Anyone who knows me will tell you that technology and I do not get along.
I’m probably the only person in the free world who doesn’t own a mobile phone, and wouldn’t know how to work it if I did. (OK, I do use a computer, because it seems to be impossible to function without one; but I’ve learned how to use it on a need basis, and if I don’t need it, it’s foreign territory.)
So about this time last year when eBooks began to make their presence felt, my first reaction was to run away and hide.
But it soon became all too clear that I wasn’t going to be able to ignore them, since they were shaping up to become the biggest book trade development since Caxton invented the printing press.
I went to a meeting at which young men in sharp suits used a lot of words I didn’t understand, and came away with my head spinning and just two coherent thoughts in it: first and loudest, do I really have to do this?, and second, if I do, can I just license the rights, as I do with audio and large print?
The answer to the first question was yes, of course I do; it’s the future.
The second was harder: something that would be possible at some point, no doubt, but at this early stage of the new game, no one seemed to know where to look for it.
And then, on a very wet night last summer, at a great party at the home of a good friend who has been a great support to Crème de la Crime for the past few years, I found myself talking to a woman a little younger than me – OK, quite a lot younger – whose energy and enthusiasm for life seemed to emanate from her in waves.
That woman was Ali Muirden. It turned out she had been looking for a way to expand Creative Content into fiction, just as I had been looking for a way to get into eBooks which didn’t make my head spin.
One painless meeting, several long phone calls and an awful lot of e-mails later, we had an agreement. Crème de la Crime supplies the books, Creative Content takes care of the part that makes me dizzy. The upshot was that we launch our joint ebook imprint eCC this month with four of Crème de la Crime’s most popular titles, and after that the sky’s the limit… well, maybe not quite, but fingers are firmly crossed for a big success.
Everywhere I go, people ask me if printed books are in their death throes. Luddite to the end, my answer is always, not if I can help it! But ereaders and ebooks will surely introduce the enormous pleasures of the printed word to a whole new audience for whom gadgets and gizmos are an essential part of life. And I’m hoping our books will be available in places where previously they weren’t. And that has to be a good thing.
So though I’m glad Creative Content was around to take care of the part my low-tech brain will never properly connect with, I’m delighted to raise a glass to this piece of new hi-tech wizardry.
And to meeting people at parties… Maybe I should get out more. - Lynne Patrick
photo by xchanttelx