Tuesday, October 19, 2010

On The Nightstand: DRACULAS

DRACULAS by Blake Crouch, Jack Kilborn, Jeff Strand, and F. Paul Wilson

It's been a while since I've posted about what books I've been reading, primarily because I've been racing deadlines and working on the FADE novel, but also because I've been busy researching digital publishing and the growing digital comic book market in my remaining downtime.

As a writer and as an artist, I find new formats fascinating, and I tend to look at these things less as a threat than as a new way to reach readers who are less likely to go into bookstores or comic shops. I'm already putting together a couple of digital projects I hope to put out next year either through a pre-existing service like Comixology or Graphic.ly, or on my own.

Of course, not everyone is as enthusiastic as me when it comes to this stuff, and there are a whole new set of issues - including illegal downloads - that have cropped up with the new format, but it's hard to ignore the reality that within a few years or a few generations nearly all new books and comics will be published digitally (though I suspect print will never truly vanish, only become even more of a niche). It's simply the nature of technology and society, and the sooner we figure it out and take advantage of the expanded audience and creative possibilities, the better.

Which brings me to Mystery writer J.A. Konrath. He's been at the forefront of authors embracing the new digital publishing options (even signing a deal with Amazon where his books will now be published on the Kindle first, with a print edition following at some point). Konrath has been talking a lot this year about the promise of digital books, the pricing of his eBooks, and even publicly stating his sales figures to back up his claims. I've been following his journey from traditional publishing to digital closely as I began my own research into it, so I was deeply curious to hear about the new book he was putting out, a vampire novel called DRACULAS co-written with F. Paul Wilson, Blake Crouch, and Jeff Strand.

(And in case you're curious, J.A. Konrath wrote the book under his Jack Kilborn pseudonym, which he seems to use for his non-Mystery novels.)

It's exclusive to the Kindle for now, and I'm not sure if or when it will be available in a print format, but it's well worth reading. My short review -- fast, gory, and fun. It's not my usual sort of thing (I'm more into what you might call Quiet Horror than the gory stuff), but I ended up enjoying it a great deal, no doubt thanks to the high level of writing. Konrath and Wilson are both favorites of mine, and Crouch and Strand are both well-regarded by writers I look up to (including Konrath and Wilson, actually), and they clearly hold their own here.

Creatively, the book is a success, and I'll be watching and waiting to see how it performs. Should be an interesting and public test case for eBooks. For my part, having finally started to read eBooks, I've already accumulated a surprisingly large 'to be read' pile, nearly as large as my print edition 'to be read pile'. And they're a lot easier to carry around. Just saying.

No comments: