Friday, 29 January 2010


Last night, as I watched Steve Jobs unwrap the iPad tablet on the TV news, a thought struck me – I don’t care.

Not that I don’t care about new technology. If it can enhance and advance the quality of human life then I’m all for it and will probably be up for one in the near future. I’ve also taken a more than active interest in the new formats that may impact on me as a writer. It’s just I don’t care for the inevitable Jekyll and Hyde debate it will spark about technology, publishers and authors.

It’s been raging for some time now and only a cursory glance of the Internet will offer up opinions that range from ‘This is the most exciting frontier publishing has ever witnessed’ to ‘The world of publishing is about to come spinning off its axis and crash into the sun.’

It swings from sensational headlines about book apps and Google deals to authors wailing, gnashing their teeth and painting an infernal, Bosch like picture of the future with writers impaled on the stakes of technology.

The truth lies somewhere in between the two extremes – not as hellish as the pessimists paint it and not as spectacular as the sales pitch would have us believe.

In the meantime, whether people want to read their books on tablets, phones, screens the size of fingernails or have them projected onto the butt cheeks of a hippopotamus the stories still need to be good. Personally, I’ll let the people qualified to comment (instead of cluttering the legions of people who aren’t) get on with it and concentrate on writing. Truth is nothing I say will control any of the formats or the rights deal that are being negotiated by the big companies.

There’s a lot more hot air to gush out of this thing but sooner or later readers will make their own minds up. Whichever way you view it – the new story and the writer who creates it are still a vital component. We just have to hope that this human element isn’t lost in all the excitement about an inanimate object - even if it is less than 500 dollars.

Richard Jay Parker


  1. I enjoyed your article, thank you. Good quality content is the most important thing. Good writing provides good content. Thank goodness for the writers. Sometimes good writing is lost because we don't know it's out there or too many hurdles block the way. A new invention that provides easy and attractive access to good content, enhances what we already have. No wonder everyone is so excited about Apple's iPad. I agree, writers "concentrate on your writing" we need your stories and Apple, keep up the good work you're opening up a whole new world.

  2. Thank you for saying so eloquently what I've been thinking. For now it just serves up one more distraction for which I don't have time nor wish to take time to voice. (Hugs)Indigo