Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Endless editing?

cottage in Blanchland
Read this article by Nicholas Carr in the Wall Street Journal, and see if it makes you think.
I hadn't realised that once I'd loaded a book onto Amazon's Kindle programme, I could still edit any little problems I spotted once it was up there. But evidently you can. According to Mr Carr, it's easy-peasy, and though I have no wish to go through my publishing to Kindle experience again quite yet, thank you, many of you will no doubt seize the opportunity.
I can see Mr Carr's point re text and reference books. Incredibly easy to update them once they're electronically published, and no need to keep track of editions, but I can hear book publishers and booksellers groaning as they read his article. Not to mention authors.
It isn't exactly in anybody's interests, apart from the reader.

But then again, if the reader wants the latest information, they'll have to keep on buying the same title until some bright spark comes up with software that will automatically update the copy you bought three years ago. That really would be a death knell for many!

As for fiction....for the ephemeral stuff, here to day and gone tomorrow, it doesn't really matter that there may never be a definitive copy. But when we speak of classics, modern classics and bestsellers that will last on through the years - don't we want to read the same words as everyone else? Won't we object if the author pesists in tweaking and fiddling and changing the text because s/he isn't satisfied with the "finished" work?

Food for thought indeed.

1 comment:

Holyriver said...

Very nice blog.
Happy new year from Italy.