Is the title of an article from Richard Curtis’ Publishing in the 21st Century.  Here’s an excerpt from an interesting post:

After stubbornly resisting conversion of their work into e-books, J. K. Rowling, Ray Bradbury, Judy Blume and, most recently, Thomas Pynchon, finally succumbed.  What persuaded them?

Cynics will say they sold out, surrendering to the siren song of riches as e-sales exceed p-sales for a growing number of authors, giving an adrenalin boost to dwindling fortunes.  Certainly the writer who does not respond positively to that song falls into Dr. Johnson’s classic characterization of ‘Blockhead’.

But is money their only motive?  Did these men and women of the highest integrity simply sell their souls for a pot of lucre?  Or was there some other reason they heeded the call to go digital?

(Via Publishing In the 21st Century and Digital Book World.)


  1. I think it is pretty simple. It is not about money (or at least not just about money), its the fact that in some sense, every published author desires for their works to be read. The medium is not more important than the story it tells. These authors might ultimately love the basic format of the paper book as it has endured for the last 15 centuries (since bound books became the norm), but they must recognize that technologies change. Just as the bound book replaced the scroll for everyday use, so it seems likely that e-books will replace the bound book for everyday use. If an author wants to remain relevant, they must follow the medium.

  2. I was totally sold on ebooks since my first reading device in about 1995, but bitterly disappointed by the lack of care taken in proof-reading when ebooks became commercially available. Free books from Gutenberg were better formatted.. I stopped buying until some of the smaller publishers brought out nicely formatted ebooks. Perhaps these complaints were not lost on some authors. Along with the price-gouging,, geographical restrictive nonsense and other questionable practices!

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