So I was signing on to Authors for Library Ebooks and I accidentally wrote a screed, which I might as well share here, since it uh, might otherwise never see the light of day. Their prompt:
Please tell us a little about you, your experiences with libraries and/or why this issue is important to you and your readers.
My response/accidental diatribe:
Library access to ebooks is important to me because LIBRARIES are important to me. My small-town library was everything to me growing up: escape, information, inspiration. And nowadays, as a grown up and parent and author and booklover, I still use the library every week. Okay, sure, I like when people buy my books -- but what is much, much more important to me is that people READ my books. Or any books. Read anything and everything. Everyone in this country (actually, everyone in the world, but I guess I'll stick to this country for now) should be able to get their hands on any book they wish to read. EVERYONE. Children, teenagers, waitresses, college students, factory workers, night shift janitors, retirees, the poor, the rich, everyone. Regardless of ability, or inclination, to pay. Okay, stepping down from my soapbox. Rant. Sorry.
Anyhoo. What was the question? Oh yes: ebooks. Look, I don't know everything, but I do know this: publishers are terrified that technology is changing the landscape of publishing. And hey, it's okay to be scared; I get freaked out all the time. But you know what? Change is what makes the world go around. Or maybe it's physics? Like I said, I don't know everything.
My point, and I do have one, is this: let's embrace the promising aspects of technology (e.g. the fact that e-books don't wear out after multiple uses --to say nothing of the wonderful fact that you can read an ebook after lights-out, and be all sly about it, and not get busted!). Let's encourage publishers to let go of their fear of change, which manifests in not offering ebooks to libraries, or in placing artifical constraints --like, say, requiring repurchase after a certain number of checkouts-- where they aren't needed. At its best, technology is the promise of access.
So, yeah. Read. Even after lights out. That is all.
j.j. johnson, author