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Jul. 17th, 2010

Ereaders, Publishing, and Paganism

So I've decided I need to write more and in specific I want to write more that relates back to pagan-ish stuff. I don't know, I feel kind of compelled almost, I have all this thoughts and buzzing and I think I'd be better off sticking it down and looking at it.

Anyhow I'm making the commitment to write once a day everyday until Shamamian. I'm going to try to make that writing be pagan related and NOT Christian focused (or even Christian noticed or comparable unless I'm tracing roots or influnces). It seems I've slipped into the habit of relating or comparing everything back to Christianity, which is easy enough to fall into when in real life you spend most of your time bringing your faith into terms the majority understands, but this is a going back to source and in source and through source that's for me and I want to keep it free of the constant compare contrast as well as free of the long streak of bitterness I'm still working through with it seems both Christians and the faith itself. And on to the actual writing now!

For the past week or so I've been looking into different cheap ereaders. I finally cashed in my tip change jar and I'm probably two weeks out from being able to purchase the least expensive name brand ereader, the nook. I'm sure there are less expensive readers out there, but honestly some of the research on these different readers and their capability are a little over my head and I want to stick with something popular and main streamy with lots of reviews and thoughts all put in less complex terms.

One problem I have with the nook and the kindle is that there seems to be a limited amount of pagan books in the ereader format. If I wanted to keep a copy of Spiral Dance or Drawing Down the Moon on hand for example, it wouldn't seem to be possible through these stores/devices. Perhaps it isn't possible at all, but I kind of thought that besides beach reading and recreation it would be nice if I could carry pagan resources and tools on hand with me. It's nice when one is referencing an author or a work in an explanation to be able to just go to that example and have a person read it, instead of paraphrasing or trying to remember or whatever else.

It seems that kindle does have Scott Cunningham's work, $ilver Ravenwolf's work (not that this is good simply that it is available and while I might not like her or agree with her she is technically pagan), Ted Andrews and some others available.

Nook has Ted Andrews. I'm not sure who else because their site doesn't make it easy to search for "new age" "occult" or "spiritual" ebooks. They have a ridiculous amount of Christian works compared to other faiths (about three times as many books as all other faith sections combined if you do not including General religion section which is usually mostly Christian work anyhow).

On a side note, nook (I don't know 100% for kindle) does support pdfs so several pagan resources I have on my comp which is now too fiesty to run, I can move over to the nook to read, look at and otherwise enjoy.

The fiction selections are better on both devices (about equal really), though they obviously don't have everything, I've gone through four or five pagan book websites and looked up interesting books to see if they're available. For what interested me there is about 45% availability on either kindle or nook. I haven't checked the library sites yet, but the nook might win out on available cheap fiction just because it's compatible with sails ebook format.

Beyond that both of these products magazine subscription areas are very limited. It would be lovely to have several articles of magazines with me all the time and to be able to pick and skim and recall. Cooking magazines and feminist ones come mostly to mind, but I'd love to capture some craft magazines on there too. Even if I only bought and article and there was no color it's nice to have a quick reference. Heck some mags might even find me buying their product twice, once in print and ones electronically if there was a few pieces that were of value.

What does interest me about the nook over the kindle is there epub section which is coming soon (how soon is up for speculation right now since it was supposed to launch this summer and hasn't). At the epublishing section one can self publish any of his or her own writings and Barnes and Noble will sell it as an e-book for their nook and ereader apps. It's occurred to me that this might be an amazing platform for pagan writers. Depending on when it opens and what the terms are, it might be a very open source for writers who struggle to get published or to find an audience. The long memes and discussions about lack of pagan reading material or reliable pagan info could become a thing of the past or more true than ever with an automatic (because the epub does describe itself as a place a writer logs in and auto publishes) publisher. People who have the research/knowledge/or story telling bug could just do the work and pop out published.

Obviously in conjuncture with that there would need to be a marketing campaign which could probably be orchestrated through pagan forums, journal groups, or even a few youtube plugs. It's interesting though with the way the net has caused blogging to pop up with everyone having an opinion and voice and equal chance to speak what maybe online publishing whether this site or another could do for minority groups. It could network and help mainstream and open all of us up did different voices and thoughts that were more localized because of lack of medium. I don't know, it's exciting to think of the possibilities that an online publishing area which feeds into one of the major ereader devices could do.

I'm trying not to let this idea effect my ereader purchase too much. After all I don't see an epub up and running. I don't know how it will run, and even if it is a free as the propganda implies, it still is likely to be mostly cluttered with shit instead of quality. It will probably require a lot of interenet and real world networking to get anything one would publish read and there may be fees involved, which makes at least breaking even more important and lessens the chance of using it as a tool for free content to gain a following.