Downey says Guildhall Press is the first Northern Irish publishing house to issue a novel simultaneously in Kindle and printed form and possibly the first in all of Ireland.
In an article he wrote for Verbal: The NI Literary Review, under a headline I'd have been happy to write ("Don't fear the reader"), he's sanguine about a technology and possible business model that have some readers, authors and publishers apprehensive.
"Finally, and very importantly, it looks that e-publishing could be good news for writers. Some authors have already negotiated between 50 and 75 percent of the royalties to their digitised books – as opposed to the eight to 15 percent they get from printed volumes.I was especially interested in the last paragraph. You've seen the debates elsewhere about e-readers. Here I'll ask you to think about what electronic publishing means for books beyond borders, for reading translated work and other literature from outside your own country.
"In addition, publishing houses will be more inclined to recruit and develop new talent on an “e-book only” basis, as the financial risk to them is much lower.
"And of course, your work can be dispatched instantly to readers across the planet, without any additional cost or haggling with distributors. Just try getting a single US chain to take one hundred copies of your hardcopy novel. You could literally drown in the paperwork."
© Peter Rozovsky 2010