On Writers and eReaders

For centuries, the technology behind a writer’s career basically stayed the same–the writer wrote on something with a keyboard that could display letters on a page or screen, and the goal was to find a publisher who would print and bind those words in a book and tell people to buy that book. But in the last couple of years, with the introduction of eReaders and the growing popularity of eBooks, the technology is changing pretty fast. Should an aspiring writer compose on an iPad, self-publishing on Kindle, then promote on Twitter? Probably, but it’s a lot to sort through. Jane Friedman of Writer’s Digest wrote a nice post today taking a close look at the various eReading and writing gadgets she uses, which might help make sorting through them a little easier.

Friedman says that she uses a Kindle, laptop, and now an iPad to do most of her reading (that’s her desk above, with her various gadgets)–meaning that she’s largely switched from paper to digital books. She also notes that while she’s buying a lot more eBooks than she used to buy print books–because it’s easier and cheaper–she’s also reading more Web content than ever before.

Here’s an excerpt: “I discover new writers/authors/experts primarily online, and those writers don’t become more valuable to me just because they have or will have a traditional, printed book,” she says. “I just look for compelling stories, superior content, eclectic recommendations of others to follow (or things to read), and opportunities for authentic interaction.”

This is interesting, and while Friedman is probably far more tuned in to the current digital writing landscape than your average reader, it’s probably also representative of a growing trend.

Check out the full post for her specific thoughts on various eReading gadgets.