Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Ebooks..., The Musical

E-books…, The Musical.

(with apologies to Gene Roddenberry, Don McLean, David Lee Roth, The Beatles, R.E.M., and Elvis Costello)

“…E-books. The final publishing frontier. These are my thoughts of the dying throws of print books. In five years, the E-book’s mission will be closer to completion. To save trees and land refuge from toxic inks and chemicals. To encourage local print book recycling. To boldly go forth, replacing as many paperbacks and hard covers in family homes across this world as possible…”

Yes. It’s kinda melodramatic for a beginning. But it hooked your attention, didn’t it?

Seriously though, there should be no doubt in your mind. I freakin’ love and embrace the whole wondrous world of e-books, e-publishers, e-readers and e-prices.

Maybe it’s the Star Trek geek in me. After all, anyone who grew up idolizing the crew of the Starship Enterprise knew without a doubt print books would be replaced by a computer-like hand held device. Look at the stats today – since the late 60’s television show, many of today’s computerized medical gadgets and other devices give their homage to the great vision Star Trek created within a generation of self-proclaimed geeks.

But, I digress. And I know you are all aquiver with anticipation over the E-book musical.

Yet, before I break into song, I need to say: E-books are a reality. They are here to stay. They are so convenient – I have over 3,000 e-books in my library right now, and can store 350 on my e-reader device. And who says you can’t cuddle with them? I do, in a fuzzy blanket with hot cocoa next to me. I even take them in the bath tub, to the beach, standing in line in the grocery story, sitting on the toilet – you name it, my e-reader has been there, and cuddled with.

As for smelling? Ummm, some of us are allergic to the dust and musty smell that comes from older tomes. If I really want my e-readers to smell, I won’t wash my hands after handling garlic. Oh, joy!

In five years, where do I see e-books? Growing stronger, increasing in numbers and on the virtual horizon, in an amazing explosion of unique, spirited reads, bringing back the joy of the reading experience and breathing a fresh breath of life into the bland, cookie cutter voice of the current New York old school published books.

This generation will never give up their paper books entirely. But, a future generation probably won't care.

And now, my musical tribute to e-books and the bright future they bring:

(To the tune of American Pie by Don McLean)

…So goodbye to paper and hard cover prints,
E-books have arrived, they’re alive, time to split.
Them old pub houses are crying in their fancy beers,
Sayin’ “The coming of the future is here; book publishing is changing, we fear…”

(To the tune of California Girls by David Lee Roth)

“…Well, the mystery books are cool – I’m into the crimes they solve.
And historical tales with their ‘action’ facts – make me feel like I’m involved.
The urban fantasy novel – with that ‘paranormal’ bite.
And the romance story with such sensual scenes – keeps me cozy and warm at night.
(I dig them reads!)
I wish they all could be awesome E-books for me! I wish they all could be uber E-books for me….”

(To the tune of Paperback Writer by the Beatles)

“…Dear E-pub owner will you read my work?
It took me months to type will you take a look?
It’s based on my life of fantasy and need,
I’m wild and free cuz’ I was born to be
An E-book author…, E-book author!”

(To the tune of ‘It’s The End of the World As We Know It” by R.E.M)

“…It’s the end of the pub world as we know it, and I feel fine….”

(To the tune of “Give Peace a Chance” by John Lennon and Yoko Ono)

“…all I am saying, give E-books a chance…”

So, do you have a song you would like to tribute to “E-book – the Musical?” I tell ya, if I can’t take the writing world by storm, I’m heading to Broadway for a musical. Either way, New York City will never be the same again!


  1. Great job! I've made Paperback Writer my "theme" song and play it whenever I need to get my head in the game. I wanna be a paperback writer!!

    On that note I'll gladly embrace the newer version you made up - "I wanna be an e-book author!" As long as some cash comes my way I don't care what the medium is - I just want to sell my books.

  2. Bravo! Bravo! (Throwing bouquets of flowers at your feet) Bravo!
    Well done, George. Very imaginative. I am preparing to plug into my muse and start my post for Friday, but made sure to check in and see what today's Wicked Writer thought on the subject. Now I know.
    Of course now I have a few tunes stuck in my head! LOL!

  3. George! What imagination you have! I love you just for the Star Trek reference, but then you wrote songs too! Wonderful! Great post. Always fun to read for sure.

    I admit I am not a huge Beatles fan (ducks the flying objects) - but, I will definitely check out the Paperback Writer song! (Do I get some points for that at least?)

  4. I love the PAPERBACK WRITER tune: it gets me rocking, and you definitely have a point, George. Green is good. Except for gratis copies of my novels that I would give to my pals at the VA, the library, and schools, ebooks are where it's at. Whatever we can do to help save this planet we call home, I'm all for. I really hate to use the word, but your post is rather cute, while at the same time sending out a great statement. Thank you.

  5. Hi Ellisson!

    I'm glad you liked it.

    When I had my cell phone (you know, before I moved across state to this no-man's land in a town without a cell tower so I had to give up my phone?) - my ring tone was Paperback Writer. It was very encouraging every time my phone rang!

  6. Thank you, kind sir!

    (I will gather them up and take them to the senior home to brighten their day!)

    Yeah, a few of those tunes stick with you. It's one of my hobbies I like to do when I am feeling a bit funky.

    It started after I read a book on 'misunderstood song lyrics."

    Example: "'Cuse me, while I kiss this guy..." (the words someone actually thought Jimmy Hendrix was singing in his song "Excuse me, while I kiss the sky...")

    Of course, I have to admit, the old 70's song "Drift Away ("Give me a beat boys, and save my soul, I wanna get lost in your rock and roll and drift away...") - I always thought it said --- "Give me the Beach Boys who save all souls..." (rolls eyes.)

    I don't have to convince you I was rather a strange child growing up.

    As for your turn on Friday, you'll wipe the floor with this post!

  7. It's no surprise that digital technology will prevail. If you move house as much as we have, on average every 18 months, your library will take a huge hit. Our book collection is a fraction of what it used to be. But now I can take a whole selection of books with me on my phone!
    The same thing is happening in the video games industry as more publishers go for digital download though there is as yet no cost saving passed on to the customer. Companies like and to a lesser extent are in pole position to clean up when the publishing revolution really gets moving. Traditional publishers are being too greedy with their pricing, there is no way that I will pay £10 to download an electronic file of a book that is the same price. Music companies have found that the public will strip off any protection that you put on your software and share it, illegally of course, but that does not stop it from happening. So will ebooks that are clearly overpriced go the same way?

  8. Not a Beatles fan?!? How is that humanly possible? ;-)

    Still love you, you crazy thang.

  9. Very good point! I have a friend in the music industry and he opened my eyes up recently to what really happened in the industry several years ago (I admit, I live under a rock most times and was clueless to most of it). Fascinating stuff and hopefully they will protect books better than they did music!

  10. Once again my buddy George has boldly gone where not man has gone before -- created a musical from a bunch of songs...and got in a Star Trek reference as well. Gotta luv your imagination -- another brilliant post. You my friend, are a very unique weird dude -- but I luv ya anyone..

    Great post and I totally agree with the going green and the death of trees issue. Though there are some paperbacks that I will never be able to part with... *mine and you can't have them*

    Word of the wise - be careful with the e-reader in the toilet because knowing you, you might drop it and it might go 'where no e-reader has gone before' then you'll really need the garlic... ha ha

  11. Roflmao! Talk about talent and way to embrace the e-books! I was just waiting for someone to throw it back at me. ;-)

    I still stand by my hardcovers and paperbacks though. *Hugs her dusty, musky books*

    - J.D.

  12. Ok, George.... excellent post... you got my creative juices flowing and this is what my twisted little mind came up with:

    Ode To The Possibilities Of e-Readers (it's better than a Grecian Urn)
    {to the tune of Don McLean's American Pie}

    A long, long time ago, I can still remember
    how the paperbacks would make me dream.
    And I knew if I took the time, not get a job or be a mime,
    that I could make the people cry or scream.
    Rejection letters made me bitter
    When they posted them on Twitter
    Saying that my work stunk,
    “Do you write it while you’re drunk?”
    I still remember when I laughed
    While researching my next try’s draft:
    A new device to spread my craft
    The day the e-Gods smiled!

    So bye-bye paper publisher guy
    The e-Reader’s now the leader, and I’m ready to fly.
    An e-pub site is gonna give me a try.
    People now can see me and buy
    This is where it’s your turn to cry.

    Now see what you made me do? I suppose I could have continued, but I will just give you the synopsis instead: Hilarity Ensues!!!


  13. What an original concept. George, you are a breath of fresh air (is that garlic I smell?) for Wicked Writers.

    Glad you mentioned "Star Trek" and not "TNG," which I don't feel really broke any new barriers (the holodeck is neat but, really, how close is that to reality?)

    As for taking the e-reader everywhere, I hope you're wiping it off with disinfectant after trip to the little boys room.

  14. Sorry Ana, for the delay in my reply - wicked writers didn't want to load in my computer for the last two days!

    Anyway, no throwing things on my end - as I will confess the Rolling Stones do nothing for me...

    You should check out Paperback writer - it is a cool song. Along with the above mentioned as misheard lyrics - here a a few of the Paperback writer 'misquotes..."

    Pay the black writer...

    Paperbag writer, paperbag writer...

    Pay for that grinder!...

    Hit the back riser...

    Piggyback rider...

    Baby-back Rider...

    Paint my bike brighter...

    Hippie Bike Rider... <---- a favorite of mine

    Ain't that right, sir...

    Paint the black whiter...

    Pay for my Chrysler... <--- another favorite of mine

    Paint the back whiter...

    Take the back right turn....

    *Sigh. Makes you wonder what people are smoking when they are listening to this song...

    Aim for that Python...
    Fate for cracked white urn...
    Up and down right turn....

  15. Hey - I'll take cute! Thank you for the comment.

    And here are some neat ways to recycle old books one does not want anymore (I'm all for green living - and since I own two e-readers and 're-bought' some of my standard reading, have had time to experiment with some of these...

    If you have any old books that you never plan on reading again, here are some fun ways to recycle them:

    1. Hide stuff in your hollowed out book.
    Read tips on how to hollow books with a ruler, pen, box cutter, and Elmer’s white glue. I've made several of these book 'treasure chests' and they are always receieved enthusiastically!

    2. Make Book Bookends.
    Learn how to turn an old textbook into a bookend.

    3. Create an invisible book shelf.
    Learn how to stack books on your wall without any shelves.

    4. Turn a book into a clock.
    If you have a book cover you really like, learn how to turn it into a clock. This too, is another easy - and very unique gift to make for your favorite book lover.

    5. Make a lamp shade out of a book.
    Easy way to convert a book into a lamp shade. Do you see a theme here for your writing office area?

    6. Turn a book into an iPod case.
    Go ahead and stick your headphones into that book. I’m not kidding.

    7. Make table legs out of books.
    Any English Major or grad student has probably countless books stashed in their bookshelves or closet. This makes a great conversation piece. Glue some books all of the same size and thickness, use some modge-podge (found at your local craft store) or top with a old window - and you have a book table top as well.

    8. Make a Lift-the-Flap Book for Toddlers
    Kids love board books — especially lift-the-flap books. Learn how to make one as a creative gift for that next baby shower or birthday party.

    9. Set a good book free with - (sorta like that Where's George/tracking a dollar bill website) - Over 680,000 people in over 130 countries have decided to let a favorite book go free. You simply register your book – leave it at a favorite coffee shop or wherever – and track its progress. Learn more at

  16. As someone who recently moved, I have to admit, I didn't miss moving that ton of books I used to! (Real convenient being on the computer!) Instead - I had a ton of boxes to move for my DVDs (which was still lighter than previous VHS boxes.)

    And Lord knows, I don't miss toting around 45's and albumns - though I still have a few CDs that haven't made it to my Book devoted to all my music and music videos.

    I know right now, pirating in the e-book world is a nasty state of affairs. However, I really don't see how it can be stopped - as all our media things have gone through it.

    As children, remember recording songs off the radio with cassette recorders?

    They have fought used book stores, used record stores and the reselling of used VHS/DVDs.

    In the 90's there was a big stink with Garth Brooks leading the way regarding recordable CDs and reselling CDs.

    People have recorded and copied their favorite books for those who can't read.

    Napster hit some bad press at the turn of the century.

    People record their favorite television shows and moves that could be bought in stores.

    Now, e-books are under attack.

    I can see both sides and have sympathies for both. I have no answers - but would love to see something developed to help ALL parties be happy.

  17. Hey Kris - you would be surprised where those E-readers go with me (my Sony 505 PR slides in my back jean pocket for ease of transportation) - and I love to pull it out when I am standing in line waiting, as I get a ton of questions.

    One of those times was waiting in line 5 hours to see Debbie Macomber in Grand Rapids last October. I drove three hours to get to the book store. The book store only expected around 250 people. They ended up with over 500 - hence, the long wait.

    So while I'm there, I whip out my e-reader. I never got much reading done, as everyone around me had questions and wanted to see it being used. That was okay - as it killed the time standing there.

    All the stored books were M/M - so I had to try to remember which ones had covers that wouldn't shock all these 'grandmotherly' and 'church-like' types. Lord knows, I may be guilty for many things, but I wouldn't want to nearly kill someone over the cover content on my e-reader!

    As for the toilet, I have had more concerns about me taking it into the bathtub. With that being said, I do know of of a person who takes his in the bathtub, but puts his e-reader in one of those zip top lock bags 'just incase'.

    Just another helpful tidbit from yours truly.

  18. JD - yeah, I know folks like you... they still have their scratchy, vinyl records! (*grin)

    Now, truth be told - there are some books I do still by in print - only because they are not offered in e-book form. They are surivialist books, self-relance books, and how to books.

    Oh - and most of my writing references are in print. After all, you can't have a writers office berift of books! OH! The inhumanity! It just would be so wrong!'

    But, when it comes to lessiure reading, I gotta go with the e-book. Convenience is the name of this game...

  19. Thom - I stand back and applaud your tune! In fact, I may have to spread that baby around - giving you credit of course...

    Glad to see I cranked up someone's creativity! And Hilarity Ensues? Wasn't that an old Saturday Night live sketch? You know, back in the day when it was good?

    Thanks Thom - gotta love ya, man. You got some song writing talent there! Use it for good!

  20. Gregory - you crack me up! Thanks for the vote of confidence! I really didn't know if this article would fly, as the debate of e-books vs print is so touchy for some.

    Of course, you would know that - the debates over Star Trek can get sticky as well.

  21. OK, George, you get my vote! (But I have to admit I struggled with the Don McLean angle - even with guitar in hand!)

    Sorry it took me so long to get to your post... but better late than never, and it was certainly worth the effort to come back to it!

    You have set yourself a challenge to pass this one! I look forward to reading the next - even if I disagree with ebooks being an environmentally friendly panacea! :)