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Posts Tagged ‘e-books’

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Back in 2013 I wrote about new digital distribution models being ideal for a return of old-style pulp literature, because those “new” models looked a lot like experiments from the early days of mass print. The small presses I hoped would specialize pulp have largely failed to materialize, though in a large part that “lack” links directly to my own narrow definition of “pulp.” The media filling the void left by pulp magazines and dime novels doesn’t often look much like the stuff I seek out from the heyday of the pulp era, but the audience is the same class demographic and that’s what drives the content, after all. (more…)

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The Return of Pulp

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The rise of digital publishing has unexpectedly also seen the return of older distribution models for fiction. Serials are viable again, novellas as well. And most importantly for me, the pulps have returned in the form of the cheap e-book.

If you correct for inflation, today’s $2-3 pulp volume costs about the same as a dime novel from the early twentieth century. The format is, of course, different. But the style and reasoning aren’t. There are practically no distribution costs in releasing an e-book because digital content doesn’t require printing and binding volumes from a press. Even the yellowed paper of old required some up-front costs to get books to readers; even on the print side, now, digital printing means the reader, not the author or the publishers, pays to get a physical copy produced if he or she wants one.

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