The state of ebooks: The perspective from Worldcon 75

The “State of Ebooks” panel at Worldcon 75 was one of the smaller but more eagerly followed panels at the con, with almost every seat taken. Moderated by Tod McCoy, Overlord at publisher Hydra House Books, the panel included James Bryant, retired electronic engineer, and “panellist and moderator at several WorldCons,” and, as it turns out, an early ebook adopter and a huge fan of the technology, as well as Irene Vartanoff, author and comic writer, and last but not least, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Associate Publisher at Tor Books, well known for its commitment to DRM-free e-publishing and in the business since the late 1990s.

Irene Vartanoff became a convert to ebooks and self-publishing, she said, due to the portability of ebooks, and the economics and lead times of self-publishing, which underlined that writers no longer needed to wait around for traditional publishers. Nielsen Hayden recalled…

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