Last week, I posted about how easy it was to post and publish ebook versions of my new novel. It took very little time to publish this way, and I felt like I had much more control over the data.
On the same day as my Kindle version went live, I received the printed copies of my book.
And boy, did I ever like the printed versions.
A major area where ebooks fail is in aesthetics and craft. When you publish to an ebook, you publish to a platform or a device with inherent preferences and limitations. Your content conforms to the platform or device. You can’t make the iPhone bigger or textured or embossed. On the Kindle, there is no color.
Your cover vanishes.
The font is the default font.
And so on.
But aesthetics matter. Publishers lavish their attention on the covers of their books. Interior layouts and font choices can make the reading experience more immersive, adding an important pleasure to consuming the author’s thoughts or the story.
As the author of “Marketing Aesthetics” puts it:
Aesthetics is not esoteric. The vitality of aesthetics in customers’ lives provides opportunities for organizations to appeal to customers through a variety of sensory experiences
The smells, textures, colors, surfaces, shapes, and weights of beautifully wrought physical objects still matter. Smells trigger memories, touch locks in the senses. A digital reader might itself be a beautiful object, but it transfers little to the content presented on it while shutting out attempts to craft a unique reading experience.
This is the frontier digital devices have yet to cross. Will they? Can they?
Will the human propensity for craft find a place in the emerging digital world?