The Next eReading Revolution is (Nearly) Here!

I love how the internet allows people to access information and various forms of media exactly when and how they want it.  I'm astounded by how much access to media has improved and accelerated in the last few years.  I get excited thinking about upcoming shifts in the distribution of information, and especially in the field of ebooks and ereaders.

I've read lots of books this year, most of them ebooks.  I love the convenience of finding a book online, buying it, getting instant delivery, and beginning to read the book seconds later.

Besides downloading ebooks from Amazon and B&N and GooglePlay and Kobo, I have an account with the eNYPL, which allows me to borrow up to 12 ebooks at a time...I love the eNYPL, but wish that they had more titles available, and that they could make recommendations for me like the other sites do.

I envision a book rental/delivery system that combines the best of Netflix and Amazon Prime and Pandora (or Spotify)
  • A low monthly subscription fee
  • A vast selection of the best books on the planet
  • An algorithm that learns about our preferences, and suggests our next favorite book
 Something like the original Neflix pricing structure would probably work best in the beginning, with graduated fees, based on your chosen usage pattern - $19.95/month for unlimited books, including three downloadable at a time; $9.95 for 3 books/month, including one downloadable at a time.

Since music and movies have switched from the individual book  purchase to a subscription service model, it makes sense that books will do the same before long.  As a reader, I'd love it; as an author, I'd love to have my books become a part of it as well.

Amazon Prime makes a weak attempt at breaking in to this new paradigm, but one book per month means it's completely useless to me for 90% of the time (27 out of 30 days, since I read most books in roughly 3 days)...I want more books, more freedom of when and what to read, and more choice.

The good news is that my fantasy book rental/subscription service isn't only likely...it's inevitable!




Guest Blog Post by Micha Fire

Micha Fire is an artist living in Germany, who works in her creative process to "be open like a child".

I had shown interest to be featured by Jamie Sheffield on his blog. In return he would write something up for me to post in mine. This is the first time I have ever done something like this, so I asked him what kind of post he would like me to do. This was the answer:

I would love one on some aspect of your writing process: character development, story/plot mapping, etc.


Well, not as easy to answer for me as it seems. See, I don't plan my books and stories. I just write them.

"But you must have some idea about what you want to write?"

Yes, I mainly get the ideas for my stories while I'm sleeping, dreaming. I don't dream the stories in words. It's the images, emotions that stick. To put that into words forms a story. Or two.

"So, the stories are always about you?"

NO, not at all. Sure, some traits of my character and personality do come through in the stories. Very often though it's how I am NOT. Maybe how I want to be. Usually a completely different character than me. It's more like listening to some people telling you about their life and then you write that down in your own words.

"Ah, more like writing biography. Packed in a nice story."

Yes, I guess you could call it that. Not a full biography though. Only one event or experience that deemed important to be remembered and passed on. It can be the story of just one day, a few weeks - or a lifetime to tell this relevant topic.

"All drama then. With tension and action."

Hahaha, not all life changing events are dramas. Some can be very subtle little things. Like waking up one morning and noticing the warmth of the sun on your face shining in through the window. A phrase overheard while riding the bus to work. A smell that makes you recall memories long forgotten. All these things can make lovely stories too.

"No drama at all; no action? You know, like in the movies?"

Some stories might have drama, action too. If it helps to get the point across I will write it that way. But most of my stories are on the happy side. The nice things that happen to you. Finding friends when you feel alone, being accepted for what you are and treated with full respect, tackling difficult situations and not being crushed by them. There is so much happiness and positive things in the world. Why neglect them and only write about the bad and ugly; the horror and drama and sad things. No needed to add to all that "negative" stuff around us. Sure it's there, but it won't go away when we focus on it so much. See it, change it (or do your best to change it) and be happy. Life is for living and loving, not mourning and being depressed.

I'm not saying my characters are happy all the time and don't feel sad or anxious. They do. But they don't get stuck in those feelings. They actively (there you have the action) do something about how they feel. And it can get them into tricky and dangerous situations too.

"OK, I think I get how your characters are. But what about the plot, the development of the story?"

Well, I start writing with the emotion of my character in mind. Of how they feel in the main situation I'm writing about. So far, I do start at the beginning of the book and write it through until the end; just as you would be reading it. Not a later episode first and then some earlier stuff. I tried that once and I got all muddled up, repeating things I already had written about but in the wrong order. While editing the story, I might add a paragraph or move it around a bit. But mainly the story develops as I write it. Not after a plan. Sometimes I'm surprised myself at how the story ends differently from what I had in mind when I started out. But the overall message it has doesn't change.

"And there is always a happy end?"

A happy end or even an open end. Life doesn't stop just because you managed to go through a situation. The character surely will have more such events to go through in his or her life. Bu tit's not important to that one story about him/her.

"Doesn't it get boring to write this same kind of plot of mastering a situation, successfully?"

No, not at all. As each person in the world is unique so are my stories about them. They are all written in different styles and genres. Not one label for all to place them under.

"All the stories are then based on live on Earth. In a kind of world you live in as well."

Those are the easiest to write. No need to "invent" words for things that don't exist. But I do write stories about other beings too. Like the one in "Forgotten". That was very hard to write as those beings actually don't have gender like humans have. Or don't use names. I had to come up with something to describe this and pack it into a story a reader can relate to. I'm not sure if I succeeded in that fully. From the feedback I received I know some people find it heard to think outside of human gender when reading about other beings.

"So you do world building in some of your stories. How?"

World building is such a big word. I don't built a world. I dive into the one I conceived. I paint a picture of the landscape and living situations with my words. Like an artist creates a landscape on canvas with paint and other materials. Just as every being is unique so is the world they live in. It may touch the one you live in. Or be completely different. So different that you don't understand it.

"No planned character development, no plot mapping, no world building. Don't you think about the readers?"

I, as author, don’t write for a certain audience. or readers. I write for everyone, knowing that many will not really understand what I'm writing about; and may, or may not, enjoy reading my stories. If the reader can dive into the story and have the same images in mind as I had when writing it, great. If not, well, there will always be other stories to read and write.

Micha Fire is an artist who creates in many formats, from poetry to novels to drawing and sculture.  Her blog can be found at:

and her website at:

"Moments in Time", and her other books can be found in the Literature section of her website.