published his direct-to-tablet comic Marrowbones which, incidentally, is a very fine all-ages book (or precisely not a book?)
I think comic people are recognizing the importance of having revenue streams at all levels of publication, to make it sustainable
...says @ who has cut out the middleman and is self-publishing his gothilicious Marrowbones comics for tablets! #fromthehorsesmouth
@ It actually has more to do with speed than economics, wanting more material available. Trad. publishing is very slow.
@ I know, in more ways than one. One reason I'm making my own little books now.
Said “little books” available here, here, here, and here… We return to our scheduled program:
@ I'm still working all this out, publishing seems to be a bunch of things now....
@ as in digital is an ongoing changing process and print is the artifact.
@ Yeah, blogging, for one thing. Imagine every blog having an ISBN...
@ I guess it's really just making something public, in a distributable or accessible form?
@ Yeah, I think access is a big thing. Acceptable pricing to a lesser degree.But that needs a lot more research.But access for sure
@ Somehow I would like to see people publishing paper objects with the same (lack of) filter they publish things online.
@ I think visibility and access are the 2 big things in digital.
@ When you see it that way, putting your book on TPB isn't that big a step. It's all publishing.
@ absolutely. I'm adopting the philosophy that digital publishing is more fluid and less exact while print is a more finished thing
@ Exactly, which is why we make certain updates and samples freely available as "blog posts" 🙂
@ and both free content and paid online content is all part of that fluidity.
@ It's more like being a street musician. People can stop and listen; if they like the music they'll tip, and maybe buy the CD.
@ yes! And I've received 'tips' or donations beyond the price of the comic.
@ And with digital publishing you won't have to play guitar in the rain...
And it kind of petered out from there. Eric went on to write an almost shocking blog post about his rookie experience with digital self-publishing. “Shocking” in the ease with which he got the technical side sorted out, making one wonder how long there will still be a mass market for dead-tree books…