E-readers threaten the future of literature
Booker Prize winner, Graham Swift, has warned that e-readers like the Kindle are threatening the future of literature.
The author of Last Orders, which won the Booker Prize in 1996, said the growing popularity of the devices have led to new writers receiving lower royalties than hard and paperback books.
He said that could stop aspiring authors from writing potentially good books as they are unable to make a living from their work.
Speeaking to BBC Radio Four's World at One, he said: 'I wouldn't envy a young aspiring writer now.
"The e-book does seem at the moment to threaten the livelihood of writers, because the way in which writers are paid for their work in the form of e-books is very much up in the air.
"I think the tendency will be that writers will get even less than they get now for their work and sadly that could mean that some potential writers will see that they can't make a living, they will give up and the world would be poorer for the books they might have written, so in that way it is quite a serious prospect."
E-books have presented the biggest change in the way we read since the start of mass production in mid-19th century.
However, the different way in reading is a double-edged sword and some writers have deliberately reduced the price of their books to get more people reading them.
American John Locke became the first writer to get one million e-book downloads when his books sold for 60p per copy rather than the £6 charged by well known authors, according to the Daily Telegraph.
Mr Swift continued: "When anything goes digital, let alone something as immaterial as a book, there is a tendency to see it as just in the air to be taken, and to lose the sense that somebody once made it.
"I think the purveyors of e-books are only too happy for this atmosphere of ‘everything belongs to everybody’ to increase because it means they don’t have to think so much about the original maker of the thing, or they can get away with paying them less.
"Unfortunately writers take a very small part of the profit on their books, and I think in the e-book world there is a real danger they will take even less, unless they are vigilant and robust about protecting their own interests."
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