Friday, September 10, 2010

Ebook Edition...Thoughts and a Coupon

Call me old school... I've had mixed feelings about my book being trans-substantiated into mere digital bits, as ephemeral as a status update on Facebook. When I created it, it was with a beautiful object in mind, a thing that would offer a visual and tactile experience as well as the mental and emotional experience embedded in the stories and their interconnections. I got pleasure from going through several printed proofs, perfecting the cover and interior design, enjoying the feel of the book in my hand. And I scattered amongst the stories a number of cool drawings by my wife, Wendy Drolma.

But... perhaps there are those whose preference is the visual and tactile experience of a slim electronic gadget in their hand, a sleek little object that can hold the digital equivalent of hundreds of books. My choices of typeface, illustrations, and page layout are not important to them; they want to go directly to the messages buried in the text. So who am I to deny their pleasure?

What I wonder, however, is how our tools shape our minds. There's no question that they do; it's just that it's impossible to measure the dialogue between human inventions and human brains: mind makes tool, tool makes mind. We've consumed stories through oral traditions, from pictographs, from written language hand-inscribed on clay tablets, skins, papyrus, and eventually machine-printed paper pages... while at the same time we've evolved into the humans we are today, for better or worse.

I can't help but wonder if I'm behind the curve... if those who prefer reading on a screen also prefer a different type of story. Maybe something faster, louder, not my rather quiet little narratives with their subtle interweavings and everyman characters facing family crises and inner struggles. I hope that's not the case. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter.

So... while print books (the dead-tree variety, soon to be called "pbooks") seem to me to be a perfect technology, I am definitely not a Luddite, and so I have decided to offer The Principle of Ultimate Indivisibility in ebook formats suitable for all the e-reader devices currently on the market. The ebook version unfortunately does not include Wendy's drawings. It's available for $4.99 here on Smashwords, and soon at many other ebook retailers.

But from now through October 31, get it for only $2.99 by entering this coupon code at checkout: HJ58M. Many thanks!

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